Clive Griffiths is warning his troops they start 2014 with a target on their back – with everyone in SSE National League One looking to take the scalp of the leaders.
As calendars around the country flip over to the new year the Knights have the envious position of starting 2014 as the team to beat as they sit pretty atop the table.
However Doncaster have been far from invincible this campaign and while 13 wins from 16 games is impressive, defeats to Wharfedale, Blaydon and Henley Hawks highlight the possible dangers.
Griffiths, the club’s director of rugby, is adamant these losses are due to the fact that the rest of the division raise their game against his side with the prize scalp on offer.
And ahead of starting the new year at Worthing Raiders this weekend, Griffiths is urging his players to be on their toes no matter who the opponent as they bid to stay at the summit.
“It will be another difficult away day against Worthing,” he said. “Everyone is pretty good at home and they like to raise their game against us.
“We are back in training now so we just hope that the gales and rain and all that stuff down there is a bit easier.
“Any away trip is tricky and we are always a big catch for people. I can always tell by the way teams react when they beat us – it is like winning the FA Cup final.
“Games like Wharfedale show that. We had enough opportunities to win the game, even though we didn’t attack with the same amount of purpose as in previous matches.
“We know Worthing will be a tough place to go. We have had a good chat about our away attitude and now it is down to the boys to deliver.”
The first part of the mission to bring Championship rugby to Castle Park next season has been completed with Doncaster occupying top spot in January.
However Griffiths believes the next month will see the wheat separated from the chaff – with the Welshman eager for his side to lay down a marker.
“It was a good way to finish the year, with two good wins,” he added. “Both games were difficult in their own right.
“The goal was to be top of the pile going into the New Year and we have done that. The next month will sort a lot out – a lot of the top teams play each other.
“If we are still top of the pile after January that gives us ten games to go. There is still a lot of good rugby to be played. I still think there will be a lot of twists in the tale.”
*SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 worth of mobile floodlights for your club to win. To find out how to enter go to www.SSERugby.com