Doncaster Knights boss Clive Griffiths takes positives from draw with Bedford

Matt Challinor made his 200th appearance for the Knights - Picture Scott Merrylees
Matt Challinor made his 200th appearance for the Knights - Picture Scott Merrylees
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Despite a late converted try denying Doncaster Knights their first victory in four Championship games, Clive Griffiths rightly took the positives from their 25-25 draw against third-placed Bedford Blues at Castle Park.

“The positives were that we bucked the trend and didn’t lose,” said the club’s director of rugby who was critical of an offside penalty decision in the build-up to Bedford’s late try.

“I thought that when Simon (Humberstone) stepped up at the end (to drop a goal) that we’d win and that things were going to change, but he pulled it wide.

“We scored four tries again and picked up three points – we should have had five - and showed everyone who supports Doncaster Knights that we are there and still alive.

“They were very happy to come away with a draw today and they are a team which has beaten some good sides of late, so it showed we played well.

“We’ve had injuries, players not playing as well as they did last season, major decisions going against us as well as our own unforced errors in the opposition 22.

“So it’s been a frustrating period for us. But you can’t question the heart of the team today or some of the plays we put together.

“Alex Shaw came back into the team with Aaron Carpenter being away with Canada and played like the old Alex Shaw. He came alive.”

He added: “I was pleased for Matt Challinor that he didn’t celebrate his 200th appearance for the club with a defeat.”

Bedford boss Mike Rayer, the Championship’s longest-serving director of rugby, said: “I thought we did well to get the draw to be honest. Donny outplayed us at times.

“But fair play to our lads we showed a lot of guts and hung in there and we got a draw out of it.”

“We set off well and got the early try but Donny pretty much owned the rest of the half.

“For the first 20 minutes of the second half following the sin-binning we were pretty much staring down the barrel. But we managed to stay within ten points of them and then kick a penalty and score a try at the end and kick a great conversion.

“Doncaster are a very good side. They kept the ball really well (in the build-up) to their tries and were top drawer today and you’ve got to applaud them for that.

“They’ve got good players and are well coached and (like any side in their situation) you’ve just got to keep believing in what you do until results start to go your way again.”