Doncaster Knights set for ‘biggest club game Castle Park has ever staged’

Photo courtesy of John Ashton

Photo courtesy of John Ashton

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Doncaster Knights are just 80 minutes from the Championship play-off final.

They take on Yorkshire Carnegie in the second-leg of the semi-final on Sunday (2.30pm) in the biggest club game ever staged at Castle Park.

Although Knights will take a 13-point lead into the game on a ground where they have beaten Carnegie on their last two visits, director of rugby Clive Griffiths has stressed to his players this week that the job is only half finished.

“The first try on Sunday is going to be very important,” said Griffiths.

“If they score the first try (and convert it) they’ll close the score to 30-24.

“Having said that we’d still be six points up and we know that we can put the ball down over the line.”

Griffiths admits that Carnegie were below par on the day.

“They made a lot of unforced errors but I could point to ours as well,” said the Welshman.

Like most of the 3,000 plus crowd, Griffiths felt the scoreline flattered Carnegie, who rarely threatened a try until the last 15 minutes.

“We defended well for most of the game but (No 8) Ryan Burrows stepped up to the plate for them at the end and we’ll have to watch him on Sunday,” said Griffiths. “He’s a massive talisman for them and you’ve got to be solid on him and chop him down.”

Carnegie boss Bryan Redpath knows his side must play much better if they hope to dash Knights’ hopes.

“We have to do better in most parts - set-piece, handling, discipline,” he said.

“But it’s not lost (though) it’s a great challenge for us. It will be tough and we have to come out with a must-win game.

“But we saw at the end at Headingley what we can do against them.

“We didn’t perform well around our set-piece on Sunday and they capitalised on that winning the scrums.

“We never kept the ball in the right areas but we got back to what was a respectable score and it gives us a chance.

“Now we know exactly what we need to do. We have to be a lot better as a team so there’s no place to hide and it’s not lost.

“Credit to Doncaster. They played well and took opportunities when they arose but we’ll go again on Sunday.”