Victory on the Tyne

Tynedale 14 Doncaster Knights 41

Doncaster Knights travelled to Northumberland based Tynedale RUFC on Saturday for their final pre-season game ahead of the 2014-2015 Championship campaign.

The Knights last visit to Corbridge last season had been far from easy. The South Yorkshire men earned a win by one point right at the death in horrendous weather conditions. This time the newly promoted Doncaster men were treated to considerably better weather conditions and left with a 41-14 win.

Doncaster made their mark early on, a scrum just outside the 22 proved the perfect opportunity to test out a training ground move. Paul Roberts shipped the ball to outside centre Mat Clark who had hit a superb line, the centre had the pace to sprint away and score the first try on 3 minutes. Dougie Flockhart was on target with the conversion 0-7.

Tynedale began to work themselves into the game, powerful Number 8 Scott Powell set the tone with a number of robust runs but he was contained by the hard working Knights back row. The next try came on the 13 minute mark, the Knights pack earned a vital turnover at the scrum and the ball was immediately moved wide. Tyson Lewis still had a defender to beat but with a strong fend he was over in the corner for the second try of the match.

Doncaster refused to let up, from the restart Number 8 Alex Shaw burst through the defensive line and found Tyson out wide, he once again showed his fine finishing skills with another devastating hand off to dot down in the corner, 0-19 with 14 minutes played.

The home side were the next on the score sheet, a period of sustained pressure gave the Tyne men a lineout inside the Knights 22. Their big pack drove at the line and could not be halted centre Ben Frankland was the man with the ball over the line 7-19.

Both sides then enjoyed spells of attacking when on 32 minutes the Knights broke through, scrum half Bruno Bravo made a scything break before finding blindside flanker Latu Makaafi in support. The back row forward raced under the sticks. George Tressider who had come on as a replacement for Paul Roberts slotted the conversion 7-26.

Into the second half and it was the hosts who came out on the attack, one telling charge broke the defensive line but the Knights pack battled at the breakdown to turn the ball over. Mat Clark was the quickest to react to the spilled ball and set off on half way for a sprint to the line. The outside centre turned on the after burners and sprinted away to score 7-31 on 43 minutes.

The Corbridge men were the next to score, in a mirror image of their first try a driving maul 5 metres out their big pack bulldozed over the line 14-31.

Try number six for the Knights came on the 63 minute mark, a break by Bevon Armitage had the Tynedale defence back pedalling and Bravo and Tressider were on hand to continue the move, the latter crossing for a well taken try 14-36.

There was still time for a hat-rick for last seasons leading try scorer Tyson Lewis, Will Foden earned a turnover on half way and Clark set off towards the line. Tyson called for the ball out wide and showed great control to stretch out and dot the ball down over the whitewash.

Final score Tynedale 14 Doncaster Knights 41.

Next week is the much anticipated start of the 2014-2015 Championship, the Knights are on home soil against Plymouth Albion and will be looking to get their campaign off to the very best of starts. Kick off is 2:30pm.


Tynedale XV

1.Sam White 2.David Nelson 3.Mark Irving 4.Andy Buist 5.Graeme Dunne 6.Matthew Charters 7.Dan Temm 8.Scott Powell 9.Matthew Outson 10.Gavin Beasley 11.Sepp Visser 12.Ben Frankland 13.Jack Harrison 14.Will Miller 15.Ollie Walker


Joe Anderson, Alex Wesgarth, Dan Lowden, Nick Cairns, Peter Weightman, Dan Taylor



Ben Frankland 22′ 56′


Gavin Beasley 22′ 56′


Doncaster Knights XV

1.Richard List 2.Ben Hunter 3.Ross Davies 4.Tyler Hotson 5.Jon Phelan 6.Latu Makaafi 7.Michael Hills 8.Alex Shaw 9.Bruno Bravo 10.Paul Roberts 11.Tyson Lewis 12.Bevon Armitage 13.Mat Clark 14.Dougie Flockhart 15. Paul Jarvis

Replacements: (all used) Tom Davies, Jack Bergmanus, Glen Kenworthy, Will Owen, George Tressider, Will Foden, Jack Maplesden, Andrew Bulamakau, Rhys Williams.



Mat Clark 3’ 43’, Tyson Lewis 13’ 14’ 71, Latu Makaafi 33’, George Tressider 63’


Dougie Flockhart 3’ 14’, George Tressider 33’


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Knights Chief names squad for trip to Tynedale

The Knights make the trip to familiar territory when they travel to Corbridge tomorrow (August 30th), with the game kicking off at 14:00.

The Knights faithful will remember the epic encounter between the two sides last February with club captain Matt Challinor driving the Knights over the line, on route to securing the National One title. Doncaster Knights DoR Clive Griffiths has named the following side for this final test before the return of Championship Rugby to Castle Park next week.

