After a weekend off the Greene King IPA Championship returns with Round 15 this weekend, with fifth-placed Coventry visiting Doncaster this Saturday (KO 2:30pm), who lie four places below in ninth.
There is a real and distinct similarity between the squads who will meet up at Castle Park, not least because both Cov and Donny each have far better home records than on their respective travels.
In Cov’s case, there is the one league win at Yorkshire Carnegie and the exciting draw claimed down at Ealing Trailfinders. So far in 2020 all of the away league matches have yielded points, with both the games at Ampthill and Hartpury decided with the last kick of the game and the trip to Bedford also going down to the wire.
Last season, Cov had to wait until the penultimate Championship game before recording a first away win, and when it came it was at Doncaster Knights. Cov therefore will travel north to Yorkshire on Saturday at the very least looking to repeat their success on the ground last season.
The Knights overall have enjoyed a fairly up and down campaign, with six wins and eight defeats. At Castle Park they have been consistent, only Cornish Pirates and Ealing Trailfinders leaving with the points.
The last two Knights home fixtures have brought a 38-10 win over Jersey Reds, to add to the previous success gained over London Scottish.
We are now well into the final few weeks of the season, which will also be the last matches in charge for highly experienced Director of Rugby, Clive Griffiths.
His squad is laced with quality, not least fly half Sam Olver, who is very much a lynch pin in the side’s fortunes. Olver, who arrived at Castle Park via Northampton and Worcester, is a former England Under-20 international who currently tops the club’s points tally with 96, just below Cov’s Rory Jennings.
Winger Tyson Lewis, in his seventh season at Castle Park, tops the try tally with four. Crossing the whitewash has proved somewhat elusive; indeed, the squad as a whole have only so far touched down 28 times in Championship fixtures.
Currently, there are four players in the Coventry squad with former links to the Knights. The Bulumakau brothers both left for Cov at the same time, together with back row forward Jack Ram. The last to move south was centre Will Owen, who joined Cov late last season.
The earlier encounter at the Butts Park saw Cov win a hard-fought game 18-6, courtesy of tries from Max Trimble and Joe Buckle, together with the respective boots of Rory Jennings and the newly-departed Will Maisey.
Coventry and Doncaster have only come up against each other in the past 15 years, the first matches coming in 2005/06. Last season saw the two squads meet four times, the two Cup games being shared in terms of wins.
League-wise Cov are leading the head-to-heads 9-6, and with a tough run of games coming up including a home clash with Newcastle and trip to Cornish Pirates turning those narrow losses into a win has to be the priority in the battle for a top four spot.
The Supporters Club coach might be full, but with England’s Six Nations trip to Italy having fallen victim to the Coronavirus there is now every opportunity to make the relatively short trip to Yorkshire and sample the famous cow pie!
For those not travelling to the game, commentary will be via BBC CWR through the BBC Sport web site and app.