Despite being one of the early favourites to claim promotion, Doncaster Knights’ Chris Hallam admits his side are playing catch up when it comes to facing their opponents.
The Knights are adjusting to life in SSE National League One having suffered relegation last season. They got their campaign up and running with a victory over Blackheath last weekend, although the 47-17 score line was perhaps not a reflection of a hard fought battle against the visitors.
Next up is a trip to Hull Ionians, but despite that team having lost 41-12 to Coventry, scrum half Hallam warned against underestimating their opposition.
“The thing about this league is we don’t know much about our opponents,” said Hallam. “A lot of it is analysed in the Championship and there is more footage available but it is harder to get that here. It’s more of a challenge. “But Hull have quite a good set up, they have a good following and the crowd creates a decent atmosphere. The one thing is we are going to be targeted by teams so we have to be on our game. It’s almost like we have 30 cup finals to face.
“It’s a case of looking at what we are capable of, but we would be upset if we did not come away with a win.
“We go out to win every week, we expect to win but then in rugby, funny things happen.”
Hallam was on the score sheet against Blackheath, running in one of five second-half tries scored by Knights
Admitting nerves had played a part, Hallam explained training had been focused on correcting their early errors.
“I actually tweeted about it, it was probably the most nervous I have ever been before a game for a long time and I think it showed in our play,” he said.
“We were all a bit nervous, there’s different expectations from us and there’s a lot riding on it. “Everyone is looking at us to be winning week in week out. Nerves were there but once we got through the first 20 or 30 minutes we found out feet towards the end of the game.
“We conceded a few tries so we have been working on improving our defence in training, but spirits are high in the team.
“Clive has got together quite a good team this year, we have recruited really well with players that have been up in the championship and we know what we are capable of.”
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