Post Match Reaction | Clive disappointed with second half display

The Knights exited the cup after a 15-0 defeat to Nottingham after a poor second half from the visitors.

Despite, a positive and strong defensive first half performance, it was a disappointing second 40 that lost Doncaster the cup tie.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths reviewed the match.

“It was a game of two halves really. It was a good first half from us, just our ill discipline let us down and stopped us getting a try. We had a go and tried hard, but we unraveled in the second half.

We made wholesale changes to the Jersey win and we had to do that to rest people that have played a lot of rugby along with numerous injuries. I am very disappointed the second half was poor for us.

We weren’t as cohesive as last week with the changes. Our line out delivery and breakdown work was too slow.”

In extremely windy conditions at the Lady Bay, the Knights failed to capitalise on playing with the wind in their favour.

“The conditions definitely played a part, but it didn’t stop them running through. We can’t use that excuse. We defended really well in the first half, but we gave them two soft tries.”

With several changes to the side that defeated Jersey Reds in a fantastic display last weekend, Griff was frustrated not to produce a similar attacking performance.

“I am disappointed with not scoring any points. Despite us digging in, we have been beaten and not scored. It has answered questions for us as a coaching staff and it is a chance missed for some players. We will have the chance to come here again and turn this result around with a stronger 23 man squad.”

The Knights face Bedford next week, looking to improve their fortunes on the road.

“Bedford away is our next challenge, we had momentum going into tonight’s game but we lost that. We will aim to start building that again, we played well for 40 minutes against Nottingham. Now we need to do it for 80 against Bedford.”

DKTV | DOR Clive Griffiths praises ‘truly outstanding’ Doncaster display

The Knights secured a 38-10 home win over Jersey Reds on Saturday in their best performance of the season.

Doncaster produced a stunning first half display as they scored three tries through Kyle Evans, Colin Quigley and Tyson Lewis. Which was followed by another two Evans tries either side of a quickly taken penalty from Joe Sproston.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was delighted with the result.

“Before the game we lost Howard Packman in the warm up, then Rory Pitman early in the game, Matt Smith has been off sick for two days, he put a great shift in today. Arise the real Doncaster Knights, it was a vintage performance from the Knights and all credit to the boys for doing that. It was a truly outstanding performance.

The consistency was good, the belief in their own ability. We needed pride of performance and belief. We have had some tough times, last week was a tough game on the road for us.

But we have bounced back with a six day turnaround. We managed the boys well this week and they’ve produced it in dividends with that performance.”

The Knights are next up against Nottingham in the Championship Cup Quarter-Final at the Lady Bay, a fixture Griff is entering with confidence.

“They are a tough team, especially on that patch of grass they’ve got down there. We are in a quarter-final, invariably we do well in the cups so if we can take this performance into next week then who knows, a semi-final beckons.”

Clive Griffiths reviews Falcons game and gives an injury update

The Knights fell to a tough defeat at Castle Park last weekend, as ex Premiership side Newcastle Falcons left with a 14-43 victory.

Doncaster were in the ascendancy for the majority of the first half, but couldn’t make their dominance convert into a lead as they were undeservedly behind at the interval.

During the second half, the home side again rallied, but were on the end of a clinical Newcastle performance in the Championship Cup round 5 fixture.

Although, Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths believes the final score was not an accurate reflection of the game.

“We gave Newcastle a damn good game, the score doesn’t reflect how the game went. Dean Richards has been gracious in his appraisal of the match, the number of chances we created in the first half we could’ve been in front.

A couple of inaccuracies or a decision here or there from the man in the middle it could have been a bit different.”

Clive also gave his thoughts ahead of the trip to Gloucestershire to face Hartpury this weekend.

“They are a determined side and we respect them for what they are doing down there, we will treat them with the upmost respect and our preparations won’t falter, it’ll be the same in what we need to do to win at Hartpury.”

Before the fixture with the Falcons, both Tom James, Rory Pitman and Cameron Cowell returned to the squad. While this week Ollie Stedman is back in training as the injury list slowly shortens.

“Ollie Stedman is available again, he has got over his knee and some influenza as well. Matt Smith is back in training this week, as is Colin Quigley and Dougie Flockhart, but we will take checks on the last three though. Ollie in particular will be available for selection.”

Clive Griffiths content with pride and heart shown in Donny display

The Knights left the Butts Park Arena empty handed after a 18-6 defeat to Coventry on Saturday afternoon.

Despite the best efforts of the visitors, Doncaster could only score through two Sam Olver penalties and were forced behind after two Coventry tries.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was satisfied with the effort on display, but the rued the missed chances the side didn’t take.

