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Home > News > Bristol 12 - Doncaster Knights 26
Your News Bristol 12 - Doncaster Knights 26

Although they conceded an early try, the Knights hit straight back to such an extent that they turned around 26 points to 5 ahead. Bristol hit back with a second try in the second half but the Knights defence was up to the task and could well have added a couple more tries to their score before running out well deserved winners.

For the trip to the West Country, Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made five changes to the Knights starting line-up, three in the pack and two in the backs. At prop Dan Frazier, a young summer signing from Harlequins, came in for Lewis Thiede who took his place on the bench, at lock and flanker respectively talisman Glen Kenworthy and Andy Boyde returned for Matt Challinor and Latu Makaafi, both of whom suffered ankle injuries last weekend. In the backs, last seasons regular scrum half came in for new signing Nathan Jones, who will be out for at least two months with an ankle injury, whilst, at centre, Chris Briers returned after injury with new signing Paul Devlin having a spell on the bench.

Knights had the early play for the first couple of minutes but then conceded a penalty which led to a 5 metre lineout. Although the attempted driving maul was well defended, the ball was moved quickly to the right where an overlap gave winger Sean Marsden the chance to dive over in the corner for the games opening try. From the restart, Bristol gathered the restart but a sloppy pass was intercepted by Knights flanker Andy Boyde who raced over from 20 metres for a try that flyhalf Tristan Roberts converted. The first scrum came after 10 minutes and the Knights pack proceeded to dominate their opposite number at every one. Such was the pressure that Bristol were under that they conceded three penalties in the space of 10 minutes all of which were goaled by Roberts. After 27 minutes, Doncaster won a scrum 5 metres inside the Bristol half and scrum half scooped up the ball to race 50 metres to score between the posts to give Roberts an easy conversion. They almost scored again where flying winger Matt Williams raced clear from deep in his own half but was recalled for an earlier Knights offence. After holding out Bristol from a series of lineout drives coming up to half time, the Knights broke away and, when Bristol penalised, and Roberts stepped up to kick his 4th penalty.

Turning around 26 points in arrear, Bristol came out of the blocks from the restart again they scored after only 4 minutes when hooker Ollie Hayes was driven over from a 5 metre lineout. This try was converted by replacement fly half Adrian Jarvis and it was game on. Bristol piled on the pressure but the Knights defence was more than up to task. Bristol threw everything at the Knights but their defence was more than up to the task. Eventually the Knights lifted the pressure and they were unlucky not to score a couple of tries, once when hooker Steve Lawrie as adjudged to have received a forward pass before diving over in the corner and then when flanker Neil Cochrane was hauled down feet short but was unable to get a try scoring pass away. As injury time approached, the Knights conceded a number of penalties but they drove Bristol back as they attempted to crash over. Then they changed tactics and tried to attack from two scrums in front of the Knights posts but again the Knights defence was up to the job. When the final whistle went in the 9th minute of injury time, it was a delighted Knights squad that celebrated their first win of the season.

After the game, Howells said that he was very pleased with his teams performance which he felt had answered the justified criticism they had received the previous weekend. He said that their play had shown what the players were capable of and which he said he felt would give them a platform to build on for the weeks ahead.

Bristol: Tovey, Masrden, Faialofa, Barnes (Adams 64), Norton, Little (Jarvis 40), Bolt, Vunipola, Hayes, Thompson (Moss 35), Glynn (Barry 48), Winters, Grieve, Momtague, Miller (Merriman 57) Replacements not used: Blaney and Alford

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Flockhart, Briers (Devlin 62, Goss 86), Gidlow ,Williams, Roberts, Hallam, Frazier (Corsar 73), Lawrie (Doughty 78), Cusack (Thiede 55), Kenworthy (Parsons 73), Craig, Boyde, Jackson, Cochrane Replacements not used: Walker

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