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Home > News > Doncaster Knights 10 - London Welsh 17
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Your News Doncaster Knights 10 - London Welsh 17

A disappointing day at the office is probably the best way to describe Doncaster Knights home defeat against 3rd placed London Welsh. Although they dominated the scrums and competed well at the line outs, the Knights had to play second best in terms of territory against a Welsh side that played to a fixed game plan that confined Doncaster to their own half for large parts of the game.

After their disappointing defeat away at Nottingham midweek – a game they could, and should, have won – the Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made a number of changes. In the pack, Michael Cusack came in for Ngalu Ta’u at prop, Steve Lawrie replaced Steve Boden at hooker, Glen Townson was recalled in place of Bryn Griffiths at lock and Simon Grainger replaced the injured Adam Kettle at flanker. In the backs, Matt D’Arcy was given a start at scrum half in place of Chris Hallam, England U20’s winger came in for Chris Briers on the wing and Anthony Carter replaced Steve McColl at fullback.

The Knights were given the first scoring opportunity after 3 minutes but fly half James Brooks’s penalty attempt from 40 metres wide out fell just short. Almost immediately London Welsh gave Doncaster a scare when their full back went over in the corner only to be denied a try when full back Aled Thomas was adjudged to have knocked on as he grounded the ball after diving over the line unopposed. However the Welsh continued to pressurise the Knights, particularly from their powerful driving maul, and they went into the lead with a penalty by Thomas after 12 minutes. Shortly afterwards the Knights were denied a try to winger Doug Flockhart when the referee went back for an earlier knock on after seemingly allowing London Welsh an excessive amount of time to play advantage. The remainder of the half was spent mainly in the Knights half with the only score being a second penalty to Thomas.

London Welsh extended their lead after only 4 minutes of the second half when, from a 5 metre lineout, the well drilled lineout maul allowed prop Michael Holford the opportunity to drive over for the games opening try. This setback seemed to wake the Knights up and, as they upped the pace, they were rewarded with a try to centre Hudson Tonga’uiha as he burst out of a ruck 10 metres from the visitor’s line. Brook’s conversion attempt was successful and he then kicked a penalty for the Knights shortly afterwards to bring them back to within one point of their visitors. Unfortunately the Knights indiscipline told again as, with the game well into its last quarter, they were penalised twice which Thomas punished to give his side a deserved 7 points victory.

After the game the Knights were left to reflect on what had happen to their game plan; why their backs, who had looked so dangerous against Nottingham, had little or no cutting edge; and their discipline which had cost them 27 points in penalties in the last two games.

Doncaster Knights: Carter, Flockhart, Armitage, Tonga’uiha, Hurrell, Brooks, D’Arcy (Hallam 69), Davies (Corsar 50), Lawrie (Boden 72), Cusack, Kenworthy (Griffiths 60), Townson, Grainger, Boyde (Bundy 75), Cochrane Subs not used: McColl, Thiede

London Welsh: Thomas, Evans, Mackay, Gower, Claasens, Whatling (Shabbo 65, Lewis (Davies 54), Holford (Hornsmith 65), Whitehead (O’Meara 78), Ward, Garvey, Corker, Mills, Brown, Mercer (Hills 63) Subs not used: Powell, Starling

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