doncaster Knights director of rugby Clive Griffiths has challenged his players to rise above the club’s injury problems and turn their season around.
The red-hot favourites for promotion from National One have come unstuck of late amid a flurry of injuries to their front row and other key areas.
After winning their first seven games they have lost two of their last three and now find themselves deposed from top spot by the visitors to Castle Park today – Esher.
The Knights are one of the only teams in the third tier operating full-time, but Griffiths says that advantage is devalued by the amount of injuries they have.
“We’re down to just three props now, including a guy we’ve got on loan and the man I brought in as scrum coach this season,” said Griffiths.
“We’ve just got to hang in there and hope to get players on board that can help us get back up to full speed. Because when we were at full strength we were looking really strong. We recruited diligently in the summer, and full credit to our benefactors.
“But not many teams can do without eight or nine of their first-choice players.
“Having said that, we have got good enough players available to cover and go and get a result against Esher.
“They’re a canny team Esher, they’ve been in the Championship and they know what this division is about. But we remain very positive.”
Wharfedale head coach Jon Feeley doesn’t want his players looking at National One table no matter how favourable it looks for the in-form Greens.
“I’ve heard the boys talking about the fact they’re only 10 points off the top and it’s one of those things I can’t completely control, but I’d rather just focus on a game at a time,” said Feeley, whose side have won seven of their opening 10 games.
“They deserve to be up there for the hard work they’ve put in and the spirit in the camp.”
Wharfedale entertain Henley today, while bottom-club Hull Ionians look to build on their first win of the season against Worthing last week when they visit mid-table Fylde.