Doncaster Knights will be looking to inflict the first home defeat of the season on Yorkshire Carnegie in tonight’s top four Championship clash at Headingley (8pm).
Victory for Knights would not only cement their place in the top four but see them make inroads into second-placed Carnegie’s nine point lead over them.
Carnegie suffered a surprisingly emphatic 41-17 defeat in their top-of-the-table clash at London Irish – now the only unbeaten team in the league – last time out and Doncaster boss Clive Griffiths admits his side could face a backlash.
“They hadn’t been firing on all cylinders but they had been going along nicely prior to the Irish game and they were probably starting to think that this was going to be their year and the result will have given them a rude awakening,” said the Welshman.
“They’ll certainly be looking to bounce back and we know it’s going to be tough but we’ve got a good record at Headingley in recent years and we beat them there in the first leg of the play-off semi-final last May.”
Strong-running No 8 Ollie Stedman has switched clubs since that game and Griffiths is expecting him to pull out all the stops.
“I’m sure he’ll be looking to show his old team-mates how good he is,” said Griffiths, who also expects another former Castle Park favourite, full-back Steve McColl, to be a threat.
“With the budget they’ve got I expect threats all over the park but we’ve also got a lot of very good payers and if we can exploit some of their defensive weaknesses I certainly think it’s a game we can win.”