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Home > News > Nottingham 18 - Doncaster 9
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Your News Nottingham 18 - Doncaster 9

After a poor defensive performance that saw them turn concede three tries in the first 30 minutes of the first half, the Knights regrouped and, in spite of losing two players to the sin-bin in the first 10 minutes of the second half, they stopped Nottingham achieving their bonus point. Unfortunately, when Nottingham were down to 13 men in the second half through their own yellow cards, the Knights could not capitalise on their improved performance in a game that was spoiled by ill-discipline, particularly by the Knights.

For their match against 3rd placed Nottingham at Meadow Lane, Doncaster Knights welcome back former Irish international winger Justin Bishop after playing in the recent “Help for Heroes” Challenge match at Twickenham. In addition to the inclusion of Bishop in place of Donavon Van Vuuren, the team showed two other changes from the previous week. In the backs, Chris Hallam swapped places with Jamie Albinson at scrum half with the latter on the bench and, in the pack, fit again Tongan international prop Ngalu Ta’u replaced Michael Cusack who also moved to the bench. Knights fly half Ali Warnock played against his former club after leaving them to play in Scotland two seasons ago.

Doncaster suffered a blow in the opening minutes when Bishop suffered a knee injury which forced him off to be replaced by Jamie Lennard. Nottingham opened the scoring after 10 minutes when the Knights failed to clear their line and, after the home side ran the ball back at them. From the resultant ruck 35 metres out on the left, the ball was moved to the right to fly half Tim Taylor who raced through a flat footed Knights defence to score wide out. Even this early in the game the Knights were consistently penalised on a ratio of at least 2 to 1 compared with their opponents and this indiscipline prevented them putting their stamp on the game. Although Doncaster got themselves on the scoreboard after 23 minutes through an Ali Warnock drop goal from 35 metres, they suffered a double whammy after 30 minutes when they conceded two tries in the space of three minutes. Both tries were from defensive errors and were scored by Taylor and full back Dave Jackson. Fortunately Jackson had an off day with his boot missing all three conversions and two penalties during this period. Fortunately for the Knights they managed to get a grip on their defensive problems and ended the half with two penalties to Lennard against one by Jackson.

Turning around 18 points to 9 the Knights needed a vastly improved performance but they again fell foul of the referee when first lock Bryn Griffiths and then No 8 Chris Planchant were yellow carded. With a two man advantage Nottingham had a couple of clear try scoring chances but greed and an improved defensive performance led by supporters Man of the Match flanker Simon Grainger. By now the match had deteriorated into a war of attrition and, no sooner were the Knights back to full strength, than it was Nottingham’s turn to play short as they lost two players to yellow cards. With their numerical advantage in the pack, the Knights decided to take Nottingham on up front but they lost several good positions again due to their indiscipline. As the game approached its end the Knights showed some naivety by failing to seek a bonus point through two long distance penalties and a drop goal chance which would have at least given them something out of a very, very disappointing game.

After the game Doncaster’s Director of Rigby Lynn Howells and skipper Glen Kenworthy were scything about their side’s indiscipline, particularly when in decent positions to score. It seems fairly certain that Castle

Park will not be a nice place to be this coming week as Howells deals the indiscipline and defensive errors that allowed a good Nottingham side to gain their first won over the Knights for two seasons.

Nottingham; Jackson; Dodge; Nirmalendran; Molenaar; Savage; Taylor; Usasz (Pilg rim 56); Parr; Duffey; Hall (Harris 56); Morley; Rouse; Hammond; Montagu; Sherriff Subs not used: Fowkes; McDonald; McComb; Thompson; Hayter

Doncaster Knights: Carter; Hughes C; Tonga’uiha; McColl; Bishop (Lennard 9); Warnock; Hallam; List (Davies 56 Toke 72); Boden; Ta’u (Cusack 40); Kenworthy; Griffiths; Kettle (Cochrane 42); Planchant; Grainger Subs not used; Albinson; Smith

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