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Home > News > Birmingham & Solihull 7 - Doncaster 33
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Your News Birmingham & Solihull 7 - Doncaster 33

A Doncaster Knights victory was never in doubt once they had scored their opening try in the first five minutes and it was only a matter of time before they scored the four tries necessary to secure a vital bonus point in their quest to reach the Championship promotion play-offs.

For their fourth competitive game in eleven days, Doncaster Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells again rang the changes with eleven changes from the starting XV that had beaten Cardiff on Saturday. The only players to retain their places as Howells rotated his squad were Andy Wright on the wing, Chris Briers at centre, Ngalu Ta’u at prop and skipper Glen Kenworthy at lock.

Doncaster started well in very cold conditions and went ahead after only 5 minutes when they attacked from a 5 metre lineout and flanker Adam Kettle crashed over for a try that was converted by fly half James Brooks. The Knights continued to attack but when Birmingham put up a high speculative kick from just outside their own 22 their defence allowed the ball to bounce before bouncing into the hands of home full back Rod Petty who ran through unopposed to score. Home fly half Rick Alleys conversion brought the scores back level at 7 all. The Knights bounced straight back and, after attacking through a lineout followed by a ruck, Brooks danced his way through the home defence for a try that he converted himself. Doncaster continued to pile on the pressure through high kicks from scrum half Nicky Griffiths or through their pack but over eagerness thwarted them when a further score seemed inevitable. Just before half time the Knights were awarded a series of scrums 5 metres out before No 8 Chris Bundy picked up and crashed over for a try after his pack had nudged the home scrum back towards their line. Brooks’s conversion made the score 21 points to 7 to the Knights at half-time.

The second half started with the Knights going all out for their vital fourth try by moving the ball at every opportunity but unfortunately they lost possession at vital times and opportunities were missed. When Birmingham got the ball the Knights defence was more than up to the task and the pressure built up on the home side. Just as the game went into the final quarter, the Knights again attacked from a lineout and this time replacement flanker Neil Cochrane dived over to take the pressure off his side as they secured their sought after bonus point. With both sides now making liberal use of their replacements the game meandered slightly towards the end but, just as the injury time approached, the Knights had a 5 metre scrum and, as they drove the home eight back over their line, they were awarded a penalty try that was converted by replacement fly half Ali Warnock.

After the game, Lynn Howells said that he was delighted with his side’s 4th win in 11 days which, to his relief, had been achieved without any injury He said it was a great credit to the Doncaster players that their performance had not dropped irrespective of whichever team of 15 players had been selected. However they now had to regroup and prepare for their next game, in three days time, away at Bedford

Birmingham & Solihull: Petty, Holtby, Anderson, Binham, Culpin, Alley (Tomlinson 73), Brown (Brake 51), Sperando (Orme 61, Dowding 82), Garner (Thomas 75), Halavatau, Hill (Betts 40), Ault, Preece, Noonan, Bell (Connolly 52)

Doncaster Knights : McColl, Wright, Briers, Tonga’uiha, Flockhart, Brooks (Warnock 70), Griffiths N (Hallam 51), Corsar (Thiede 64) , Lawrie, Ta’u (Cusack 40), Kenworthy (Griffiths B 75), Townson, Kettle, Bundy (Cochrane 56), Grainger Replacement not used: Boden

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