Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights: ‘We’re a better side than table suggests’, insists Mat Clark

Mat Clark
Mat Clark

Mat Clark’s return to fitness is a big boost for Doncaster Knights in their battle for Championship survival.

The centre formed part of an impressive back division in his first start since shoulder surgery in last weekend’s 29-16 win over Yorkshire Carnegie at Castle Park.

Like his team-mates, the 25-year-old was delighted to see Knights end a run of nine consecutive league defeats.

“We just need to keep working on getting the finishing touches right because you don’t get any points for the build-up if you don’t score at the end of it,” he said.

“We’ve struggled to score tries this season but we could easily have had several more on Saturday.

“Ume (Fosita) came off the bench at Worcester and he started on Saturday and did really well.

“The backs as a whole played well but full credit to the forwards because they had put in a lot of hard work during the week and it showed.”

He added: “Naturally there was a bit of pressure building but it was pressure that we were putting on ourselves because as a group of players we expect to be winning more games than we have done.

“We’d like to think that we are a better side than our league position suggests.

“There are some realty tough teams in this league and we’d like to think that we can challenge the likes of Bristol and Worcester. I think we showed that in the recent game at Worcester when we only trailed 5-0 going into the final quarter and were still in the fight.”

Ahead of this weekend’s trip to Cornish Pirates, Clark added: “Even though we’ve won down there in the B&I Cup, we know it’s not going to be easy.

“We’ll be going there trying to back up all the hard work the boys put in against Carnegie. Hopefully we can take a second step on the ladder up the table and keep moving forward,

“But it’s a tough league and anyone can beat anyone else. You saw that in the Pirates-Bristol game.

“So there’s no guarantees. We’ll just take it one game at a time and treat every game as if it is a cup final.”