Doncaster Knights v Newcastle Falcons: '˜Places still up for grabs' - Clive Griffiths

Clive GriffithsClive Griffiths
Clive Griffiths
Doncaster Knights complete their pre-season programme when taking on a Newcastle Falcons XV at Castle Park on Saturday (3pm).

“Although we won’t be playing Newcastle’s strongest team we’ll be playing the best of the rest, who will be looking to impress, and some promising young players and they’ll test us over the full 80 minutes,” director of rugby Clive Griffiths.

“Obviously we’ll be looking to win but I wouldn’t be too bothered if we lost on Saturday but beat Pirates in our opening league game on Sunday week.”

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Knights go into the game on the back of a 47-21 win over ambitious National One newcomers Sale FC.

“It was a bit patchy at times but we also did some good things in both attack and defence,” said Griffiths.

“Our first try in the second half scored by Tyson Lewis (pictured inset) was outstanding. The ball went from side to side and we had great width.

“We scored seven tries, one of which they gifted us, and we probably bombed three or four more. We also defended well again although one of their tries came from a missed tackle,

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“But there are still areas we need to tidy up including our ball control.”

The club were due to announce their latest signing – an overseas fly-half who was expected to arrive in the country yesterday - today but Griffiths says the game may be too early for him.

“We’ll see how he is later in the week,” said the Welshman, who has two more overseas players lined up to arrive.

Griffiths will again lack the services of wing Curtis Wilson who faces up to six weeks on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, but is hoping Charlie Foley will be fit to return at fly-half.

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“I would say, that bar injuries, I know two thirds of the side which will take on Pirates but there are still places up for grabs and in certain positions there is lot of competition,” he said.

“You obviously have to take into consideration how a player has played in the past but you’ve also got to go with the players who have shown up well in both the warm-up games and pre-season as a whole and the likes of (second-rower) Morgan Eames and No 8 Willie Ryan, in particular, have been outstanding.”