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Home > News > Bristol 42 - Doncaster 7
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Your News Bristol 42 - Doncaster 7

A game too far was probably the best way to describe the Knight’s match away against league leaders Bristol who, anxious to avenge their early season defeat at Castle Park, scored six tries against a Doncaster side playing its 6th competitive game in 18 days. Even so the Knights never gave up and responded well in the second half after turning around 21 points to 0 behind. Unfortunately the Knights cause was not helped by a referee who only seemed to penalise Doncaster who ended up with a penalty count of 17 to 8 against them

For this game, Doncaster Knights Director of Rugby Lynn Howells again rang the changes from the side that had beaten Bedford last Saturday as he again rotated his squad. In all only wing Doug Flockhart, centre Hudson Tonga’uiha, lock Bryn Griffiths and back row Andy Boyde retained their places. Making his first Championship start of the season for the Knights was young wing Oli Goss now hopefully fully recovered from the knee injury he sustained pre-season.

With the advantage of a 11 to 4 penalty count in their favour, Bristol scored three tries against a Knights side that was constantly under pressure and who, on the few occasions they had possession, always seem to find one of the home team who had obviously done their homework on Doncaster. The stream of penalties awarded against the Knights allowed Bristol to pin them inside their 22 for most of the half. Bristol’s first try came after 16 minutes by No 8 James Phillips after a series of drives from close in; their second came after 24 minutes when winger Lee Robinson gathered a loose Doncaster kick, beat a couple of defenders before winning the race to touch down his own kick ahead; and their third try came after 32 minutes when Robinson scored again, this time chasing a kick through by centre Junior Fatialofa. All three tries were converted by fly half Adrian Jarvis.

Bristol started the second half with a bang and scored again after 4 minutes when, after the Knights were penalised yet again, Phillips scored again from another 5 metre drive from a lineout. The Knights now started to get back into the game and for the next 35 minutes they gave as good as they got. Both flanker Grainger and lock Bryn Griffiths almost got over from close in before Doncaster elected to take two 5 metre scrums as the referee at last decided to penalise the home side. Unfortunately from the first of these they lost possession inches from the line as the Doncaster pack, with 19 year old replacement prop Lewis Thiede to the fore, shunted the Bristol pack back over their own goal line. From the second scrum, Doncaster drove for their line and, after their initial thrust had been just held up, scrum half Chris Hallam spotted a gap in the Bristol defence and darted over unopposed for a try that fly half Brooks converted. Unfortunately shortly after this score Doncaster flanker Andy Boyde was yellow carded and, whilst the Knights were a man short, Bristol scored yet again by their favoured route of penalty, five metre scrum, drive for the line and try for flanker Redford Pennycook. Jarvis again converted. Doncaster came straight back and were held up just short after a drive from a lineout and it was nip and tuck as both sides sort to score. With the game deep into injury time, Bristol scored their final try with the final act of the game when flying left winger Dan Norton, back from England sevens duty, followed a kick through to score a try that was converted by replacement fly half Chris Ashwin.

After the game Howells said that he thought that his side had shown great character against the league leaders after the constant pressure of having to play two games a week with all three of the midweek games being away. He said they will now have to go back and regroup as they face up to their final three games of their nine game marathon with matches against Birmingham, Pontypridd and Rotherham in the British and Irish Cup in a week. In spite of the score, the Knights players can look back at the game with their heads held high as they never gave up in spite of the constant stream of penalties against them. Their tackling under pressure was again outstanding illustrated by the fact that three of the Bristol tries came from kicks through and the other three from close in drives.

Bristol Rugby: Arscott T (Eves 73), Robinson, Fatialofa, Adams, Norton, Jarvis (Ashwin 67), Shaw, Irish (Vinipola 58), Blaney (Johnson 58), Thompson, Budgett, Winters (Sambucetti 67), Grieve, Phillips, Pennycook (Merriman 67). Sub not used Spice

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Goss, Tonga’uiha (Warnock 82), Briers, Flockhart, Brooks, Hallam (D’Arcy 61), Corsar (Davies 51), Lawrie, Ta’u (Thiede HT), Kenworthy, Griffiths (Townson 61), Boyde, Bundy, Grainger (Kettle 70) Sub not used: Boden

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