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Home > News > Plymouth Albion 11 - Doncaster Knights 15
Your News Plymouth Albion 11 - Doncaster Knights 15

Doncaster travelled to Devon seeking their first away victory against Plymouth in three attempts with Director of Rugby Lynn Howells making a number of changes to the side that had trounced Sedgley Park in their last league outing. Anthony Carter was recalled at full back in place of Wez Davies, utility player Tom Luke came in at centre for the still injured Spencer Bailey, Richard List got the nod over Tom Davies at prop, Tongan international Lisaite Faaoso replaced the injured Luke Gross at lock and James Jones, fit again after injury, replaced Ollie Cook at flanker.

Doncaster played into a stiff breeze in the first half, the first few minutes of which were littered with basic errors by both sides. However the Knights pack set out their stall from the very first scrum where they destroyed the Plymouth forwards with a tremendous drive centre around loose head prop Richard List. However it was Albion who got on the scoreboard first when their flyhalf Brad Davies kicked a penalty from 45 metres when the Knights were penalised for boring at a scrum. After 10 minutes List was sent to the sin bin for stamping, an event that set off a comedy of errors by referee Nick Williams as he had forgotten to bring out his cards out of the dressing room and hence could not indicate to the crowd what punishment the Knights prop had been given had been given. The Knights defended brilliantly whilst a man short repulsing all the attacks the home side threw at them. After 18 minutes it was Plymouths turn to feel Mr Williams wrath as their flanker Adam Kettle was sin binned for recklessly diving through a ruck. By this time however an alert touch judge had managed to sneak Mr Williams cards on to him so that he could leave the crowd in no doubt as to what punishment Kettle had been given. Now it was Plymouths turn to be put on the rack as the Knights camped on their line. As the Knights repeatedly drove at the home line, they made occasional errors which gave the home side the opportunity to clear their line before being put under pressure yet again. Once both sides got back to full strength the game started to settle down and, with the simple mistakes being eliminated, both sides settled into an exciting game of rugby. As the game went into the first minute of injury time, Plymouth scored. Following a scrum 35 metres out and 15 metres in from touch, Albion moved the ball wide and a mix up in the Knights midfield defence gave Plymouth centre Arran Cruickshanks a massive gap to race threw before given a scoring pass to wing Ed Lewsey after drawing Knights full back Carter into the tackle. Unbelievably Davies missed the very simple conversion just to the right of the posts. With play now into the ninth minute of injury time (and Wags in the crowd asking Mr Williams if he had forgotten his watch as well), Doncaster launched a series of attacks. When Plymouth were penalised close to their own goal line, the Knights opted for a scrum as there was no time left to take any lineout/drive move. After a pick up and drive by their back row, hooker Steve Boden took route one over the top of the ruck for a try that an unsighted Mr Williams awarded after consulting his touch judge. Knights flyhalf Mark Woodrow converted with a excellent kick from wide out and Doncaster went into the interval only a point behind.

With the breeze now all but dropped, the Knights forwards drove into Plymouth and they went ahead after only three minutes when Woodrow kicked a penalty from head on to the posts and 25 metres out after Albion were penalised for failing to release the ball after a tackle. From the restart Faoaso broke out and raced 30 metres before linking up with his fellow back row forwards Chris Planchant and James Jones to take play deep into the Plymough half. The ruck ball was moved to the left but the Doncaster backs failed to take the scoring opportunity although winger Davies went close. Again the Knights attacked and this time when they attacked left Luke ran threw a hesitant Plymouth defence to score wide out. Again referee Williams, well off the pace, had to consult his touch judge before awarding the try. The Knights were now well on top and should have gone even further ahead when winger Paul Bailey went for a interception just inside his own half and, after juggling the ball, dropped it with the line at his mercy 50 metres away. Plymouth never gave up and the Knights midfield defence gave their supporters a few anxious moments before being rescued each time by their pack who would then drive the ball back into the home sides half. Again Mr Williams watch seemed to be on go slow and this time it was the Knights supporters who were encouraging his touch judges to help him out again. The supporters need not have worried however as their pack had things well under control and when the final whistle went the Knights supporters were left in good heart for their night out around Plymouth Barbican.

After the game Lynn Howells said that he was delighted that the Knights had achieved their first ever win at Plymouth. He particularly praised prop Richard List and the rest of his pack who he said had dominated proceedings for most of the game. After the match No 8 Chris Planchant was awarded the Supporters Man of the Match Award for an outstanding performance. With the two matches now won since Howells set the Knights the target of winning their last eight games of the season, they have a good opportunity of equalling their third place finish of last season

Plymouth Albion: N. Saumi; E Lewsey; A Cruickshanks; R Allan (K Fisalu 49); N Sestaret; B Davies; N Cane (E Lewis 58); G Davis; R Oxley (J Owen 49); S Zimmerman (G Evans 49); J Bornman; T Hayes; A Kettle; B Stroud (M Denbee 58); C Lowrie. Subs not used: G Hawkes; C Stewart

Doncaster Knights: A Carter; P Bailey; B Hunt (W Davies 40); T Luke; J Bishop; M Woodrow; B Jones; R List (T Toke 71); S Boden; N Tau (T Davies 53); G Kenworthy; L Faaoso; B Griffiths; J Jones (O. Cook 62); C Planchant. Subs not used: B Phillips; D Scully; C Rees

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