The British & Irish Cup commences for the Knights with an away game against Birmingham/Solihull Bees. It will be the Knights first visit to Damson Park and I’m sure the fans are looking forward to the experience.
This season the Knights are in Pool D alongside Ayr, Birmingham & Solihull, Llandovery, Pontypridd and Rotherham Titans.
Round 1 sees Rotherham Titans welcome Llandovery, Ayr travel to Pontypridd and the Knights travel to the Birmingham/Solihull Bees new home ground. The game is being played on a Sunday and with a kick off time of 3.00pm.
In Round 2 on the weekend of December 18, the Knights welcome local rivals, Rotherham Titans, Ayr host Llandovery and Birmingham/Solihull Bees fly over the border to Wales to play Pontpridd. The Knights host their game, the second South Yorkshire Derby, on Sunday the 19th December with a 3pm kick off to allow for “ extra time” on Christmas lunch.
This is the second season of the B&I Cup and, after a fairly slow start last season, the organisers are hoping that the tournament will start capturing the public's imagination just like the Heineken Cup did around the millennium.
With the Knights reaching the Semi Final last season all eyes will be on the team to see if they can achieve an even longer run this time around. Youngsters like Tom Doughty and Dom Parsons could play a big part this season as Matt Lowcock and Lewis Thiede did in the last.
In the equivalent fixture last season played at Castle Park, the Knights were the victors by 41 points to 8. It was the Knights seventh game in 21 days, so they’d had plenty of game time! The game was three days after a defeat by league-leaders Bristol which was their only defeat in that incredible run. It was the Bees that scored the final try of the game, through full back Tom Foden.
Last season the Bees lost all 5 games in their British and Irish cup stay, and only won 1 losing bonus point. The Championship having seen the Bees pack a sting in the tail this season will make everyone wary of them in a Cup Competition.