Further Information on Gloucester Rugby
A superb second-half showing from Premiership side Gloucester put pay to Knights fantastic opening period losing out 54-9 at Kingsholm.
Brett Davey’s men displayed a good account of themselves bringing a physicality and intensity to their higher ranked opponents, but Gloucester’s strength shone through in the latter forty running in eight tries in total to sink Donny’s hopes of an upset.
The Knights applied pressure on their hosts from the whistle, Rhys Buckley collecting Jamie Lennard’s kick-off as Doncaster outlined their intentions. Centres Tom Luke and James Tincknell showed glimpses of brilliance in attack, with the former Leeds powerhouse also making a telling interception in defence to save a definite try.
It was Lennard who opened the scoring with a well taken penalty as Gloucester were pinned for holding on at the breakdown. The record breaking Doncaster fly-half doubled his tally shortly after as the home side again infringed at the ruck allowing the former Bedford man to notch a penalty from the halfway line.
A slip in concetration let Gloucester’s backs place themselves deep in Doncaster territory and with good work from the base flying winger Charlie Sharples darted underneath the posts for the opening try. Burns successfully added the conversion for a narrow 7-6 lead.
But Knights wouldn’t lie down as Lennard again took advantage of an offside decision to slot a further three points and put the Yorkshiremen back in the lead after half an hour.
Gloucester showed their class before the half-time mark with two bludgent forward tries from back-row duo Ben Morgan and Akapusi Qera, both easily converted by the classy Burns for a 21-9 half-time advantage with Doncaster firmly still in the fixture.
The second period saw many changes with the Premiership outfit asserting their dominance with a heavy spell of pressure. The Knights defensive line held firm until scrum-half Dan Robson sneaked over the whitewash as Gloucester began to up the tempo. Burns slotting his final conversion before departing.
Former Nottingham and Tongan No.8 reminded Doncaster fans off his bewildering power knocking over defenders to score ‘Glaws’ fifth try just past the hour mark, with substitute fly-half Tim Taylor adding the extras.
Taylor himself grabbed the next before his half back partner Dave Lewis sniped over from short range to outline Gloucester’s strength in depth as the Knights tired and lost fluidity amongst the many replacements.
With the final whistle nearing the home side edged over the half century mark thanks to a poor Tom Barrett clearance; falling straight into the arms of former Cornish Pirate Drew Locke who added the eighth try for Nigel Davies’ side having scored twice at the Menaye against Doncaster last season.
Referee Andrew Small blew up for a 54-9 victory, but Doncaster’s fantastic first half performance left Head Coach Glen Kenworthy with plenty of positives from the match.
“We’re really happy with the first half and our strong set-piece, there is lots to take from it and it was important for us to look after a few boys, whilst blooding some youngsters.
“We are head and shoulders above where we were last year at this point and this will leave us stronger for next week against Plymouth where it really counts.”
Doncaster Knights: Michael Keating (Tom Barrett 52), Dougie Flockhart, James Tincknell (Dante Mama 50), Tom Luke (Will Simpson 40), Tyson Lewis (Dan Smith 50), Jamie Lennard (Tyson Lewis 65), Chris Hallam (James Munro 40); Tom Davies (Adam Tamanis 58), Rhys Buckley (Ben Sowery 60), Brian McGovern (Jerry Cronin 48), Phil Hoy, Dominic Parsons (Royce Cadman 51), Matt Challinor © (Andy Boyde 48), Jethro Rawling (David Bradford 57), Sam Pailor (Adam Kettle 48).
Penalties: Lennard 15, 22, 32
Gloucester Rugby: Jonny May (Martyn Thomas 52), Charlie Sharples (Shane Monahan 52), Mike Tindall (Henry Trinder 31), Billy Twelvetrees (Drew Locke 52), James Simpson-Daniel (Ian Clark 52), Freddie Burns (Tim Taylor 52), Dan Robson (Dave Lewis 52); Nick Wood (Dan Murphy 52), Huia Edmonds (Darren Dawidiuk 52), Rupert Harden (Shaun Knight 48), Tom Savage (Peter Buxton 52), Alex Brown © (Will James 52), Matt Cox (Sione Kalamafoni 52), Akapusi Qera (Andy Hazell 52), Ben Morgan (Gareth Evans 52).
Tries: Sharples 27, Morgan 34, Qera 39, Robson 48, Kalamafoni 66, Taylor 70, Lewis 78, Locke 80
Conv: Burns 28, 34, 40, 48, Taylor 66, 70, 80.