Knights braced for their biggest derby test

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DONCASTER Knights cross swords with derby rivals Rotherham Titans for the fifth time this season at Clifton Lane today.

But their penultimate Championship Promotion-Play-Off Pool B clash is undoubtedly the most important of this season’s battles between the two South Yorkshire rivals.

Victory for Knights, who have won three of the previous four derby games this season, coupled with a defeat for Bedford at leaders Cornish Pirates, would leave them just 80 minutes away from a place in the semi-finals.

But Knights No 2 Brett Davey is looking no further than today’s game at a ground where Knights, as did most other Championship sides, lost in the league. Knights are hoping to have props Michael Cusack and Stuart Corser, who both face late fitness tests, available again after missing last weekend’s 33-31 win at Bedford.

“There were things in the game that we can improve on, but any time you go down to Bedford and come away with a win is a good achievement,” said Davey.

“Having said that, we actually felt that we played better when we lost by a point against them at Castle Park the previous week.

“But the players showed the character to come from behind to win the game at Bedford because we were never in front until the last ten minutes and then ground out a win.

“We always knew it would be tough to win at Bedford and we’ve got to show the same mentality at Rotherham.

“Having lost all four games, Rotherham are out of it. But they are at home and we’ve got to put on another big performance because we know it is not going to be easy.

“We certainly can’t afford any complacency; the prize is too great.

“If someone had said before the start of the play-offs that if we won our last two games we’d be in the semi-final, we’d have bitten their hand off.”