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Home > News > Doncaster Knights 14 - Moseley 3
Your News Doncaster Knights 14 - Moseley 3

Although Saturdays victory over Moseley, in what can be described as a 4 pointer, enabled them to move above the Birmingham team in the league, it can also be looked on as a bonus point squandered as Doncaster Knights failed to capitalise on the opportunities that their territorial and possession dominance allowed them to create. The match itself was one of the very few played in England (and the only one that appeared to have been played anywhere in the North and Midlands) thanks to the tremendous efforts of the clubs ground staff with support from two local companies, Pleveys and the PDM Group. The victory was at a severe cost however as rampaging No 8 Chris Planchant, whose season only started about 6 weeks ago following a serious pre-season knee operation, was carried off after 50 minutes with what appears to be a similar injury to his other knee and which could unfortunately keep him out for the rest of the season.

For this key game against 8th placed Moseley. Doncaster Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made two changes, both in the pack, from the side that had come away from Cornish Pirates the previous weekend with a victory. He continue changing his hookers with Steve Boden taking over from Steve Lawrie whilst, in the back row, Simon Grainger swopped with Neil Cochrane at openside flanker.

Doncaster Knights started the game well and went ahead after 9 minutes through Tongan centre Hudson Tongauiha who had already figured prominently with the power of his running and tackling. This time, following a lineout 5 metres from the Moseley line, the powerful centre was stopped just short before getting to his feet to join the resultant maul and dive over the line for a try that fly half Ali Warnock converted. Shortly afterwards Warnock himself made a break from quick lineout ball inside his own half but, after linking up with centre Bevon Armitage, the final pass went astray and a good scoring opportunity missed. Although having the bulk of the territory and possession, the Knights started to make mistakes but it seemed only a matter of time before they scored again. In spite of having skipper Neil Mason sinned binned after 27 minutes, Moseley came back into the game with a penalty by their fly half Tristan Roberts, but it was the Knights who finished the half stronger. Moseley did not help themselves however by losing scrum half Gareth Taylor and lock Andy Hall to the sin bin during first half injury time.

Restarting only 7 points to 3 ahead, the Knights needed to take advantage of their two man numerical advantage and this they did in the opening minute of the second half. The Knights won their own kick off moving the ball to the right where Armitage made inroads into the Moseley half down the middle of the field. From the resultant maul, the ball was fed to powerful lock Bryn Griffiths, having his best game of the season for the Knights, who burst through two defenders before giving a simple scoring pass to supporting flanker Andy Boyde who scored just to the left of the posts to give Warnock a simple conversion. Just as the crowd expected the floodgates to open, Moseley dug in and, although the Knights created further try scoring opportunities, this was to be the last time that they would cross their opponents try line. After 52 minutes tragedy struck Knights No 8 Chris Planchant when, after breaking from a scrum just inside his own half, and then linking up with his support, he received a return pass and was racing towards the Moseley line when a good covering tackle chopped him down feet short to leave the unlucky player with yet another serious knee injury and the prospects of more months of rehabilitation. By the time the final whistle went the Knights had missed at least another two good try scoring opportunities but, with the temperature now dropping rapidly, it was a welcome respite for both sides.

After the game Howells said that, having worked hard on his sides defence (since early October the Knights have the best defensive record in the Championship) and game plan, the important thing was now to finish off the scoring opportunities that the pressure they put sides under allowed them to create. He said that, whilst he appreciated the frustration that some of the Knights mistakes caused their supporters, both he and his opposite number, former Scottish flanker Ian Smith, felt that spectators had to realise how bitterly cold it was on the pitch with players from both sides complaining about how numb their hands became the longer the game went on!

Doncaster Knights: Carter, Wright, Armitage, Tongauiha, Briers (McColl 65), Warnock, Hallam, Davies (Corsar 70), Boden (Lawrie 70), Tau (Cusack 40), Townson, Griffiths, Boyde, Planchant (Cochrane 52), Grainger Subs not used: DArcy, Kenworthy

Moseley: Borgen, Thirlby, May, Reah, Mensah-Coker, Roberts, Taylor (Pasqualin 57), Williams (Sigley 68), Caves, Sigley (Harden 54), Muldowney, Hall (Stott 50), Mason (Wilson 57), Rodwell, Pennycook Subs not used: Oselton, MacBurnie, Rowland

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