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Home > News > Doncaster Knights 14 Coventry 17
Your News Doncaster Knights 14 Coventry 17

Written by John Butler

Saturday 10th October 2009

Without any question the most important element to come out of Castle Park was the final result and Coventry duly achieved the score line so desperately needed.

Coming on the back of four consecutive defeats, a positive result above all else was required. Not pretty, but against a side battling to really get their season started it never was going to be that easy.

All that said, Coventry in their red and white away strip made the best of starts after the early sorties came from the Knights. Once those were repelled Coventry turned over Doncaster possession in the home half, swift hands moving the ball left for Romain Plantey to have the easiest of tasks to run in his first try for the club, George Crook converting well. Simplicity indeed and looking good.

It was to prove to be Cov’s best move of a mistake ridden first half from both sides. With the line out miss functioning, the Butts Park men were finding it hard to keep positions going, Doncaster for their part were making a lot of handling mistakes, both sides being guilty of too much misplaced kicking. Warnock curled in a 35 metre penalty on 11 minutes, before three minutes later Crook pulled a 35 metre penalty attempt wide after Doncaster were caught offside.

Mistakes overall continued, Fangatapu Apikitoa then making a superb break from his own half before the move finally broke down. After 18 minutes though George Crook successfully landed a 40 metre penalty for pulling down a scrum, 10-3 to Cov, followed shortly afterwards by a searing Phil Mackenzie break which also came to nothing.

A poor kick out of hand by Apikitoa then caused Cov some problems, replacement McColl taking an inside pass from Kettle to cross for what was to prove to be the Knights only try. Unaccountably Warnock missed a sitter of a conversion to leave Coventry ahead 10- 8 at the break.

After the opening kick off went straight into touch, Cov then spent the next 15 minutes camped inside their own half during which time Warnock landed two penalties for a 14 -10 lead. Instead though of lifting the home side seeking their first win it was Coventry who retaliated to spend the next 30 minutes camped in home territory. On 16 minutes although the line out was still functioning only in spasms, a Ben Russell penalty attempt from 45 metres was pulled left, but by now it was beginning to be one way attacking traffic. A splendid Ben Pons break which saw the flanker who had a fine match make ground before a melee on the home line enabled Dai Maddocks to drive over for Russell now kicking in place of the departed Crook to convert for 17 -14.

Despite pressure continuing unabated it was to prove to be the final score. Richie Bignell was held on the line, Fangatapu Apikitoa losing possession in a similar position, with home lock Townson being yellow carded after referee Hartwell finally lost patience with the home sides tactic of slowing down possession.

Deep in injury time though having absorbed all the pressure, the Knights attempted a belated breakout for Cov to concede a penalty on 47 minutes. Much to the relief of the visiting support, Warnock’s 45 metre penalty attempt fell well short, for Cov prop Scott Roberts to gather and knowing it was the final play to hoof the ball into touch.

For Doncaster a first point of a troubled season, Coventry four points safely gathered in, but in truth and reality, the margin perhaps should have been a little wider. A result though to certainly help settle nerves and concerns.

Coventry. Ben Russell, Will Hurrell, Phil Mackenzie, Fangatapu Apikitoa, Romain Plantey, George Crook, Nathan Jones, Dai Maddocks, Jo Merrigan, Jamie Hall, Sam Herrington, Ben Dechartres, Jamie Miller (Capt), Ben Pons, Aaron Carpenter.

Replacements; Scott Roberts for Hall, Arthur Brenton for Dechartres, Mike Walls for Jones, Chris Lewis for Crook, Drew Locke for Mackenzie.

Not used; Ryan Prosser

Coventry. Tries; Romain Plantey, Dai Maddocks. Conversions; George Crook 1, Ben Russell 1. Penalty goal; Crook

Doncaster. Try; Steve McColl. Penalty goals; Ali Warnock 3

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