DONCASTER Knights go into batttle in their first Championship game of the 2012-13 season against Plymouth Albion at Brickfields tomorrow, confident of bringing the spoils back to Castle Park.
“It’s always a tough game down there but I’m pleased how our preparations have gone,” said Knights’ boss Brett Davey.
The Welshman admits that the performances in the club’s three warm-up games, which have been of a higher intensity than that of their rivals, has given him and head coach Glen Kenworthy a few selection headaches this week.
But both men are confident that they have picked the right side to help them to get the better of the Devon outfit, who have proved to be traditionally hard to beat at home.
“We’ve picked what we both feel is our strongest side and that will be the case in every game,” said Davey.
“The problem is that due to the pace and intensity of the modern gamne you can’t expect players to play in every game during the season. You have to rest players and the fact that we weren’t able to do that as much as we would have liked last season contributed to what proved to be a disappointing end of the season.”
“You’ve also got to make sure the other players in the squad feel that they are in with the chance of a jersey,
“They need to be playing and we’ll be looking to loan some players out so that they are used to the body contact when called upon.”
Tomorrow’s game will be the first time that Knights’ new tactics, which they hope will see them mount a challenge for both a top-four spot and British & Irish Cup success, will be tested in a competitive game.
Davey said that there would be more emphasis on forward power and set-piece dominance than in recent campaigns and that had been reflected in the dozen or so new summer signings.
Davey says he will be looking to the likes of fly-half Jamie Lennard, who has returned to the club, to bring out the best of the Knights’ exciting back division.
“We’ve gone for a big experienced pack and a quick back division and we are hoping that proves to be a winning formula,” he said.
“Although we want to play a more controlled game this season, and eliminate some of the errors we made last season, we still want to move the ball about when the time is right.
“We certainly want to play some entertaining rugby in front of out own fans at Castle Park this season following the switch to mainly Friday night rugby, starting with next week’s game against Bristol.”