Anyone doubting what it meant to Doncaster Knights to claim their place in next month’s B & I Cup final should have been stood outside the team dressing room.
The post-match celebrations following their thrilling 27-22 semi-final win over Bristol at Castle Park said it all as did the smile on director of rugby Clive Griffiths’ face.
“What a day for the club to be facing Worcester, my old club, in the final,” he beamed. “It would be a real fairy-tale were we to win the cup on home soil.
“It’s a far cry from when we lost (23-9) at home to Jersey (in January) and people were questioning our ability as coaches and players.
“We’re still not out of the woods and probably need another couple of wins to be safe, but we can draw (inspiration) from today.
“I went through a million emotions,” said the Welshman, who took North Wales Crusaders to two finals before quitting the rugby league club to concentrate on his commitments with Doncaster, after steering Knights to their first national final .
Griffiths was proud of Knights’ defensive qualities – especially in the closing stages when they were pinned in their own 22.
“We’ve a banner on the wall saying that defence wins championships and relegation battles,” he said.
He also enthused about the team’s character in bouncing back to lead 17-10 at the break after conceding a first minute try.