Michael Hills lauds Doncaster Knights for sticking to game plan at sticky Lady Bay

Doncaster Knights' Michael Hills.

Doncaster Knights' Michael Hills.

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DONCASTER KNIGHTS’ captain Michael Hills praised his side’s positive attitude after they defied the conditions to run Nottingham ragged.

The South Yorkshire club bounced back from a home defeat to Ealing Trailfinders by winning 29-7 at a boggy Lady Bay on Friday. They ran in five tries, including a brace from flanker Hills.

“It was really important after that Ealing game to get straight back at it,” the 31-year-old told The Yorkshire Post. “We had a free weekend before so Clive (Griffiths) gave us a bit of time off. The boys were fresh, ready for a week’s training and that showed on Friday.

“The pitch at Lady Bay wasn’t waterlogged, but it was very, very heavy under foot, which made for an interesting game.

“I think you can get drawn into not playing rugby in those sorts of conditions, but we knew what our game plan was and stuck to it.

“We had to stretch them defensively, try to keep numbers on feet, move the ball around and it allowed us to score some good tries. Mine were both poacher tries really, but it was good to get on the scoresheet.

“A lot of our tries were high phases apart from one from a set-piece in the first half.

“We kept the ball, were confident with it and knew that’s where we’d break them down.”

It was crucial third-placed Doncaster won as they bid for a second successive play-off placing. Cornish Pirates, in fifth, stunned second-placed Yorkshire Carnegie the following day to remain just one point behind fourth-placed Ealing and six adrift of Doncaster, but with a game in hand over both.

Hills, who led his hometown Doncaster to a maiden Championship final last season, saud: “Obviously, Pirates winning at Leeds puts them right back into it with ourselves, Ealing and sides below them, too. The league is still very, very tight.

“It will be tough everyone going for that top four. We have to go down to Cornish yet and that will be a big game. But we’ve got London Scottish away first and they’ve been coming back at teams in the second half so we have to really focus on that next week in training. We’’ll be working hard towards that Scottish game and these last five fixtures.”

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