Doncaster Knights’ centurion Paul Jarvis believes the club’s surprise run to the Championship’s play-off final last season will strengthen them for the promotion run-in this term.
The Castle Park outfit took a big step towards the end-of-season play-offs with a 31-26 win over county rivals Yorkshire Carnegie, and, with three games to go, sit fourth with a six-point advantage over fifth.
Crucially they have a game in hand over Ealing, the side that split themselves and Carnegie, and they have their destiny in their own hands, with fifth-placed Jersey still to come to Castle Park in two weeks.
Jarvis, who made his 100th appearance for the club in the local derby, said: “We won’t count our chickens yet, but we’re heading in the right direction.
“We’ve got some big games coming up against the teams around us. We’re probably one win away from the play-offs.
“I think we’re hitting form at the right time. We were there or thereabouts for most of the game against Carnegie and we’ve produced strong performances over the last few games.
“Anything can happen once you get to the play-offs; Bristol have shown that in recent years with their many struggles.
“That experience of last year will help us this season. Last year it was an unknown for us, we just took every game as a new experience.
“We have lived those experiences now and we can only benefit from that.”
Jarvis called the Knights’ display against Carnegie a “70-minute performance” given they nearly squandered a 17-point lead late on.
“We thought it was all over so we took our foot off the gas, but they’re too good to be doing that against,” he added.
“So we’ve got to take a look at ourselves and sort it out before we travel to Cornish Pirates.”
On reaching the milestone of 100 games, the 28-year-old full-back, who joined from Hartpury College three years ago, said: “We’ve had some good times here. When I first turned up it made a big impression on me and there’s not a lot of other places I’d rather be.
“I’ve managed to do well enough to keep getting contracts.”