The Knights will kick off the 2018/19 GK IPA Championship season with a trip to Cornish Pirates.
The last time the Knights visited Cornwall it ended in a narrow 22-19 defeat back in early March. A try and conversation from the Pirates in the dying embers of the game snatched victory from the Knights that day.
The Southern side finished fourth last season and will visit Doncaster on the last match of the season.
DoR Clive Griffiths gave his thoughts on the near six hours trip for the opening day GK IPA Championship visit to Cornwall to face Cornish Pirates.
“It’s never easy going down there, we’ve had some tough battles in the past it’s a long bus journey down, we’ve been away the long two seasons so I am disappointed at the outcome, the positive is we are likely to play on a dryer pitch rather than visiting in winter, we’ll go there and give it our best shot.”
The Knights will welcome Hartpury College to Castle Park for the first home match of the season on the weekend of the 8th September. A fascinating fixture that resulted in victory last season.
Griff is looking forward to the opening home fixture. “Hartpury like to play rugby just like us and if it is anything like last season, it’ll be an entertaining game.”
Clive Griffiths’ side will then travel down south once again on the weekend of the 15th September to face Richmond, before facing tough opposition in the form of Ealing Trailfinders at Castle Park. The following weekend, the Knights travel to Nottingham, a side they defeated home and away last season.
“Richmond are flying, they did the double over us and we want to make sure that doesn’t happen next season.
“Ealing have spent massive during the summer, but we’ll look to give the same effort and performance that brought the victory at Castle Park last time.”
Looking at the first five fixtures of the season, Griff is optimistic about the Knights chances of picking up a number of victories.
“It could have been worse for sure, we can’t under estimate teams like Richmond as we lost some of the games last season against those sides, we know why that happened and I’m generally happy with the first five games it just a damper to travel all the way down to Cornwall for the first match.”
“We will turn up and we will be firing no doubts about that, we are aiming to be up there against the best and we enter the Championship with full force from Cornish Pirates to the end of April and it’s an exciting challenge to face.”
Another announcement is the new Championship Cup for the next two seasons, which follows a league cup format and encourages local derbies.
Taking place over six consecutive weeks, the Knights will face Yorkshire Carnegie, Nottingham and Coventry home and away.
For its inaugural season, teams are split into three pools based on clubs’ geographic locations and will play across six rounds.
The pool stage fixtures are scheduled in one block and will be played before Christmas allowing clubs to focus on the Championship Cup consistently over a six week period.
The top two teams from each pool together with the two best runners up across the three pools will all proceed to the quarter-finals which will be followed by the semi-finals and a final which will take place in May next year.
Whilst there is still two weeks for exact fixture dates to be confirmed, the majority of the Knights home matches will kick off on Saturdays at 2.30pm.
The 2018/19 RFU Championship Fixture List:
Round 1 31 August-2 September 2018 Cornish Pirates (A)
Round 2 7-9 September 2018 Hartpury College (H)
Round 3 14-16 September 2018 Richmond (A)
Round 4 21-23 September Ealing Trailfinders (H)
Round 5 28-30 September Nottingham (A)
Round 6 5-7 October Jersey Reds (H)
Round 7 12-14 October Bedford Blues (A)
Round 8 19-21 October London Irish (H)
Round 9 26-28 October London Scottish (A)
Round 10 21-30 December Yorkshire Carnegie (H)
Round 11 11-13 January Coventry (A)
Round 12 18-20 January Hartpury College (A)
Round 13 25-27 January Richmond (H)
Round 14 8-10 February Ealing Trailfinders (A)
Round 15 15-17 February Nottingham (H)
Round 16 1-3 March Jersey Reds (A)
Round 17 8-10 March Bedford Blues (H)
Round 18 22-24 March London Irish (A)
Round 19 29-31 March London Scottish (H)
Round 20 12-14 April Yorkshire Carnegie (A)
Round 21 19-21 April Coventry (H)
Round 22 26-28 April Cornish Pirates (H)
Championship Cup Fixtures:
Round 1 9-11 November Coventry (H)
Round 2 16-18 November Nottingham (A)
Round 3 23-25 November Yorkshire Carnegie (A)
Round 4 30-2 December Yorkshire Carnegie (H)
Round 5 7-9 December Coventry (A)
Round 6 14-16 December Nottingham (H)
Fixture List in Full: http://www.englandrugby.com/mm/Document/General/General/01/33/02/94/GreeneKingIPAChampionshipandChampionshipCupfixtures_Neutral.pdf
Season Tickets can be renewed or purchased by calling 01302 831388 during office hours or email firstname.lastname@example.org.