Ampthill v Doncaster - Refreshed Knights out to make up for lost time

THREE weeks after their last game, Doncaster Knights are finally back in action today and ready to make the most of it.

BACK IN: Centre Knights Mark Best returns to the Doncaster knights starting line-up to face Ampthill. Picture: Tony Johnson

Steve Boden’s side have been without a fixture since the 27-24 win over Jersey Reds on October 9, so are eagerly anticipating this afternoon’s Championship game at Ampthill.

You would imagine the enforced break would have been frustrating so early in the campaign but the head coach argues otherwise.

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Boden said: “It didn’t come at a bad time actually. We’ve got a small squad and we had a couple of Covid issues, illnesses and some boys recovering from stuff as well as some season-long loans that got called back.

“But we got through that Jersey game, got the win, and now we’ve got players coming back. We’ve been able to freshen up and strengthen and we’re looking forward to taking on Ampthill.”

Their hosts drew 17-17 in Jersey last week and have also beaten Coventry and London Scottish in their five outings so far.

“They’ve signed some good players. They have Tom Hudson who played a lot of first-team rugby at Gloucester, Charlie Beckett who has a lot of experience and they have a really good link with Sarries where they’ve also got Ollie Stonham from.

“They are a team who can grind you down and make the game a bit stop-start.

Doncaster Knights head coach, Steve Boden. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“The surroundings are a bit funny down there; you’ve got that walk to pitchside, the facilities aren’t state-of-the-art and we’re travelling down on the day.

“They are our own challenges but we front-loaded the week so they haven’t really expended too much energy. We can’t have an excuse for a lack of energy.”

Doncaster, meanwhile, have won two of their four games but are seeking a first away success.

Boden makes just one change to his starting XV with centre Mark Best making his first start of the season, replacing Connor Edwards. John Kelly returns to the matchday squad on the bench along with Andrew Foster and Joe Margetts.