'Competition drives consistency' - Steve Boden on Doncaster Knights ahead of return to Championship action at Coventry

Increased competition for places as much as the three wins they earned was the biggest benefit for Doncaster Knights from the recent Championship Cup campaign.

Head coach Steve Boden was delighted his side earned maximum points from victories over Coventry, London Scottish and Bedford Blues in the opening tranche of group games in the Championship Cup.

He believes it sets them up nicely for the next wave of Championship fixtures, starting on Saturday when they travel to long-time second-tier rivals Coventry.

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"We got a little bit of momentum out of the cup, we rotated the squad to get some competition in there and we feel like we’ve done that,” said Boden, whose side had lost three of their opening seven games, equalling the number they suffered in 20 games in the whole of last season. "Some guys have forced their way into the squad so three wins from three was fantastic.

Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. (Picture: Tony Johnson)Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

"We don’t really focus on the results that much, the three good performances is more what we were worried about.

"It’s about getting consistency into our game more than anything and that comes with getting bodies back.

"I truly believe competition drives consistency because you’ve got to be good to keep your place.

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"We’re starting to get a few bodies back, so consistency is now the key.”

To that end, Boden makes just four changes to the Knights team that beat Bedford in the Cup two weeks ago, with Sale Sharks loanee Ben Carlile coming into the front row. Martin Sigren is on the bench after returning from international duty with Chile.

Coventry have surprised a few people this season, winning five of their opening seven games in the league having finished in the bottom half of the Championship last season.

Given their proximity to Worcester and Wasps - the two Premiership clubs who went out of business leaving dozens of players out of work - plus their already sound footing, Boden is not surprised at all.

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"They’re third in the table, they’re doing some good stuff, they’re a well-resourced and well-run club,” he said.

"Coventry are well supported anyway, they’ve got a big history as a club, and off the back of that they’re in a great position to pick up players from those two clubs.

"They’ve just picked up a couple from Worcester so it’s going to be a tough task for us."