Doncaster Knights are back into the top four of the Championship for the first time since early season.
They took advantage of Bedford’s home defeat against Jersey the previous night to leapfrog the Blues after beating London Scottish 19-17 at Castle Park.
But they had to work far harder than a lot of people expected – though not the Knights coaching staff – to beat the second-bottom Exiles.
“I knew they were a very enthusiastic side who were well coached and better than their league position would suggest,” said director of rugby Clive Griffiths when reflecting on the game on Sunday.
“They certainly played very well and their coach, Dave Morris, said it was their best away performance this season.
“We didn’t play well in the first half and we were in a hole at half-time. It didn’t help that we lost prop Colin Quigley early on.
“There were some harsh words as well as some tactical advice during the break and I was proud of the fact that the players not only dug their way out of the whole but filled it in in the second half.
“We scored two good tries and could have scored several others though we still had to defend well at times particularly when they were pressuring our line midway through the final quarter.
“Had they scored then and converted it it would have been 23-16 and although we still could have won the game it would obviously have been much harder to do so.
“Although I normally don’t like singling out individuals I thought Charlie Foley made a big impact when he came on at fly-half midway through the second half – and not just the fact that he kicked the match-winning penalty.”