Catch-up rugby will cost us in end, warns Griffiths

Clive Grifiths praised his Doncaster Knights side for the character they showed in a stirring second-half fightback but conceded that slow starts were ruining his team’s chances of pulling away from relegation trouble.

Lloyd Hayes goes on a run for the Titans

Doncaster trailed Rotherham 20-9 shortly before the hour after Michael Keating intercepted Piers Francis’s wayward pass to score his second try of the game.

But with replacement half-backs Paul Roberts and Tomasi Palu giving their offence more urgency, Doncaster stormed back with tries from Phil Eggleshaw, after Andy Bulumakau’s initial surge, and Paul Jarvis.

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They then contived to concede a late penalty at the breakdown with James McKinney’s penalty leaving the Knights winless in six in the league and still second bottom.

But director of rugby Griffiths said: “If we show that resolve, and that fight and the quality of play I think we’ll be ok.

“I knew we could come back from 20-9 down. We did it from 20 points down at Pirates the other week. This team will never lie down as long as I’m here.

“But you need more than that. We don’t want to be in the situation where we’re coming from behind all the time and playing catch-up rugby.

“There are so many positives to come out of it. I was delighted with the way my boys battled today.

“Rotherham are a much-fancied side and we made them look ordinary at times.

“They lived off our loose ball play and loose passing game in the first half.

“And unfortunately the errors we made and penalties we gave away were game changers.

“We can take a lot forward from this game – but we take only one point instead of four.”

Interpretation of the breakdown continues to baffle Griffiths, with the Knights chief calling on the Rugby Football Union to give coaches and players more clarity. He also said that Matt Challinor will be punished internally for his retaliation on Titans’ Robin Hislop that cost Doncaster three points.

The attendance at Castle Park yesterday, despite the presence of the Sky cameras, was a creditable 3,676.