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Home > News > Knights out to challenge Warrior spirit
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Your News Knights out to challenge Warrior spirit

The fifth round of the RFU Championship, sees the Knights travel to to Sixways stadium to face ex-Premiership team Worcester Warriors.

The expression ‘underdogs’ has never been more appropriate for the Knights for the third week running as they travel to do battle against the Warriors. Bristol were rocked by the Knights performance, Bedford were behind for most of the game and now Lynn Howells men travel to the toughest of the three games.

The Warriors are an unbeaten, Premiership-last-season team that demolished Championship new boys Esher by 6 tries to 0 last Saturday. New boys Esher are no whipping boys either; they managed to beat Moseley and Bristol in the first 2 games of the season. In the game against Esher, the Warriors scored 3 tries within 12 minutes at the start of the 2nd half.

Andy Goode (fly half) and Tom Arscott (wing) scored a brace each, with Marcel Garvey (wing) and Graham Kitchener (lock) adding the other 2. Names familiar to us all, another familiar name, Miles Benjamin (wing) didn’t score in that game but he leads the Championship leading try scorers list. The Warriors have scored over twice as many tries as the Knights and nearly 75% of them have been at Sixways.

Therefore they’ve scored more tries at home than Doncaster have scored home or away, in fact Warrior wingers have scored as many tries as the Knights have collectively. Warrior try scoring is fairly evenly spread throughout the game but their flying wingers are definitely their danger men. The Knights’ back 3 will have to be on their guard, with the main potential for concern being if overlaps are created, so there may be a need for man-on-man marking to prevent overlaps.

Worcester have given away ½ as many tries as Doncaster, having only given away 4 tries over 4 games. The Warriors have conceded 3 of their 4 tries at home (2 home & 2 away games) and 75% of tries have been relinquished in the first half. They are the only team to have not leaked a try in the last quarter. These stats indicate a well-conditioned squad that plays for the full 80 minutes. 3 out of 4 tries conceded by Worcester have been scored by forwards; back row have scored a brace and the front row have probably driven over from short range. Perhaps the Knights have to hit the ground running similar to last Saturday to give themselves a chance to cause an upset.

Former Leeds and Scarlet’s boss Phil Davies has been appointed as forwards coach under Richard Hill. England ace fly half Andy Goode is another summer signing. He said, “"We know we have got to be training and playing at Premiership standards this season. We want to win this league and then be ready to compete at the next level." Goode is one of most prolific scorers in English club rugby history. He goes on to mention Richard Hill’s season-long game plan, to aim high, hit the ground running but to peak at the end of the season.

Another new signing is former Wales international Andy Williams. The scrum half has a stronger focus on rugby now after recently graduating from Swansea University.

With many Internationally recognised names in the squad, the Warriors are a force to be reckoned with as can already be seen. Four games played, four games won and only an average of over 12 points conceded per game. Without a doubt the ‘tightest’ defence in the Championship.

Knights Championship Director John Lowe stated in the Knights’ Chronicle, “At the end of last season most people were saying that this season's Championship would be a walkover for Worcester and so it may well be.  However, apart from their first match at home to Birmingham and Solihull, they have been given a hard time, firstly away at struggling Plymouth Albion where they only just won late on and then again last Saturday at home to our neighbours Rotherham Titans, the latter by 32 points to 25 after trailing until late on.”

The Knights start as overwhelming under dogs, so they have nothing to lose. Can the Knights get these big-named players and the Warriors unbeaten record off their minds and concentrate on the task in hand by becoming this season’s giant-killers?

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