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Home > News > Doncaster Knights 52 - Manchester 10
Your News Doncaster Knights 52 - Manchester 10

A much changed Doncaster Knights scored eight tries in three 12 minute blocks against bottom of the table Manchester to provide Director of Rugby Lynn Howells with the opportunity to run the rule over his squad as the second part of the season really gets under way. Although some of the rugby was clinical and exciting, at other times the Knights frustrated their supporters with some of their decision making, defence and finishing. Full credit as well to a gutsy Manchester side who stuck to their task without being able to match the Knights in terms of power, particularly in the pack.

The Knights side showed six changes from the side that had beaten Rotherham the previous weekend. In the backs, Anthony Carter returned at full back with Jamie Lennard moving to fly half and Andy Wright got his first start on the wing since the opening game of the season in place of Donavon Van Vuuren. In the pack, Richard List and Michael Cusack came in for Tom Davies and Ngalu Tau at prop and Adam Kettle and Neil Cochrane started in place of Josh Afu and Simon Grainger at flanker.

Doncaster Knights knocked Manchester out of their stride almost from the start scoring tries through their strong pack in the 3rd, 7th and 12th minutes. The first came when Cochrane turned over the ball and scored after a poor Manchester line out close to their line, the second came from a pushover try credited to No 8 Chris Planchant and the 3rd from a line out drive with the scorer being hooker Steve Boden. Even though Manchester lost lock Paul Ralph to a yellow card, the Knights could not capitalised on their numerical superiority and it took them until almost half-time to score again as they wasted possession and opportunities to allow their visitors to stem the tide against them. As injury time approached, lock Bryn Griffiths won a quick short lineout 50 metres out in front of the Knights splendid new West Stand. After bursting through a couple of tackles he fed the ball inside to fellow lock Glen Kenworthy who made some ground before passing to the rampaging Planchant who raced the final 25 metres to score a good try. Having secured their 4 try bonus point, the Knights then relaxed and very poor defence allowed lively Manchester flanker Garth Dew to run 30 metres through the Knights pack to score his sides opening try. From the kick off Griffiths gathered the ball to make 20 metres before centre Bevon Armitage almost got to the line before being tackled where flanker Kettle was on hand to dive over for a try. With Lennard converting five of his sides six tries, the Knights went in at the break with a comfortable 33 points to 5 lead.

Manchester opened the scoring in the second half after 49 minutes when scrum half Will Runciman was driven over after a series of close range attacks following a line out. For the next 15 minutes the game went into a lull before the Knights scored again after Planchant had picked up from a scrum 45 metres out. His pop pass put replacement scrum half Jamie Albinson into space who made 20 metres before passing to supporting full back Anthony Carte who raced 22 metres down the right touch line to score wide out for a try that Lennard converted with an excellent kick. Next it was Albinsons turn as he scored a super individual try as he sidestepped his way 15 metres through the Manchester defence for a try that Lennard converted. For the next 10 minutes it was all Doncaster but they spurned at least two clear cut chances through mistakes before Carter scored the games final try wide out on the left after good passing by his backs following a scrum out on the right flank.

After the game the comments were mixed. Some excellent attacking play had brought its just rewards but the Knights will need to ponder why they went off the boil in the middle of both the first and second halves. Off very little ball, Manchester managed to ask questions of the Knights defence, the same questions their coaching staff will no doubt also asking during their midweek de-briefing.

Doncaster Knights: Carter; Davies W; Armitage (McColl 22 35); Tongauiha (McColl 48) ; Wright; Lennard (Warnock 72); Hallam (Albinson 62); List; Boden (Jenkins 66); Cusack (Davies T 56); Kenworthy (Smith 72); Griffiths; Kettle; Planchant; Cochrane (Grainger 40)

Manchester: Wainwright; Wynne; Wilson; Rawlings (Parrott 40); Irlam; Eaton (Knowles 65); Runciman; Birchall (Mantell 40); Oxley; Flynn; Ralph; Norris; Owen; Dew; Moss (Lloyd 35) Subs not used: Gould; Lewis; Stringer

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