Fylde v Doncaster Knights: Griffiths calls for defensive improvement

Doncaster Knights' Matt Challinor in action against Cinderford. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Knights' Matt Challinor in action against Cinderford. Picture: Andrew Roe

Doncaster Knights ran in nine tries last weekend but director of rugby Clive Griffiths knows a repeat of their defensive frailties at Fylde will not go unpunished.

The SSE National League One leaders piled on the points against struggling Cinderford last Saturday, as they romped to a 62-28 win.

However, Griffiths was unimpressed with the way his side allowed the visitors to notch up four tries and a bonus point in the process.

Today the Knights visit fourth-place Fylde, who ran them very close at home in October as Griffiths men ran out 29-24 winners.

And Griffiths knows defensive errors won’t be so easily forgotten if lightning strikes twice.

“We were pretty clinical with the ball – not so clinical in defence against Cinderford,” he said.

“It is uncharacteristic of a few of the guys and we are working on a bit of defence.

“We know what we have got to do on Saturday.

“If we don’t rectify that this weekend, then Fylde will capitalise – they play a really expansive game.

“Everyone knows how they are going to play, but it is just about stopping it.

“It was a 13-try feast for everybody who watched the game against Cinderford,” he added.

“We always looked capable of scoring, every time we got the ball.

“We have scored 600 points already and we have bombed two or three others.

“But we gave them a few positions for one or two of their tries in the second half.

“We know we have got to get that right for sure.”

Mat Clark, Tyson Lewis and Jamie Lennard each crossed the whitewash twice for Doncaster, who found gaps in the Cinderford defence all afternoon.

But Griffiths does not expect his side to have it all their own way again this weekend against a Fylde side that is hurting after defeat to Worthing Raiders.

However, he does believe the hosts will be under greater pressure to produce a result – and that may help the Knights make it three wins from three since the Christmas break.

“They are up for it already and they will be licking their wounds from last week,” Griffiths added.

“It is a tough place to go – it is a great club with great tradition. We are not cocky at all.

“There is a lot of pressure on them as well, because they have designs on getting promoted. There is more pressure on them than us.

“We have got two wins out of two but we don’t look any further than half past four next Saturday.”