Derby D-Day as Knights go for promotion

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DONCASTER Knights No 2 Brett Davey stopped short of calling today’s Championship promotion play-off Pool B clash against Rotherham Titans at Castle Park a must-win game.

But Davey, who will take over from the departing Lynn Howells in the summer, is under no illusions how important it is.

“If we don’t win then we aren’t out of it, but we’ll certainly be up against it in the remaining four games,” he said.

Both teams failed to get off the mark at the first time of asking last weekend - Titans conceding 50 points at home to Bedford and Knights losing a much closer game at Cornish Pirates.

“All the top four sides apart from Pirates had an easy win, so the fact that we ran them close was a positive and told us that we aren’t a million miles away from the top sides,” said Davey.

Davey felt Knights deserved better than to come home empty-handed and an admission by the match assessor that the referee got several key decisions wrong has proved scant consolation in the build-up to the Rotherham game.

Knights go into the game having won both matches between the two sides at Castle Park this season, with Titans beating their South Yorkshire rivals at Clifton Lane in the league.

“They are normally hard to beat at home so they’ll be smarting from the Bedford defeat,” said Davey, forced to go on the bench against one of his former teams last weekend due to a shortage of players.

“As well as being short of players, we also had a couple of forwards taken ill overnight,” he said. “We should be a bit better off for players this weekend and we’ll also have two dual-registered Leeds players available.

“We know what to expect from Rotherham and I’m sure they’ll know what to expect from us so we are looking forward to it.”