Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths believes the battling qualities his side have shown in their opening two fixtures is evidence a new-look squad have forged a work ethic worthy of title contenders.
Knights followed their opening weekend defeat of Blackheath with a 40-19 victory over Hull Ionians – centre Matt Clark and no.8 Chris Eggleshaw scoring twice.
Doncaster didn’t have things all their own way and had to soak up pressure having been twice reduced to 14 men after yellow cards to Douglas Flockhart and Joseph Barker.
Griffith’s side play Worthing Raiders this weekend.
He said: “Our intent to play was pleasing. It cost us at times, playing in the wrong areas, but really to go away again and to come out on top against a very enthusiastic team was great” he said.
“We had to work hard to break them down and our durability was impressive as we were on the back foot for a lot of the game as we had a high penalty count.
“We are seeing a good team effort and we have individuals that can stick their hand up and Matt and Chris are doing that right now. Teamwork is carrying us through.”
Griffiths added: “We are yet to play our best for sure and we know that there is so much more to come – there was only six players from last season at the weekend so it is a brand new set-up and team.
“I am looking to see that by the end of September, when we will have had three pre-season games and four National One games, to still be intact and we will kick on from that.”
Worthing are a team that have lost their opening two fixtures but boast an enthusiastic young coach in Kieron Dawson.
Griffiths believes his side will have to play smart and pressure their opponents.
“We will be favourites at home and I have looked at them and they are a capable side for sure.
“They have an up and coming coach in Kieron [Dawson] who will have them coming out of the blocks,” he added.
“I was impressed with their comeback against Wharfedale on the opening weekend and so we won’t be taking anything for granted.
“Every game is a different game and each team will come with a different attitude and we just have to build the pressure on them and put doubt in their minds.”
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