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Clive proud of the Knights effort in Falcons defeat

Doncaster were defeated in the opening game of 2020 by league leaders Newcastle Falcons 34-10 on Friday evening.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was frustrated with the end scoreline that didn’t represent his sides efforts in the game.

“It was a harsh scoreline, other than some decisions that didn’t go in our favour, I am very proud of the effort.

It is sad to say in the current game that going away you don’t get many decisions. It is just two teams and it should be treated that way.

The last try was an insult to the great efforts we put in. In the first half we just couldn’t find that final pass, we went 3-0 up and deserved that lead though. It took something beyond our control to concede the first try and then we get a sin bin, which they scored on the back off.

After half time it was our mistake and it is 12 points we’ve lost in a very short space of time. Newcastle had to revert to catch and drive or pick and go, so we made them work hard. There are some great signs there against by far the best team in the league. ”

Unfortunately, Sam Olver was substituted at half-time as Doncaster’s injury woes continued.

“We’ve picked up some injuries again and the curse continues into 2020. We will have to dig deep going into next week. Sam Olver is the most worrying injury with a HIA.”

Will Holling made his first Championship start for the Knights, with Clive delighted at the youngster’s performance.

“The first time he got the ball he made 50 yards, there were a few stray throws, but he is only going to get better and that is why we signed him.

The experience he got against Newcastle will be unbelievable, his selection was warranted by a country mile.

His performance gives the other two boys something to think about, both Ben and George are senior players, but they now have this young boy snapping at their heels. Sam Pocklington was great as well tonight, the only downside is Sam Jones should be playing as well with them. Hopefully he will be back soon.”

Another positive from the game was Doncaster’s defensive display as they held out until the 34th minute before conceding a try.

“Some of a goal line defence was outstanding, we’ve made them play a different game.

Their scrum-half showed some class for a couple of tries and that was the difference at times.”

The Knights will now prepare to face Nottingham at Castle Park in a vital battle in the bottom half of the table. Griff¬†is hopeful of players returning to fitness and is eager to defeat next Saturday’s opposition after last seasons home game.

“We will get a few boys back for the Nottingham game, Morgan Eames was back against Newcastle, hopefully Matt Smith will be back as well this week. The next three weeks will define our season.¬†They stole the points last season, when Sam missed a kick in the last minute so we owe them one.”

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