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Home > News > Exeter win on the road at Doncaster
Your News Exeter win on the road at Doncaster

Doncaster 17 - Exeter Chiefs 25

On a warm Spring day at friendly Castle Park this thrilling game was settled at the very last, and Doncaster may feel as aggrieved as their fans to be the loser. Doncaster showed their intentions in the second minute with a sharp break from Mark Woodrow, but immediately Chiefs went ahead when Richie Baxter broke blind from a scrum on their ten metre line, fed Josh Drauniniu who beat two men and fed the fast supporting Clive Stuart-Smith. Tony Yapp missed narrowly from touch.

The Knights responded with a 40 metre drive and though penalised for holding on when looking dangerous they continued to make yards with slick short passing. After withstanding the pressure Chiefs came back with another score on 15 minutes, Sean Marsden crossing after good work from Junior Fatialofa, Chad Slade and Gary Kingdom.

Again the Knights looked the more dangerous team and had a series of 5-metre scrums with the Chiefs pack under pressure. Another holding on offence allowed Yapp to clear, but Knights came back and after 28 minutes Simon Grainger crossed from close range after more quick passing. Woodrow missed the straightforward conversion.

As the half drew to a close, Chiefs neglected a kickable chance but the 5 metre line-out did not produce the goods.

Chiefs were under pressure from the moment Woodrow kicked off the second half with the breeze, and after a protracted maul Bryn Griffiths scored by the corner flag to level the scores, the conversion again being missed. With the Knights pack on top, and Woodrow kicking shrewdly, the pressure was renewed and Wes Davies crossed close in for Woodrow to add the points. Drewett responded with a triple replacement which eventually proved decisive and it was Chiefs turn to apply pressure. They were given an advantage when Knights hooker Steve Boden saw yellow after swinging his arm, but a long penalty took play back into Chiefs half. The league points looked a long way off, but then a typical strike got Exe out of jail; a turnover on their own 22 allowed Baxter to put Drauniniu away. Although in his own half he had only the full back to beat. Kingdom missed the simple conversion.

As the minutes ticked away and the tension rose, play switched from end to end. Finally after 75 minutes Exe were given a penalty in front of the posts and Kingdom made no mistake this time to regain the lead. Then an afternoon of unsatisfactory scrums ended in injury time with a penalty to Chiefs, which Adam Staniforth put into the corner. Exe mauled towards the line in search of the all-important bonus point but were stopped. As time ran out, Chiefs continued to press. Then, on 87 minutes, the much castigated referee awarded a penalty in front of the posts. It had to be a tap, and Kevin Barrett darted through a gap for the second place try. The conversion by Kingdom was academic, as the supporters were already celebrating.


Exeter Chiefs Kingdom; Drauniniu, J Fatialofa, Ward, Marsden; Yapp (Staniforth 59mins), Stuart-Smith (Barrett 48mins); Parkes (Dunlea 48mins), Jenkins, Sturgess; Bentley, Stevenson (Skelding 69mins); Slade (Johnson 48mins), Andy Miller (Alan Miller 73mins), Baxter (capt.)

Doncaster Knights Carter; Bailey, Bishop (capt.), Davey, Davies; Woodrow, Jones; List (Toke 48mins), Boden, Davies (Rawson 43mins)(Davies 67mins); Gross, Kenworthy; Griffiths (Phillips 60mins)(Griffiths 65mins), Grainger (Luke 65 mins), Planchant (Gray 33mins)


Exeter Chiefs Tries: Stuart-Smith, Marsden, Drauniniu, Barrett; Con: Kingdom; Pen: Kingdom.

Doncaster Knights Tries: Grainger, Griffiths, Davies; Con: Woodrow.

Yellow cards:

Doncaster Knights: Steve Boden (56 mins)



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