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Home > News > Plymouth 3 - Doncaster Knights 41
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Your News Plymouth 3 - Doncaster Knights 41

Power, pace and precision is the best way to describe the Knight’s performance as they ran in seven unanswered tries, six in the first half, and all by the backs. Plymouth had no answer to a Doncaster team that displayed the undoubted talent that they possess.

Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made four changes to the team that travelled to the South West. In the backs, last season's leading try scorer Andy Wright came in on the wing in place of sickness victim Matt Williams. In the pack, skipper Steve Lawrie returned in place of Steve Boden, dual registered James Craig came in at lock for Glen Kenworthy after missing the last couple of weeks playing for Leeds Carnegie in the Amlin Challenge Cup and Zack Farivarz started at flanker for Andy Boyde.

Knights kicked off into the strong wind and showers, some heavy, and for the first 10 minutes the game was fairly even. Then, in the space of six minutes, they scored three tries. The first came from fly half Tristan Roberts when, after a short period of intense pressure inside the home 22, he evaded a tackle to score; the second through scrum half Chris Hallam after a break close in by centre Oli Goss and the third through full back Steve McColl when, almost from the restart, he joined the line at pace and raced 50 metres to score wide out. Roberts converted the first two of these tries. After a scoreless next 10 minutes, the Knights were at it again with three more tries in 12 minutes. The first came from Roberts after a 40 metre break; the second a chip ahead and gather 40 metres out by Roberts before linking with McColl who put winger Dougie Flockhart over in the corner; and the third when Plymouth spilled the ball just inside the Knights half where it was gathered by flanker Zac Farivarz whose quick pass put McColl on an unstoppable 50 metre run for his second try. Roberts was unable to convert in the difficult wind.

Turning around 34 points to 0 ahead and the game just about won, the Knights moved to plan B as they decided to use the elements to pin Plymouth in their own half whilst introducing all of their replacements as the game unfolded. Plymouth themselves started to play with a bit more spirit and, although they knocked on several chances, they were always well marshalled by the Knight’s defence. Such was the pressure they were under that Plymouth, when they had a penalty chance close in, they opted to kick for goal and Lee’s success at least put them on the scoreboard. With the Knights well in control they scored their final try after 75 minutes. They reverted to plan A and ran the ball from deep in their own half and, after a scorching 40 metre break by Goss, a pass inside to McColl on the Plymouth 22 put the young full back over for his hat trick try that was converted by replacement fly half Christian Lewis-Pratt.

After the game, Howells was full of praise for his young back division which had played some exhilarating rugby. He said much credit for their performance must go to the Knight’s Assistant Coach Brett Davey and the work he had put in with them. However Howells also praised the pack that destroyed their opposite numbers in the scrum as well as being much quicker than them in the loose.

Plymouth Albion: Lee, McLoughlin, Johns, Tuipuloto, Coleman (Mercer 46m), Hallett, Cushions (Kessell 68m), Porter (Newport 74m), O’Meara (Evans 50m), Hopkins (Morton 65m), Copeland, Hotson (Skelding 52), Stephens, Hocking (Carpenter 65m), Watts-Jones

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Wright, Goss, Gidlow (Briers 68m), Flockhart, Roberts (Lewis-Pratt 52), Hallam (Jericevich 68m), Corsar (Frazier 60m), Lawrie (Boden 56m), Thiede, Challinor, Craig (Kenworthy 58m), Farivarz, Jackson, Cochrane (Walker 71m)

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