DONCASTER Knights will lack leading points-scorer Tristan Roberts in tonight’s crucial British & Irish Cup Pool D derby against Rotherham Titans at Castle Park.
The goal-kicking fly-half suffered a shoulder injury in Saturday’s 45-42 Championship win over Esher and could be facing several weeks on the sidelines.
His place in tonight’s game will be taken by dual-registered Leeds Carnegie half-back Christian Lewis-Platt.
Knights, who will be playing their fourth game in 11 days, are likely to make several other changes.
But whatever team Knights field tonight it will be one considered good enough to win the game by director of rugby Lynn Howells.
Knights have to win both their remaining two games to clinch the runners-up spot behind runaway leaders Pontypridd.
“If we beat Rotherham it will put us on equal points with Ayr in second place and that would mean that the winner of our game at Ayr would decide which of us went through,” said the Welshman.
“I wouldn’t like to go all the way up to Scotland without there being something at stake, so that’s why the result of tonight’s game is so important.”
Knights are still smarting from a 35-34 Championship defeat against Titans at Clifton Lane ten days ago.
“Whatever happens tonight our discipline has to be a lot better than it was in that game,” said Howells. “We gave away far too many penalties and their kicker kicked seven of them and that is what cost us the game.
“I am expecting another tough game tonight; it is always the same when we play Rotherham whether it’s home or away. We are at home, which will suit the way we like to play more than the tight Clifton Lane pitch, but we’ll still have to defend well and take our chances.”