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Home > News > Doncaster lose out to Worcester in pre season friendly
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Your News Doncaster lose out to Worcester in pre season friendly

WORCESTER WARRIORS 33 DONCASTER KNIGHTS 10

Doncaster’s Director of Rugby Lynn Howells’s hopes of giving his new back signings a good run out were twarted when, due to injuries and sickness, the Knights had to take on Premiership side Worcester with only one full back, two wingers and one fit centre. As a consequence, fly halves James Brooks and Ali Warnock had to do a spell at centre and full back respectively, full back Roger Davies also had a spell on the wing, scrum half Chris Hallam finished up on the wing and Academy full back Will Du Rante also had a short run out. In the pack things were different with only Michael Cussack missing through injury and Adam Kettle completing his period of suspension. The game was played throughout with both side’s making liberal use of their full squads through a system of “rolling replacements”

Doncaster had the better of the first half and turned around 10 points to 0 ahead through an interception try from 70 metres out by centre Steve McColl and a try following a line-out maul by new lock signing Glen Townson. During this half the Knights won all their own lineout ball (in spite of the presence of international locks David Lyons [Australia] and Greg Rawlinson [New Zealand] and Premiership rugby’s leading poacher Craig Gilles), were very steady at scrum time and defensively very sound. They had a number of good attacking moves and generally gave a much improved performance on the previous Saturday at Pontypridd where they drew 19 all. Although without a few of their super-stars which they held back until the second half, it was a strong Worcester side, which included All Black winger Rico Gear, and Howells would have been pleased with many aspects of his side’s performance.

After half-time, Worcester made several changes and turned up the pace and scored a try after three minutes through Samoan centre Dale Rasmussen which was converted by fly half Joe Carlisle. The Knights came back however and gave as good as they got for the next 10 minutes. On the 55 minute mark, Worcester introduced their super stars in the shape of England Saxon wingers Miles Benjamin and Miles Garvey, legendary Australian full back Chris Latham and New Zealanders Will Walker and Sam Tuitupo at fly half and centre respectively. For the last 20 minutes it was a case of desperate Knights defence as the Warriors ran the ball from deep as they took on the tiring Doncaster players. To their credit however the Knights stuck to their task and managed to limit Worcester to only four more tries, one of which was in the final attack of the game, through Benjamin, scrum half Ollie Frost, Rawlinson and winger Tom Wood, three of which were converted by Walker.

After the game Lynn Howells said he thought that his depleted squad did everything he could have asked of them with the only real disappointments being the fact that two of the tries conceded late on came from his side’s mistakes. He said he was particularly please with the lineouts and scrums where the Knights had 100% records. He said that with three weeks to go to the start of the Championship Season, his side were where he wanted them to be in terms of preparation although he admitted he could have down without all of the injury disruptions. He said he was looking forward for another step up in his squad’s performance this coming Friday evening when they entertained Magner’s League side Glasgow Warriors at Castle Park. With 12 full Scottish internationals, including British Lions scrum half Chris Cusiter, named in their match day squad Glasgow threatened to be even stronger than Worcester and Howells said that the Knights would need to raise their game yet again for their final pre-season game.

Worcester Starting XV: Calum MacRae, Rico Gear, George Dixon, Dale Rasmussen, Charlie Fellows, Joe Carlisle, Jonny Arr, Jack Gilding, Chris Fortey, Shaun Ruwers, David Lyons, Craig Gillies, Graham Kitchener, James Collins, James Freeman.

Replacements: Adam Black, Willie Walker, Aleki Lutui, Miles Benjamin, Tevita Taumoepeau, Alex Grove, Greg Rawlinson, Sam Tuitupou, Matt Cox, Marcel Garvey, Tom Wood, Chris Latham, Ollie Frost, Ed Binham.

Doncaster Starting XV: Roger Davies, Dougie Flockhart, Stephen McColl, James Brooks, Andy Wright, Ali Warnock, Chris Hallam, Stuart Corsar, Steve Boden, Ngalu Tau, Glen Townson, Dan Smith, Bryn Griffiths, Neil Cochrane, Andy Boyde.

Replacements: Lewis Thiede, Matt D’Arcy, Nicky Griffiths, Steven Lawrie, Chris Planchant, Tom Doughty, Simon Grainger, Tom Davies, Glen Kenworthy, Toma Toke, Will Du Rant, Matt Lowcock

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