Doncaster Knights’ latest triumph came by the skin of their teeth – but director of rugby Clive Griffiths admits he doesn’t care how the wins arrive at this stage of the season.
In a nerve-shredding finish in Coventry, Dougie Flockhart snatched a dramatic last-minute comeback as his conversion of Ross Davies’ score sealed an 18-17 victory.
It remains advantage Knights at the top of SSE National One but after Rosslyn Park’s bonus-point hammering of Hull Ionians the gap has been narrowed to three points.
However, Doncaster will be cracking open the bubbly in two weeks’ time with one final win against Blackheath – and Griffiths won’t entertain any thoughts of a victory parade until the job is done.
“We had to win these last two games, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “We are not thinking about the title, we are just thinking about the next minute of the next rugby game in two weeks’ time against Blackheath.
“It was a tense affair but we hung in there and did the business.
“We will just do what we normally do, we can’t look at the game as anything else – just a game of rugby.
“Nothing at all to do with the title, just 80 minutes and that’s all we are focusing on.
“It was one of those games, we defended heroically and put great pressure on them – a good defence won us the game but it wasn’t pretty out there.
“The quality of the support was magnificent, they came over and said how much they enjoyed the game and we don’t get that often so all credit to them.
Rosslyn Park had put Coventry to the sword by 32-10 last weekend but the West Midlands side were in no mood for handing out any favours.
Richard List surged over to hand Doncaster the lead following Flockhart’s penalty, but two efforts from Coventry kicker Cliffie Hodgson and a William Hurrell score handed the hosts control of the game heading into the break.
Two further penalties for Hodgson heaped more pressure onto the Knights, though Jamie Lennard’s opportunistic drop-goal on the hour-mark afforded hope.
It looked as if the game was petering out but for Davies’ intervention with the final whistle looming, before Flockhart made the pressure conversion.
The Knights now have a fortnight off to regroup for the final push and Griffiths does not expect anything less than a formidable challenge from mid-table Blackheath.
“Blackheath will want to beat us just as every other team does,” he added. “There’s no more incentive needed to beat Blackheath than the incentive to be champions and get promotion.
“If we do it we have done it hard way, but if we do we will have deserved it.
“The week off has come at the right time and we will be refreshed to face Blackheath, as they will be as well.
“We have lost players to injury but we have got some great replacements coming in, it’s been a full squad effort.
“I just hope we will do it because over the course of the season we have deserved it.”
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