Nottingham Rugby registered eight superb tries to blow away a lacklustre Knights team at a bitter Meadow Lane, leaving Clive Griffiths with a lot to work on in his first full time week ahead of Jersey.
The Green and Whites avenged their defeat by Doncaster in the British & Irish Cup as the Yorkshiremen failed to find the form they displayed against Bedford as defence and discipline again undid them.
Doncaster had the better of the first quarter with heavy spells of territory and forward dominance, but as has been so often the way this season the final cutting edge seemed to be missing.
An early rye Knights error gave Championship XV and Nottingham centre Tim Streather a simple opening try with less than four minutes on the clock thanks to the individual mistake from a Knights’ three quarter. James Arlidge slotted the simple extras.
Although the latter half of the first period went only one way as the hosts asserted their dominance, displaying why they are currently elevated to second place in the league. Hooker Joe Duffey registering their second try through a sustained spell of forward dominance, before flying winger and Club top try scorer Rhys Crane added further insult to injury with a scintillating try down the flank. The ever dependable Arlidge added both from difficult angles for a 21-0 lead after half hour.
The half closed with Nottingham wrapping up the bonus point from a typical forward shunt. Prop Matt Parr the beneficiary as Nottingham extended their lead further with Knights yet to register a score. Arlidge slotted over in front.
Doncaster produced one last effort as Challinor marshalled his troops into a good position with the set-piece still working strongly. Buckley found his man from the line-out, but again the Yorkshiremen couldn’t break the shackles as they knocked-on under pressure for a half-time deficit of 28-0.
Clive Griffiths’ newly charged men came out firing after the interval and were quick to pick up their first try through Jethro Rawling. The openside flanker latching onto the back of another dangerous rolling maul to touchdown inside the corner flag for his fourth try in Doncaster colours. Lennard added the conversion from the edge of the pitch.
By this point the Knights were firmly in the ascendancy and playing the better rugby, but a moment of madness by Adam Kettle who body checked Dan Montagu left the Doncaster troops with only 14 players. The blindside flanker seeing yellow as Nottingham’s captain laid flattened on the rugged surface.
But from there on it was all Nottingham as they turned up the heat after the hour mark with a perfectly executed backs move, finished by winger David Jackson, touching down for his 98th Club try. Arlidge as ever converted to leave Knights with a near impossible challenge.
Doncaster never gave up the fight, but another try from the stand out performer Streather put the Green and Whites in an unassailable lead. Although the conversion was missed, Nottingham looked eager to finish the match in style.
And they were further aided by another lapse in concentration, this time Andy Brown sent to the sin-bin having only come on six minutes earlier for a professional foul.
Nottingham full-back Andrew Savage scored two tries in the last three minutes to close proceedings at 52 points to 7 and show the cutting edge Doncaster so clearly were missing.
Hopefully with Clive Griffiths first full week in charge starting Monday the Knights can cut the error count and turnover Jersey next Friday night at Castle Park.
Nottingham Rugby: Savage, Jackson, Streather, Munro (Cobden 68), Crane, Arlidge (Lynn 73), Romans (Barnham 68), Parr, Duffey (Malton 65), Bower (Shields 73), Montagu (Cain 65), Rouse, Cooper, Wilson ©, Shaw (Calladine 65).
Tries: Streather 4, 74, Duffey 22, Crane 26, Parr 37, Jackson 62, Savage 78, 80.
Conv: Arlidge 5, 22, 27, 37, 62, Lynn 80.
Doncaster Knights: Mama, Flockhart, Tincknell, Symons, Lewis (Barrett 70), Lennard, Silver (Hallam 58), Davies (McGovern 17), Buckley (Sowery 70), Francis (Brown 66), Challinor ©, Parsons (Hoy 70), Kettle (Boyde 66), Rawling, Planchant.
Tries: Rawling 44
Conv: Lennard 45
Yellow cards: Kettle 56, Brown 72.
Referee: John Meredith