Doncaster Knights stung into action by derby loss as Rotherham Titans seek springboard

Doncaster Knights' Matt Challinor, scoring against Bedford Blues earlier this season. (Picture: Scott Merrylees)
Doncaster Knights' Matt Challinor, scoring against Bedford Blues earlier this season. (Picture: Scott Merrylees)
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Doncaster Knights have endured a week of soul-searching in the wake of their derby loss to Yorkshire Carnegie, club stalwart Matt Challinor has revealed.

Knights were beaten 21-6 by Carnegie and look to bounce back against Cornish Pirates in front of the Sky television cameras on Sunday.

“There was a lot of soul-searching done last week, we lost pretty comfortably to be fair,” said Challinor.

“As a playing group, and then with the coaches, we laid our cards on the table. We didn’t play anywhere near what we’re capable of.

“We have to put that right against Cornish Pirates and the training this week suggests we’re in the frame of mind to do so.”

Challinor is one of the few survivors in the pack nine days on from the Headingley debacle, while Harrison Orr and Glen Young have joined on dual-registration from Newcastle.

Doncaster have an unbeaten home record to defend on Sunday.

“A lot of our success last year was down to our home form and we’ve kicked on again this year,” said Challinor. “The results have certainly been there, but as yet I’d says we still haven’t put in a top performance.”

Rotherham Titans head to Nottingham on Sunday, hoping to use last week’s late win over Jersey as a springboard for their season.

“The boys will get better as they go through the learning process,” said Rotherham’s head coach Justin Burnell, who makes six changes.

“We have a lot of young lads in the squad and they need time to mature and to gain experience of competing at this level of rugby. The only way they’ll get that is to play on a regular basis and to learn from the mistakes that are made. Against Nottingham we’ll have to make sure we cut down on the errors, because they are a good side who will ruthlessly take advantage our mistakes.”