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Home > News > London Welsh 29 - Doncaster 24
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Your News London Welsh 29 - Doncaster 24

Yet again the young Doncaster Knights team produced another “Jeckyl and Hide” of a performance when, after turning around at half-time 29 points to 3 behind and seemingly out for the count, they fought their way back into the game with three unanswered tries against the team with the meanest defence in the league to gain a bonus point after losing, in the end, by 29 points to 24.

For their visit to the capital, the Knight’s Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made just one change to the starting line up from the previous weekend with the recall of No 8 Ed Jackson, fit again after being injured against Worcester, in place of Zack Farivarz who moved to the bench in place of the injured Chris Walker.

London Welsh scored after only 4 minutes when poor defence by the Knights from a lineout gave former Rotherham star Errie Classens space to attack them wide out before passing to winger Dom Shabbo who beat the remaining cover to score in the corner. Worse was to follow a few minutes later when a Knights’ move broke down midfield when Jackson slipped as he was about to receive a pass and the loose ball was snapped up by Shabbo who raced 50 metres unopposed to score. This try was converted by fly half Gordon Ross who shortly afterwards kicked a penalty to put his side 15 points in front. Although Knight’s fly half Tristan Roberts kicked a penalty for them and they started to tighten their defence, they were caught out when former Doncaster centre Hudson Tonga’uiha produced a copybook burst from a maul close to touch on the halfway before linking up with supporting scrum half Ben Stephenson who chipped the ball over full back Steve McColl to win the race for the touchdown in the corner for a try that was converted by Ross. After 36 minutes Knight’s scrum half Chris Hallam was sin binned for a technical offence and, from the resultant line out from the penalty, hooker Marc Breeze was driven over for his side’s bonus point try which was again converted by Ross.

Doncaster started the second half in a much more determined mood and they reduced the deficit after only 3 minutes with a McColl try in the right hand corner after left wing Matt Williams had made inroads in field. Robert’s conversion gave the Knights hope and they started to take the game to London Welsh. After 20 minutes, winger Shabbo was yellow carded and the Knights scored a try in the corner through right winger Dougie Flackhart after good work by the Knight’s increasingly dominant scrum. Roberts again converted and it was game on. After Roberts narrowly missed with two long range penalties and Jackson and winger almost scored after a 50 metre move down the left hand touch, it was the Knight’s pack that took the game over and they piled on the pressure through a series of scrums and drives. Just when it looked as if London Welsh had survived the onslaught, centre PJ Gidlow crashed over near touch in injury time for the game’s final try which Roberts converted.

After the game Howells said that he felt that his side were close to racking up a big score against some side if they could just cut out the simple errors and missed tackles that they made from time to time. He said that he felt that the time had come when people should stop referring to the team as a young side and instead expect them to perform to the level that he was sure they were capable of. He said that he felt that his side deserved the bonus point that they gained and he looked forward to them building on their second half performance when they entertained bottom placed Birmingham & Solihull this coming Saturday at Castle Park.

London Welsh: Claassens, Shabbo, Tonga’uiha, Whatling (Gibson 60), Drauniniu, Ross (Thomas 58m), Stevenson (Runciman 46m), Holford (Ward 31m), Breeze (Ma’asi 47m), Pittman. Purdy (Powell 61), Corker, Williams, Russell (Taione 51m), Beech

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Briers (Goss 75m), Gidlow, Williams, Roberts, Hallam, Frazier (Corsar 56m), Boden, Cusack (Thiede 75m), Kenworthy (Parsons 65m), Challinor, Boyde (Farivarz 75), Jackson, Cochrane Replacement not used: Jerecevich

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