“It was a pretty gritty performance, it is frustrating we didn’t get anything out of it. Things didn’t go our way and Coventry took their chances well and took advantage when we were down to 14.

We had the opportunities to take something from the game, but we didn’t perform in the big moments.”

The Doncaster DOR hopes that next week against Ealing Trailfinders the Knights can be more clinical in their performance.

“It was a similar game to Jersey really, when we were over them like a rash for 35 minutes. We are having it tough at the moment, but I saw enough out there in terms of heart and pride in the performance.  We just need to play with our head more and combine the two and we’ll be fine.

I am not confident we’ll get any bodies back, but with a similar performance and pride at Castle Park we will be able to give it our best.”

DOR Clive Griffiths will not fear Coventry this weekend

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths travels to Coventry on Saturday with no fear as the Knights look for consecutive Championship wins.

“Coventry have invested heavily in their squad, we are hoping to get some troops back, if not we go down with the same group of players that have been battling hard for the last few weeks.”

Doncaster were the just the second side to beat Coventry at the Butts Park Arena last season when the teams faced in January and Clive believes that will help the side prepare for the fixture.

“We have won their before so we know how to win down there, it is a ground we don’t fear but in the same token we respect them of course and all we ask of the boys is to put the same pride into the shirt they showed last weekend.”

The DOR reviewed last Saturday’s victory over Bedford Blues as a ‘huge’ win as the Knights remained ninth in the Championship table, but only four points from fourth place.

“It was huge, even at this stage we had to win as we’d lost the previous two in different sets of circumstances. We are doing it tough with injuries so the lads that went out on the field, some playing in different positions, they stood up to the mark and did everything that was asked of them and a lot more in certain times.”

Sam Olver was named both the Man of the Match and voted the Twitter Fans’ MOTM with Clive praising the fly-half performance in the 22-18 win.

“He was mercurial on the day, his kicking for the posts was excellent and we needed that for sure. There was a lot of ball in the air and I thought we dealt with the high ball particularly well, but our kicking in return could’ve been a bit better.

In a tight game like that you’ve got to kick the penalty goals and Sam certainly stood up to the plate.”

Doncaster fans can support the side this weekend in Coventry by booking on the supporters coach, just text John Lowe on 07977 112706.



DKTV | Griff proud of progress Knights are making entering into league opener


Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths is aiming for the Knights to take the momentum gained in the win over Jersey into the first league game of the season tomorrow at Hartpury.

“We know Hartpury will be very confident because they have beaten us down there before, however last time we were there we turned it on and had a very good win. We won’t be taking them lightly, just like you can’t do anybody in this division, anyone can beat anyone on their given day.

We will turn up with a really determined attitude, we have had two out of three wins and have had three good victories in pre-season as well and I am proud of the progress we are making here.”

Griff is alsoproud of the win over Jersey as he praised the performance and the manner of the triumph.

“I am delighted and very proud of the boys, we had a bit of touch up the week before up in Newcastle.

It was a long six days we had to wait and with the injury problems we had as well we were a bit patched up, but everyone that took the field put in a hero’s performance against all the odds.

It just shows how tough the boys are mentality to over the deficit.”

The win over Jersey was also ranked as one of his best by Clive as the Knights lead at half-time despite conceding in the early encounters and fought back from behind during the second half.

“It is up there, there was a lot of pressure on us to bounce back and respond from the defeat at Newcastle.

It was a great turn around and I am proud of the boys on how they came back fighting.”

DoR Clive Griffiths has been pleased with summer recruitment

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths has been happy with his summer signings so far, but has admitted they is still the possibility of more new arrivals at Castle Park.

The Knights have signed eight new players, Reiss Cullen, Kyle Evans, Matt Smith, Andrew Foster, Pete Lucock, George Edgson, Sam Pocklington and Will Holling for the 2019/20 campaign.

All of which Clive has been pleased to persuade join Doncaster.

“ We have pretty active in the transfer market and I think we have got some really quality players on board to add to those we have already, there are still a few positions still left open with the players and of course the Backs & Attack coach, so we’ll be working hard to get that sorted as soon as possible.

Doncaster will face National 2 South Champions Rams RFC on the 31st August, who won their league with only two defeats all season.

Clive is expecting the Reading based side will bring a strong game to Castle Park.

“I am expecting a lot of exuberance, intent and ambition as well, they have worked their way up the leagues and are an ambition club.

They wanted the fixture and to come to Castle Park, so that in itself shows their willing and I am looking forward to meeting up with some old friends at the club as well.”

The Knights returned to pre-season last week with Clive aware that the longer period until the Championship campaign begins allowing for fitness levels to rise.

