Preview: Yorkshire Carnegie v Doncaster Knights

Mat Clark in action for Doncaster Knights against Worcester Warriors. Photo: Chris Etchells.
Mat Clark in action for Doncaster Knights against Worcester Warriors. Photo: Chris Etchells.

Clive Griffiths says if his players are hurting as much as he was following the defeat to Worcester Warriors, then he’ll get a reaction against Yorkshire Carnegie this weekend.

Doncaster Knights hosted the former Premiership side at Castle Park but put in a below-par performance in front of the 1,400 expectant crowd.

A poor start saw Warriors race into a 12-0 lead which Knights’ director of rugby Griffiths admits his side never really recovered from.

Four tries from the Worcester contingent of Ryan Bower, Sam Smith, Max Stelling andSam Betty coupled with a strong kicking performance from Ignacio Mieres saw the Knights crash to their first defeat of the Championship season.

Dougie Flockhart was again on target for Doncaster, scoring three penalties and converting a second half penalty try for the hosts.

Their 32-16 loss on Saturday afternoon also led to Doncaster slipping from third to seventh in the table.

“It was the worst possible start and we didn’t really recover from it,” said Griffiths.

“Having said that, I’m pretty baffled by some of the decisions - we’re six penalties to nil after 10 minutes and of course that puts you on the backfoot.

“I think it’s fair to say that’s the best they’ve played this year. That’s probably the worst we’ve played. You put the two together and that’s the result.”

Griffiths, although hurting, said his side would move on from the disappointment and react against Leeds-based Carnegie on Sunday.

“Worcester are a Premiership set-up, when we went down to National One we were a Championship set-up,” he added.

“They’ve got an abundance of resources and some good players, they will get better and better as the season goes on.

“But we can’t get down about it, it’s only the third game of the season.

“If you’re a winner, it does effect you. You don’t shrug off a loss, it hurts you. If it’s hurt the players as much as it hurt me, we’ll have a reaction against Leeds.”