Doncaster Knights go into opening Championship game on back of morale-boosting cup victory

Doncaster Knights will go into their opening Championship game this weekend at Hartpury on the back of a morale-boosting Championship Cup win.

By Steve Hossack
Sunday, 6th October 2019, 12:48 pm
Updated Sunday, 6th October 2019, 11:37 pm
Steve Boden. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Steve Boden. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

Knights ended their first block of Pool 2 fixtures with an impressive 32-26 win over a lively Jersey Reds side at Castle Park which leaves them in second spot.

“Today’s win shows the character in the group,” said assistant coach Steve Boden. “We were disappointed as a group with what we dished up in the defeat at Newcastle last week.

“Today’s game wasn’t about skill it was about being tough and the boys are slowly learning what being tough means.

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“Physicality is a given. It’s part of our culture and what we are about and I think we showed that in abundance today.

“It was an end-to-end game and credit to Jersey I thought they played some good stuff. Our performance wasn’t always pretty but we found a way to win which is what good sides do.

“We conceded an early try but we didn’t panic and the players did what they needed to do and got back on the horse and we got back on level terms.

“By no means was it a perfect performance but I thought it was a very Doncaster-like performance which is what we want to build the foundation of the club on (going forward).

“We spoke about being a bit smarter around the breakdown at half-time and the other message was about our kicking game.

“They were launching their attacks from our kicks which needed to be better and give ourselves the opportunity to go to a set-piece because thought that we were dominant in that area.

“We play players out of position in training to prepare them for circumstances like today when we’ve got people missing due to injuries because the job of all three coaches is not to give the players an excuse not to perform.

“We challenged (No 8) Rory (Pitman) in the build-up because we didn’t think he was where he needed to be and we got a great reaction from him. I thought he was outstanding.”