Doncaster Knights boss Clive Griffiths is not expecting lowly Rotherham Titans to be playing Santa in tomorrow’s Championship clash at Clifton Lane (2pm).
“They’ll not be giving us anything and you wouldn’t expect them to with it being a derby,” said the Welshman.
“They are down there at the bottom and whilst it’s not too late to avoid relegation they’ve got to start winning games and picking up points to give themselves a chance.
“They might not have won a game yet this season but I’ve watched them quite a few times and they are very committed when they are in the game.
“Most times I’ve watched them they’ve been in games up to a certain point then the opposition have got away from them and then it has been all over bar the shouting.
“But they were leading (fellow strugglers) London Scottish, in what was seen as a must-win game, until late on in their last home league game, and produced two better performances, albeit against a different side, than we did against Ealing in their two recent B&I games.
“So anyone expecting us to put 40 points past them as we did at Castle Park should think again.”
Despite the Welshman’s caution he will be viewing the game as offering eighth-placed Knights an excellent chance to check their slide down the table and record their first league win for nearly three months.
Injuries have played a big part in the club’s disappointing start to their league campaign, but key players have started to return to action in recent games.
Full-back Paul Jarvis will again play some part in the game as he continues his bid to regain match fitness after being out injured for three months.
Jarvis played just over half the game in the B&I Cup win against Cardiff Blues Premiership and has shown no adverse reaction as is the case with hooker Dave Nelson, flanker Jack Ram and utility back Charlie Foley who also made their return from injury in the same game.
Ben Hunter, left out last week as a precaution, is available again as is dual-registered second-rower Nick Civetta, but prop Owen Evans (concussion) is ruled out with concussion.
Wing/centre Andy Bulumakua is fit again following his broken hand but is unlikely to feature this week.