Username Password
Chat about Rugby in our Forum
everything rugby
latestSearch News
Our Sponsor
Our Sponsor
Home > News > London Welsh 29 - Doncaster Knights 3
Your News London Welsh 29 - Doncaster Knights 3

Doncaster had an 80% territorial and possession advantage in the first half in spite of injuries to both their hookers Ben Phillips and Steve Boden within the space of 2 minutes either side of the half hour mark. Yet all they had to show for all their pressure in this half was a single penalty goal by Cerith Rees. In the second half, decimated further a broken leg suffered by their Tongan international lock Lisiate Faaoso which required replacement scrum half Dan Storey to come on at flanker, the Knights conceded four tries to give London Welsh a bonus point victory.

Doncasters Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made four changes to the Knights starting line up for their match against London Welsh at Old Deer Park. In the backs, Paul Bailey was recalled on the wing in place of Donavan Van Vuuren whilst Cerith Rees started at fly half in place of leading points scorer Mark Woodrow. In the pack, Ben Phillips started at hooker in place of Steve Boden whilst at lock USA international Luke Gross came in place of Tongan International Lisiate Faaoso.

Doncaster put pressure on London Welsh from the kick off and were soon camped inside the home sides 22. Although under intense pressure at scrum and lineout, the Welsh defence managed to hold out and, whenever the Knights tried to move the ball wide, their attacks were stopped by a mixture of resolute home defence and poor attacking play by Doncaster. They had their first chance to go ahead after 8 minutes but Rees unfortunately slipped as he took his kick and it sailed wide. Rees had a further, slightly more difficult opportunity after 13 minutes but this too sailed wide. After 15 minutes, London Welsh got into the Knights half for the first time and their fly half Matt Jones was just wide with a penalty attempt from 45 metres. Back came the Knights and they piled on the pressure and one felt it would only be a matter of time before the home defence collapsed. Although winning ample possession the Knights did not make a lot of ground with their pick up and go tactics and when they did release the ball to their backs it was often slow. The only success they had for their efforts was a simple penalty by Rees after 21 minutes. After 31 minutes Doncaster hooker Ben Phillips came off with an injured shoulder and regular hooker Steve Boden joined the fray. Only 2 minutes later play was held up for over 5 minutes as an ambulance had to come on to the pitch to take Boden to hospital with a suspected broken jaw. Replacement prop Tom Davies was then called into action to hook and, undeterred, back came the Knights to pressurise the Welsh line. As half-time approached (after 52 minutes) the home full back Neil Taylor was sin binned for delaying the release of the ball after a tackle and the Knights had one last drive at the home line which somehow managed to hold out until the interval.

Although only turning around 3 points ahead, one always felt that the Knights pressure would eventually tell in spite of Jones bringing the scores level with a penalty after 4 minutes. Shortly afterwards the Knights brought on Faaoso at lock in place of big American Luke Gross but tragedy struck the Knights a couple of minutes later when, in attempting to catch home prop Aaron Liffchak as he broke into their 22, winger Justin Bishop and Faaoso collided as they both tackled him and he broke clear to score a try which Jones converted. Unfortunately play was then held up for some time as the big Tongan was treated on field for a suspected broken leg before being taken to hospital by ambulance. This score, and the injury, hit the Knights badly and from then on they were hardly in the game. After 60 minutes Jones made a clean break between replacement fly half Mark Woodrow and centre Spencer Davey before putting centre Alex Goode over for a try by the posts, Jones conversion took the score to 17 points to 3 and effectively took the game beyond the depleted Knights. After 32 minutes the Knights No 8 Chris Planchant was sin binned on his 22 and London Welsh put the pressure on by opting for a scrum. After conceding three successive penalties one felt that a penalty try was always coming and this he awarded after penalising Doncaster prop Richard List for a scrummaging offence in spite of the fact that he had driven his opposite number back. Jones conversion was a formality and the beleaguered Knights had to withstand even more pressure as the home side strived for a bonus point. With the game now in the 9th minute of injury time, London Welsh had one last chance and they attacked down the left flank and they gave the Knights an object lesson in how to use an overlap by putting winger Paul Sampson over in the corner for the final score of the game.

It was a bitterly disappointed Knights side that were left to reflect on this defeat and to wonder how they managed to lose a match they appeared to have totally under control at half-time. The only good news of the day was that Steve Boden was discharged from hospital suffering from a bruised jaw and damaged teeth. Unfortunately the news of Lisiate Faaoso was not as good as he was confirmed as having broken both his tibia and fibula and he was left behind in hospital when the subdued Knights travelled home on Sunday morning.

London Welsh: N Taylor (A Cadwallader 52); P Sampson; A Goode; P Mackey (R Jewell 79); M Tagicakibau; M Jones; A Chilten; D Williams (C Beech 50); S Vuli (A Walker 71); A Liffchak; H Quigley (B Thomas 79); W Lewaravu (K Burke 76); J Mills; S Etheridge; H Jenkins Sub not used M Wilson

Doncaster Knights: A Carter; P Bailey; B Hunt; S Davey; J Bishop; C Rees (M Woodrow 47); B Jones; R List; B Phillips (S Boden 31 T Davies 33); N Tau (T Toke 61); L Gross (L Faaoso 47 D Storey 55); G Kenworthy; B Griffiths; C Planchant; S Grainger Sub not used D Van Vuuren

join Free
Free Site
Online Coaching