Knights up for the fight, says Griffiths

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Doncaster Knights visit Jersey today in what is arguably the biggest game in the club’s history.

The Castle Park side, who climbed the northern and national pyramids to reach English rugby’s second tier in the 1990s and early part of the millennium, face a game on the Channel 
Islands that is effectively a relegation decider.

Defeat Jersey and they have every chance of surviving, provided they win one of their final two games, against Bedford on Wednesday or at home to Plymouth next Saturday.

Lose, and their eight-year stay in the second tier will be over.

“The term ‘massive’ does not do this game justice,” said Clive Griffiths, who in his second spell at Doncaster has found life considerably tougher than when he was last at the Knights, when they were in the infancy of their Championship life.

“If we win, then we go on and need to win again and hope Cornish Pirates do us a favour against Jersey.

“If we lose, then we can start looking around the National One grounds we’ll be visiting next season.

“The players have fought and battled ever since I arrived here and they will continue to do that on Saturday.

“They’re up for this fight, they know it’s going to be tough, but they’re prepared for it.

“The lads will give their all on Saturday and what will be will be.”

Doncaster trail Jersey by six points, and even a win will not guarantee safety.

Jersey have put a lot of money into surviving in their first season in the Championship and Griffiths is expecting a hostile reception.

“They’ve done well to be fair to them, particularly at home and that’s why they’ve got into a good position,” said Griffiths, who has pledged his future to Doncaster no matter what division they find themselves in next season.

“It’s a club that’s had a decent amount of financial backing and they’ve stormed up the leagues, just like Donny did a few years back. They’re expecting a huge crowd. By the sounds of it all the island is going to be there, plus all the natives will be flying in from across the world.

“It’s going to be a tough place to go, particularly with a vociferous crowd. The lads need to go out there and silence them quickly.”

Alex Codling’s penultimate game as head coach of Rotherham sees the Titans host Moseley, looking to build on a terrific win over Cornish Pirates on Wednesday.