Doncaster Knights building solid platform for success

JACK Spittle has a degree in construction management – and certainly likes what is being built at Doncaster Knights.

Steve Boden: Plans coming to fruition. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The highly-rated winger hopes to help the South Yorkshire club maintain their 100 per cent winning start to the Championship season when they visit Hartpury on Friday.

Doncaster followed an opening day win at Ampthill with an impressive 20-19 success against ambitious Coventry last Friday, ensuring new head coach Steve Boden got off to a perfect start.

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Boden has revamped the Knights squad, making 19 signings, including Spittle, who joined from Championship rivals Nottingham last July.

It was a big move for the 26-year-old, who had spent his entire senior career there, having emerged through the club’s link with Nottingham Trent University. But, having played in both games, he said: “It’s a great set-up here, with great coaches and it’s nice to be playing a different style of rugby.

“I am really enjoying it and we’ve had a great start to the season. Bodes said we could have probably put a few more points on Coventry on Friday.

“The result was there but the performance in the second half wasn’t so there’s a lot we can build on going to Hartpury this week.”

Although the campaign is only a couple of rounds old, Knights are one of just three teams still yet to suffer a loss, along with Cornish Pirates – who memorably defeated Saracens – and Ealing Trailfinders.

Knights produced some stunning rugby in the first half against Coventry to take control and give an insight into how Boden wants them to play.

Spittle, who was in the 2019-20 Championship Team of the Year after scoring 10 tries in 14 matches for Nottingham, said: “We knew it would be a tough game. Coventry are very physical. They like to bully teams.

“In the first half, we really took it to them; they didn’t really know what had hit them. In the second, we took our foot off the gas and allowed them to get back in but, like the week before, we dug deep and managed to grind out the win.”

Admittedly, Spittle had few opportunities to show his pace although there were no complaints and he was assured in everything he did. He conceded: “It was a forward-orientated, gritty game.

“I didn’t really even touch the ball much. But you just have to get amongst it and get the boys up for it. The scrum was excellent and that got us a lot of front-foot ball.

“There were a few momentum swings that went our way and sometimes that’s the difference.

“Now we’ll look to build on it at Hartpury.”

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