Reality check for Doncaster Knights

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Doncaster Knights suffered a reality check in their second pre-season friendly against Premiership outfit Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park.

Seven days after running in 13 tries against Guernsey, the Castle Park side had to settle for a late touchdown by Will Burden - one of four Academy players on duty in a much-changed side shorn of a number of last season’s regulars in a 31-8 defeat.

“That’s was one of the most disappointing aspects of the game,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths, who felt the final scoreline didn’t reflect the game.

“We had our chances but we made too many mistakes with the ball. We were also stripped of the ball on occasions and they also turned us over.

“They put a lot of defensive pressure on us when we had the ball, similar to what London Irish did to us in our four games against them last season.

Despite the result Griffiths was pleased with aspects of the team’s defence.

“I would say that 95 per cent of the time when we were set in defence they didn’t penetrate us, which was pleasing,” he said.

“We started off well and were leading thanks to a Dougie Flockhart penalty but then we lost the ball (in their 22) and they end up going the length of the field to score.”

“We were still in the game at half-time and only trailed 12-3.