Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie: Injured Makaafi baffled by Knights’ league woes

Latu Makaafi
Latu Makaafi

Flanker Latu Makaafi, one of the stars of Doncaster Knights’ 32-23 win over Yorkshire Carnegie at Headingley in September, will miss this weekend’s return at Castle Park.

Makaafi scored a late try to end Carnegie’s hopes of salvaging a result in the earlier fixture.

The Tongan missed last weekend’s spirited showing at Worcester after picking up an upper-body injury in the B&I Cup win over Munster A and faces at least another game on the sidelines.

Makaafi is currently the club’s top try-scoring forward. Even so, he readily admits he could do better.

“I still feel that I have things that I need to work on,” he said.

“Clive (Griffiths) has spoken to me about that on occasions and wants me to concentrate more on what I’m good at.”

Fans’ favourite Makaafi spent last season on Jersey’s books - where he didn’t manage one try - before agreeing to return to Castle Park.

Despite Knights currently languishing second-bottom after suffering nine successive league defeats, Makaafi has no regrets about returning to the club.

“Everything is going well apart from the defeats in the league,” he said.

“I don’t know why we’ve lost so many games because I feel we are good enough to be in the top eight.

“When it comes to the B&I Cup everything is so exciting and for some reason we feel more confident.

“That’s probably the biggest thing between league and cup games because we’ve shown that we can beat good teams in the cup whereas we’ve lost games in the league we should have won.”

With bottom club Plymouth now within just three points of Knights, Makaafi knows just how vital a win is on Saturday.

“We need to work on a lot of things because they are a good side and we can’t afford to take them lightly just because we beat them in Leeds,” he said.

“But if we can play like we did against Munster A in our last home game then we can beat them again.”