DONCASTER Knights are hoping for a ground record crowd of over 4,000 when they host today’s Championship-Maori All Blacks clash at Castle Park (12.05).
With well over 3,000 tickets already having being sold in midweek, and people able to pay on the day, club officials are confident of topping the crowd for last season’s Championship derby against Rotherham.
The Championship squad have been in camp in the town since Wednesday afternoon and had trained twice at Castle Park prior to yesterday’s run through.
The tourists have also been based in the area for the last couple of days following their opening tour game against Premiership giants Leicester Tigers on Tuesday.
Doncaster prop Tom Davies, one of two Knights’ players in the Championship squad - the other being utility-back Dante Mama - feels the Maoris’ narrow defeat will make them even more dangerous in today’s game.
“They won’t want to suffer a second successive defeat and they’ll be looking to get back on track,” he told The Star.
“They’ll probably be better prepared having played a game and probably having had more training sessions than they did against Leicester.
“All New Zealand sides are strong in the forwards and I’m expecting that it will be a tough battle up front, but I also think both sides will look to move the ball as well and hopefully it will be a good game.”
With every team providing at least one player for the Championship squad, there is no league programme this weekend.
“I think the break has come at the right time,” said Davies. “We’ve had a tough start to the season and a few players were carrying knocks. It has also given the players the chance to recharge.
“I’m sure most of the team will be at the game today, and we’ll all be back in on Monday preparing for what promises to be a tough game at Nottingham on Friday night.”