Doncaster Knights v London Scottish: Coaches and players expecting much better performance from Knights

DONCASTER Knights’ coaching staff are expecting players to “own” their performance today as they bid to bounce back from a disappointing opening day defeat.

London Scottish are the visitors at Castle Park after Doncaster – who finished third last term – slumped to a 39-22 loss at Coventry.

That game had been level 10-10 at the break but the visiting Knights fell away badly in the second period.

Indeed, backs coach Joe Ford maintained it was worse than that.

“We started the game well but that’s probably the only thing we did get right – the opening ten minutes,” said the former Leicester Tigers fly-half.

“Since I’ve been at the club it was the worst performance I’ve seen and Bodes (head coach Steve Boden) intimated the same.

“We were nowhere near the standards we have set ourselves.

“We did a lot of things wrong: we couldn’t keep hold of the ball and we kept giving penalties away.

“There wasn’t too much to review. That was it.

“But we have a good opportunity to put that right now.”

Such displays can often occur if a side is caught cold on the first day of a new season and Doncaster are expecting a response this afternoon.

Ford said the squad had taken it upon themselves to start putting things right against opponents who also suffered last weekend with a chastening 48-7 home defeat to Jersey Reds.

“We’ve not really talked much about Scottish,” he said.

“We’ve given them full respect but if we play like we did last week it doesn’t matter who we face.

“There’s been a big emphasis on ourselves this week and, to be fair to the players, they have taken a big role in driving our standards.

“Hopefully they’ll own the performance come Saturday.”

Fit-again tighthead Gaz Denman returns with Andrew Foster (back) injured.

George Edgson gets his first start since returning to the club in the summer and take Will Holling’s place at hooker.

Josh Peters is preferred to Jack Davies at lock and No 8 Guido Volpi is back in the XV.

Sale Sharks have recalled scrum-half Gus Warr so Alex Dolly is in at No 9.

Mark Best returns for the first time since picking up a ban in last season’s home victory over Cornish Pirates and Joe Green will get chance to make his competitive debut from the bench.