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Home > News > Doncaster Knights 24 - Bedford Blues 29
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Your News Doncaster Knights 24 - Bedford Blues 29

Eight points ahead going into the final quarter against Bedford Blues and seemingly getting on top, this was a game that Doncaster Knights could, and should, have won. That they didn’t can be put down to failing to capitalise on the good work of their dominant scrum, a couple of crucial defensive errors and an inability to finish off the scoring chances that they created by the enterprising play.

Following their successful outing at Bristol last weekend, Knight’s Director of Rugby Lynn Howells made just two changes to his side for the visit of 2nd place Bedford Blues. In the pack injured hooker Steve Lawrie was replaced by Steve Boden, who himself had missed the previous weekend with a shoulder injury, whilst, on the right wing, Andy Wright, last season’s Knight’s leading try scorer, was given a run out ahead of Dougie Flockhart.

From the outset both sides showed a determination to run the ball at every opportunity so it was a disappointment that, after only a couple of minutes, Bedford lock Tupai and Knight’s centre Gidlow were yellow carded after a clash midfield and that shortly afterwards Knight’s fly half Tristan Roberts had to leave the field for treatment after what appeared to be a clumsy tackle after he had cleared the ball. Robert’s temporary absence caused full back Steve McColl to move to fly half and, almost with his first touch of the ball, he scored a good individual try when, on receiving quick ball from a line out 40 metres out, he stepped inside his opposite number before beating the cover to score half way out. Unfortunately he was unable to convert his own try but 3 minutes later, Roberts, now back on after being patched up, extended the Knights’ lead with a penalty after he had been high tackled when trying to step inside the Bedford cover. These setbacks stung the Blues back into action and they scored two tries down the left flank, both by ex-Saracens full back Ed Thrower, after defensive errors by the Knights. Roberts and Blues skipper James Pritchard then exchanged penalties as the interval approached. With the final play of the half, the Knights’ pack pummelled away at the Blues line before the ball was moved a metre or so to the left where Roberts, probably the smallest man on the field, crashed through two tackles to score a try wide out that he himself converted with an excellent kick.

Almost from the restart Roberts kicked another penalty to extend the Knights’ lead which Pritchard nullified with one of his own a couple of minutes later. The Knights now enjoyed a good spell of play and they should have taken advantage of several chances they created down the right flank as the end of the third quarter approached but, in the end, all they had to show for their efforts was another Robert’s penalty after 60 minutes. With both sides now using their replacements’ benches, it was Bedford’s new centre Owen Farrell, on loan from Saracens, who reduced his side’s deficit after 62 minutes. The Knight’s suffered a huge blow with just 12 minutes left when young prop Dan Frazier was yellow carded for swinging a punch at a scrum and Farrell’s second penalty brought the difference between the two sides down to two points. The Blues’s winning score came from a try by fly half Miles Dorrian, converted by Farrell, with 10 minutes left after he received an inside pass from scrum half Darryl Veenendaal who had broken through two poor tackles to cross the gain line. Although the Knights never gave up and took the game back to their visitors in the final stages, they could not quite get the score they needed as they failed to capitalise on the possession they gained.

After the match Howells said that, whilst he was naturally disappointed with the final result, he was pleased with the improvement that his young side was making and he hoped that the Castle Park faithful would have appreciated the positive aspects of the team’s performance. He said that he still believed that the team had great potential which he was sure would come to the fore as they spent more time together and they became attuned to the intensity of the Championship.

Doncaster Knights: McColl, Wright (Flockhart 55), Briers, Gidlow, Williams, Roberts (Flockhart 7 – 12), Hallam, Frazier (Corsar 74), Boden, Cusack (Thiede 76), Kenworthy (Parsosn 62), Craig, Boyde, Jackson, Cochrane

Replacements not used: Doughty, Walker, Goss

Bedford Blues: Thrower, Schmidt (Short 60), Pritchard (Farrell 60), Bedford, Dodge, Dorrian, Veenendaal, Ovens (Boulton 45), Clarke (Richmond 55), Seal, Tupai, Tomes (Gillanders 55), Rae, Goodman, Wray (Fraser 50)

Replacement not used: Chudley

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