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Home > News > Doncaster 16 - Bedford Blues 17
Your News Doncaster 16 - Bedford Blues 17

A late try by Bedford as the game went into injury time denied the Knights in a match that they could, and should, have won. For the second time this season at home to the Blues, the Knights failed to capitalise on the territory and possession they enjoyed and a late, harsh scrum penalty gave Bedford the chance to run at the home defence to play their get out of jail card.

With injuries and sickness plaguing his side, Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells stuck with the bulk of the team that had beaten Rotherham Titans a week previously. The only changes were in the front row where Lewis Thiede replaced Michael Cussack (out with shingles in his eye) at prop and Steve Boden came in for flu victim Steve Lawrie at hooker.

The first half was a pretty dour affair as both sides appeared nervous and reluctant to risk anything. Although Bedford had the advantage of the breeze in the first half, it was the Knights who had most of the territory and possession and it was against the run of play that Blues fly half Mile Dorrian put them ahead with a penalty after 16 minutes. The Knights did not help their cause by three times passing the ball to the opposition in the first 20 minutes. After 30 minutes the Knights set up a period of sustained pressure inside the Blues 22 and this culminated with their fly half Tristan Roberts bringing the scores level with a drop goal after 35 minutes.

Turning around at 3 all it was anyones game and Roberts put the Knights into the lead with a penalty after 46 minutes. However the experience of Bedford told and they weathered the early storm before scoring a try when lock Mike Howard crashed through two tackles close in after 56 minutes. Dorians conversion put his side 4 points into the lead but this did not last for long. The Knights had a line out 5 metres from the Blues line and they drove prop Dan Frazier over for a well deserved and executed forwards try. The Knights were on a role now and after 70 minutes they extended their lead with a second try. A Doncaster move broke down just inside the Blues 22 and close to the left touchline, winger Matt Williams managed to keep the ball alive and quick passing to the right involving scrum half Nathan Jones, winger Dougie Flockhart and lock James Craig ended with Flockhart looping around to give a scoring pass to full back Steve McColl who outflanked the defence to score wide out on the right. Unfortunately Roberts could not convert either of the Knights two tries and a 6 point lead gave Bedford a sniff as the game approached injury time. The Blues were awarded a penalty 20 metres out from the Knights line and quick passing and recycling gave lock Howard just sufficient space to drive through the defence from 5 metres out for a try that the referee awarded in spite of protests from the Knights that he himself had inadvertently obstructed two of their defenders. Dorrian kept his nerve and his conversion gave his side the narrowest of victories that they did not really deserve.

After the game, Knights Assistant Coach Brett Davey, himself full of flu and stepping in for Howells who was confined to bed at home with the same illness, said that he felt that his team had the edge and had built a good platform up front. He said that the manner in which they lost was their own doing and they would need to take this on board as they prepared to play Bedford in the return fixture at Goldington Road this coming weekend

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Goss, Wright, Williams, Roberts, Jones, Frazier, Boden, Thiede (Quigley 55), Challinor, Kenworthy (Craig 50), Makaafi (Farivarz 67), Jackson, Cochrane Replacements not used: Briers, Hampson, Doughty, Parsons

Bedford Blues: Thrower, Schmidt, Bedford (Sharpe 71), Vass, Taylor, Dorrian, Chudley (Walsh N 80), Walsh S (Boot 71), Richmond, Seal (Boulton 49), Howard, Tupai, Rae, Goodman (Gillanders 71), Lewitt Replacements not used: Tomes, Bassett

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