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Home > News > Sedgely Park 6 - Doncaster Knights 28
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Your News Sedgely Park 6 - Doncaster Knights 28

Doncaster Knights showed great character and resilience in beating Sedgley Park with 10 of their 22 man squad being effected by a virus the evening before the game. In the end they achieved a comfortable win but were thwarted for long periods by some outstanding defence by the young home side.

For their postponed EDF cup tie Doncaster Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made a number of changes to the side that had lost to Coventry in their last league game. In the backs, Jamie Lennard was switched from fly half to replace Anthony Carter with his place at No 10 being taken by Ali Warnock whilst Tongan international Hudson Tonga’uiha and youngster Andrew Wright replaced Steve McColl (injured) and the experienced Donovan Van Vuuren respectively. In the pack Howells brought in Tom Davies and Michael Cusack for Richard List and Ngalu Tau at prop, Dan Smith for Bryn Griffiths at lock and, in the back row, Adam Kettle moved from flanker to No 8 in place of the injured Chris Planchant with Tongan international Josh Afu taking Kettle’s place and Simon Grainger coming in for Neil Cochrane, also injured, at open-side.

For the first 15 minutes the Knights were on the rampage but were unable to cross the Sedgley line due to a mixture of good defence and poor decision making. At this point the game slowed slightly as some of the Knight’s team started to show the effects of their illnesses and they turned to a more deliberate game plan. Jamie Lennard put them ahead with a penalty after 16 minutes when the pressure started to tell on the home side as they committed a string of offences. After 20 minutes it was the Knights turn to be penalised and Phil Jones’s penalty put Sedgley back on even terms. After a further period of sustained pressure the Knights went back into the lead after 29 minutes when, after a series of drives on the home line were stopped, the ball was swiftly moved to the right where winger Wez Davies put Warnock over in the corner. Lennard’s excellent conversion from the right hand touch line extended the Knights lead to 7 points. Jones second penalty after 35 minutes concluded the scoring for the first half with the Knights in the lead by 10 points to 6.

The Knights started the second half as they had the first with almost all the play inside the home side half but as the game entered the final quarter all they had to show for the efforts were two further penalties by Lennard. By now Howells was forced to make assiduous use of his substutute’s bench to manage his illness ravaged squad and the Knights strength in depth was shown with two tries in ten minutes. Firstly as Sedgley attacked down their left flank, Warnock took an interception on his own 10 metre line and made ground before his pass to Davies put the powerful winger on an unstoppable 40 metre charge to the line . Then, Tonga’uiha crashed over from close range for a try after following up a Lennard penalty effort from wide out that bounced back of the post which the kicker converted. Most of the remainder of the game was played out inside the Sedgley half with the most important moment for the Knights fans being the arrival of popular replacement prop Tongan international Toma Toke for his first appearance since damaging his knee ligaments in the league match on the same ground in October.

After the game Lynn Howells refused to single out individuals instead preferring to praise all of his illness struck players for sticking to their tasks when they were all clearly suffering. Of those who were not affected by the virus, hooker Steve Boden, centres Bevon Armitage and Hudson Tonga’uiha and the back row were the pick of a Knights team that can now look forward to a home quarter final at Castle Park a week Saturday.

Sedgley Park: Riley; Largan; Tafa; Jones; Monsell; Kohler (O’Hare 67); Wilkinson; Evans (Greenhalgh 60); Roddam (Roberts 53); Du Plessis ( A Livsey 71); Williams (D Livsey 71; Townson; Crous; Newton; Cook Subs not used: Fourie; Urmston

Doncaster Knights: Lennard (Carter 72); W Davies; Armitage; Tonga’uiha (G Hughes 74); Wright; Warnock; Hallam (D’Arcy 72); T Davies (List 54); Boden (Jenkins 78); Cusack (Toke 72); Kenworthy; Smith (Griffiths 45); Afu; Kettle; Grainger

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