Early blow to Doncaster Knights B&I Cup hopes

Curtis Langdon for Knights against Leinster A - ''Picture Scott Merrylees
Curtis Langdon for Knights against Leinster A - ''Picture Scott Merrylees

Doncaster Knights hopes of making an impact in this season’s B & I Cup suffered a setback in Saturday’s opening pool game against Leinster A at Castle Park.

The Irish side, twice winners of the competition, led throughout and the result was rarely in doubt as they posted a 41-17 win.

“They were too good for us and the best team won on the day,” said straight-talking director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“They are a good side, probably the best we’ve played this season, and they are well coached.”

Griffiths found it hard to come up with any positives when reflecting on Knights’ performance: “We made the same sort of errors we made in the league defeat at Hartbury and there’s a lot of work to be done ahead of our second pool game at Bristol,” he said.

“My biggest concern in injuries. We only had nine backs to chose from due to injuries and suspension and it looks like we’ve picked up another couple today.

“Obviously back-to-back defeats is disappointing and not something that we are used to but you have to take the rough with the smooth.

“You take the plaudits when you are playing well and take the criticism when you are not and we aren’t at the moment.”

His comments were echoed by long-serving Matt Challinor, whose second-row partner Morgan Eames came off late in the first half.

“We were disappointed to throw away a match-winning lead at Hartpury and we’d talked all week about having a reaction but things didn’t quite happen for us today,” he said.

“That’s taking nothing away from Leinster. They are a very good team and they played very well on the day.”