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Home > News > Doncaster take 5 point win
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Your News Doncaster take 5 point win

A five point win, including the four try bonus, was all that could be asked of the Knights against a resilient and big “Bees” side who never gave in. Doncaster’s performance was yet again a bit of a Pandora’s box with three exhilarating tries scored at pace being offset by lapses of concentration and some silly penalties yet again.

For the Knight’s game against the Bees, Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made three changes to his starting line-up from the previous weekend, one in the backs and two in the pack. The change in the backs was at centre where Ollie Goss, normally a winger, came in for Chris Briers who was still suffering from the “bug” that afflicted him during last week’s game at London Welsh. In the pack, Howells changed both his props with Stuart Corsar coming in for Dan Frazier (head wound) and Lewis Thiede for Michael Cusack (shoulder injury). In the Bees’s side, former Knights player and Tongan legend Ngalu Ta’u started at prop.

Bees were awarded a penalty from the kick-off with a stupid obstruction and the goal was kicked by right wing Tomasi Tanumi. Although the Knights stepped up the pace, it was the Bees who had the next clear cut chance to score when left wing Mitch Culpin broke clear after a tap penalty just inside the Knights half and only some really good defence by full back Steve McColl saved a certain try. After 18 minutes, the Bees won possession after sloppy Knights play in midfield when they had the ball and quick passing to the right enabled Tanumi to dive over in the corner for his side’s first try. At long last the Knights woke up and Goss caught a poor Bees kick just on his 22 and beat several players in a 40 metre run before linking up with the flying wing Matt Williams who scorched over in the left hand corner for a try that was converted from wide out by fly half Tristan Roberts. Another Knights penalty gave Tanumi the opportunity to extend his sides lead but, almost from the restart the Knights scored. McColl snapped up a loose ball midfield before linking up with Williams who made ground towards the posts before releasing the ball to supporting scrum half Chris Hallam who outflanked the cover to support to the right of the posts for a try that Roberts again converted. The Bees were reduced to 14 when big lock Tualava was sin binned and, although the Knights piled on the pressure, all they had to show for it was a drop goal by Roberts.

The Knights turned around 17 points to 11 ahead and, after spurning several kickable opportunities in their quest for tries, it took another Robert’s drop goal after 52 minutes to extend their lead. A further penalty by Roberts after 59 minutes was cancelled out by a similar effort by Tanumi 5 minutes later. From now on it was all Knights and, with Leed’s dual registered youngster Christian Lewis-Pratt replacing Roberts, they threw wave after wave of attacks at the Bees tiring defence. After retaining possession for a number of phases the ball was eventually moved to the left 20 metres out where it was passed to Williams who again skinned his marker for pace to score in the corner. Then, a couple of minutes later, when replacement hooker Steve Lawrie crashed over in the right hand corner from close in following a clean Knights’ take from a line out 5 metres out from the Bees line. Both of Lewis-Pratt’s conversion attempts from wide out were narrowly wide.

After the game Howells said that, although the team knew that the Bees were the bottom team in the league, they were much better than they were last season so the most important thing for him was getting the win and the four try bonus point. Other pluses were the opportunity to give young players like Thiede a full game and the impact that the players who came off the bench made on the game

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Goss, Gidlow, Williams (Wright 77), Roberts (Lewis-Pratt 72), Hallam (Jericevich 76), Corsar (Frazier 57), Boden (Lawrie 69), Thiede, Challinor, Kenworthy (Parsons 74), Boyde (Farivarz 64), Jackson, Cochrane

Birmingham & Solihull: Foden, Tanumi, Groves, Lawson, Culpin, Robinson (Barckay 60), Petty, Duggard, McMillan (Preece 60). Ta’u (Sperando 54), Tualava, Griffiths, Bentall, Clayton (Connolly 47), Denbee Replacements not used: Reid, Bineham, Winters

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