Doncaster Knights: Clark sets his sights on derby win at Headingley

Mat Clark

Mat Clark

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Doncaster Knights will need to produce their best away performance of the season if they are to come away from Headingley on Friday week with the spoils.

Whereas Knights have lost three away games in the Championship this season Yorkshire Carnegie are unbeaten at home.

“They are riding high at the moment which will make the challenge even bigger,” said strong-running centre Mat Clark.

“But it's a derby game so anything can happen and I certainly feel they are beatable.

“But we know we'll need to play better than we did against London Scottish at the weekend.

“We are struggling to start games well for some reason at the moment and that is not only helping our opponents but it is also putting pressure on ourselves.

“If one or two players are jittery it can become infectious and that’s when you need your leaders on the field to take charge.”

Clark says that Knights have missed the ball-carrying skills of Ollie Stedman (now plying his trade with Carnegie) and injured skipper Michael Hills this season and has called upon others to try and take on the role.

He also feels that there is room for improvement behind the scrum.

“Some of our passing and execution hasn't always been good enough by our own high standards and we need to sharpen up a bit.” he said.

Clark's partnership with Will Hurrell was one of the success stories of last season and he was disappointed when Hurrell moved on.

“Will was great to play alongside because he always took the ball in hard and was solid in the tackle, but I'm happy with how the partnership with Lloyd Hayes is working so far,” he said.

“Lloyd's another big strong boy and whilst he is slightly different to Will he is also a very good player.

“It takes time to form a good partnership but it's good to have a new challenge and hopefully I'll learn from playing with different players and become a better player.”