“It has been a bit of mix with the shape and fitness that the boys have returned to training in, I wouldn’t say everyone has come back in peak condition but you probably expect that at this stage, it is early stages of pre-season of course.

We have a longer pre-season now with the season now beginning on the 21st September so we have more time to condition the lads and integrate everybody as well as the staff.”


DKTV | Clive delighted with win over Scottish

The Knights scored a last minute try through Josh Tyrell to secure a fifth win of 2019 and take the side to eight in the Championship table.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was delighted Doncaster claimed the vital victory.

“I am ecstatic to have got the five points because at one stage we were looking under our posts and staring at a 21-24 loss when they set up for the drop goal.

But we talked about 1% to the boys and Ollie comes out of the line charges it down and then the rest is history, in those big moments games are won and lost and obviously there we were looking down the barrel but in the end we get five points in an amazing turnaround of events.”

Griff was pleased with the performances of two players in particular with try scorer Josh Tyrell and new signing Jack Roberts, who dotted down on his debut for the Knights.

“Josh was outstanding today and Jack came up with a trade mark try, people think he can knocked over easily but he such a strong man in contact and he will only get better for us the more he plays.”

Doncaster travel to the Headingley Stadium on Sunday 14th April for the final away game of the season and the DoR is feeling confident after Saturdays win.

“Absolutely we have confidence we can win there, it’s a derby and one we don’t like losing and we have lost three to them, we were well in control here in the league game, so we will go there with a extra spring in our step and hopefully hold on to the ball a bit more.”  

DKTV | DoR Clive Griffiths Bedford Review: “One of the best wins of my time here.”

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths was delighted by the performance of the Doncaster side in their 27-20 victory over Bedford Blues.

“I was pleased by most aspects of our game for sure, it was a much-needed win and was a well deserved win, I was probably expecting more of a points bonanza because it was a lovely day and Bedford play with a lot of intent with the ball.”   

Clive believed the victory was one of the best of his tenure so far at Castle Park.

“I said the boys after and I don’t say it lightly, it is one of the best wins of my time here.”

Doncaster were without regulars Ollie Stedman, Rory Pitman and Tom Calladine due to injury, but the DoR was pleased with the strength in depth of the Knights side to claim the victory.

“We have expanded the squad thanks to Steve and Tony, they deserve a lot of credit for that and to have a squad of 35, 36 and that has paid dividend because you know on any given Saturday you’re going to have injuries and we seem to get more than most.”


DKTV | Clive confident of good performance at Ealing



 Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths is looking forward to the test Ealing Trailfinders will bring to the Knights tomorrow.

The Knights enter the match on the back of a three game winning streak after beating Coventry, Hartpury and Richmond in January.

“It was a terrific month for us, we were under pressure a bit and after a combination of all factors why we won the games, we are delighted with the outcome and it has catpulted us up the table.”

Doncaster face second-placed Ealing tomorrow as both sides enter the match on the back of good recent results, although Clive is wary of the challenge the Knights will face.

“We are confident of putting a good performance in, Ealing are a quality outfit and have invested heavily in their squad and are on the back of two very good wins.”



DoR Clive Griffiths describes Knights win as ‘lovely to watch’

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths hailed the performance of Knights as ‘vintage’ and ‘lovely to watch’ after an impressive five-point win over Hartpury yesterday.

Clive gave special plaudits to the forward pack, but was pleased with the overall display at the Gillmans ground.

“In the second half it was a vintage performance, we can play with the ball and had plenty of it, the forwards were outstanding today and put a great foundation in.

The players did everything that I asked of them this week, high intensity in training as it was last week and because of illness and injury we had a change earlier today because of Rory Pitman’s illness and I think that everyone that played today did a great job for us whether it was 10 minutes or 80.”

The Knights produced six tries in a 48-21 victory that saw four scores in the convincing second half display.

“It was a lovely game to watch with us scoring six tries, we said before the game we wanted to get offloads away and we said at half-time we needed to reload and offload in attack. I am absolutely delighted in the manner of the victory and the way we played and I am looking forward to Richmond next week because we can try finish January with three fantastic wins.”

Doncaster welcome Richmond to Castle Park this coming Saturday looking to make it three consecutive wins in the league. Clive was confident the Knights can produce the result that fans will want at home next weekend.

“We need to deliver at home, we haven’t won at home for a long time in the Championship, it is hurting us and hurting me to see our supporters with glum faces at Castle Park. It is something we’ve got to put right and Richmond will be a threat, they’re a tough team that are well coached and we need to back this up again with a win at home, two wins away is fantastic, but in front of our home supporters we need to get the result and hopefully they’ll be a good crowd to watch us next week.”