“It’s all very raw” - Clive Griffiths makes admission as Doncaster Knights defeated on emotional day

Players and staff take part in a minute's applause in memory of Ian Williams who died in training last month.
Players and staff take part in a minute's applause in memory of Ian Williams who died in training last month.
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In the week which sees the clocks go forward Doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths wants his charges to turn the clock back.

“We need to rediscover ourselves and that is something we talked about in the dressing room after the game,” he said reflecting on Saturday’s 22-12 Championship defeat at home to Richmond.

“It has been another sad day for us and things haven’t been going well for us both on and off the field recently.

“It was certainly very emotional before the game what with the minute’s applause for Ian Williams who collapsed and died during a training session last month.

“We also had Ian’s parents, sister and girlfriend attend our team meeting before the game during which they spoke to the players about how much he had enjoyed playing for the club. A group of players (representing the club) also attended his funeral on Thursday, so it’s all very raw.

“To add to that is the fact that we’ve got a lot of players out injured.

“We need to get back on track but I can’t build a house without bricks and gradually our supply of bricks is being exhausted.

“With the situation we find ourselves in there is obviously the danger that our season, which was starting to look promising last month after we put four wins together, is in danger of collapse because we’ve got some big games coming up.

“We’ve all got to pull together and try and stop that happening.”

In addition to the number of players on the sidelines, which caused Knights to draft in three dual-registered players, the club were also hit by two withdrawals on the day of the match due to illness.

Griffiths conceded that Knights had left themselves with a lot to do in the second half after Richmond scored three forward tries to lead 22-5.

“We got it back to 22-12 early in the second half but we didn’t kick on from there,” he said.

“Admittedly the conditions were terrible, especially in the first half when we played into the elements, and there were always going to be mistakes. But we gave away too many penalties in the wrong areas and overall I don’t think we did ourselves justice.”

Dougie Flockhart was due to have a run-out with Sale Sharks A tonight following his long injury lay-off.