Knights XV

15. Paul Jarvis 14. Dougie Flockhart 13. Matt Clark 12. Bevon Armitage 11. Tyson Lewis 10. Paul Roberts 9. Bruno Bravo 1. Richard List 2. Ben Hunter 3. Ross Davies 4. Tyler Hotson 5. Jon Phelan 6. Latu Makaafi 7. Michael Hills (Captain) 8. Alex Shaw

Replacements: Tom Davies, Jack Maplesden, Jack Bergmanas, George Tresidder, Glen Kenworthy, Andrew Bulumakau, Will Foden, Will Owen


Tynedale XV

15. Ollie Walker 14. Will Miller 13. Jack Harrison 12. Ben Frankland 11. Sepp Visser 10. Gavin Beasley 9. Matthew Outson 1. Sam White 2. David Nelson 3. Mark Irving 4. Andy Buist (Captain) 5. Graeme Dunne 6. Matthew Charters 7. Dan Temm 8. Scott Powell

Replacements: Joe Anderson, Alex Westgarth, Dan Lowden, Nick Cairns Peter Weightman, Dan Taylor


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Big Jon lands at the Castle

Canadian International lock forward Jon Phelan arrived at Castle Park only last week and was thrust straight into action coming off the bench in Saturday’s win over Newcastle Falcons.

Having only had his feet on English soil for a couple of days Jon has had hit the ground running but says that the immediate start hasn’t fazed him. “I haven’t been here long but so far it has been great, it has been a quick transition from arriving to playing my first game for the Knights. The win on Saturday was really good, the team played very well and despite being a little jet lagged I felt I contributed well.”

The lock forward came to the game late, only playing seriously from the age of 24 in his native Canada, but the 28-year-old picked up the sport very quickly and has had a rapid rise into the professional game and is looking forward to linking back up with Clive Griffiths. “I played under Griff before with North Wales based RGC 1404 before moving to Lille Metropole and then back to Canada to Victoria where the Canadian National squad are based. My head coach at Canada, Kieran Crowley had said to me that Griff was looking for a second row so I jumped at the chance.”

Saturday’s 40-26 win over Newcastle Falcons meant that Phelan’s time as a Knight got off to the best possible start and Jon is hoping to keep the good results coming against Tynedale on Saturday. “Overall we did very well on Saturday, there are always little bits and pieces to work on throughout the season but overall we were pleased.

“If I am being honest I haven’t heard of Tynedale before but I do know from the lads and coaches that they have a big forward pack and a strong lineout so that will be a focus of ours.

“It is another chance for the squad to continue to work on their systems and for me individually personally to become more familiar with them. I obviously have the line out calls down as that is my main role but there are some systems I need work on.”

At 6” 8’ Big Jon cuts an imposing figure and has big ambitions for the coming season. “I am aiming for a place in the starting XV, one of Griff’s go to second rows. “This will be my longest season so far and so I feel I have a lot to learn. I intend to work hard all year, my ultimate goal for the last 4 years has been to be a valuable and contributing member of the Canadian International team and hopefully a starter ahead of the 2015 World Cup and playing good rugby for Doncaster will be a great platform for me to achieve that.

“I am still getting familiar with my surroundings but I feel that the aim for Doncaster Knights this season will be to prove competitive and for teams to think of Doncaster as a tough place to play and a tough away team to face.”

This Saturday the Knights travel to Tynedale in their final pre-season game ahead of the 2014-2015 Championship Campaign. Last season the Knights battled out a one point win at Corbridge and so look forward to an extremely tough test to give them a kick start into the league campaign and finish their pre-season campaign well.

There is a supporters coach for the game which will leave Castle Park at 10.30am and costs £20 per head. To book your place please Telephone 07977112706 or email

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Knights power past Falcons with fine display.

Knights 40 v Falcons 26

The Knights built on last Saturday’s comprehensive victory over Swansea with another impressive display in front of the Castle Park faithful against Newcastle Falcons.

The Falcons sent a squad with a mix of first team and academy players including British and Irish Lion Mike Blair, former Rugby League England International Lee Smith, first team regular Tom Catterick and plenty of other notable performers but the Knights rose to the challenge. A superb first half performance was followed up by a determined second forty showing to record a notable, albeit pre-season, victory.

The visitors hit the ground running and were in for their first score only moments after the match had started. An early penalty at the breakdown put the Falcons in good field position with an attacking line out. Having stopped the initial drive the Knights were not able to halt the series of pick and go carries that followed and second row Dom Barrow charged over for the games opening score, converted by Smith.

The try spark the Knights into life and they quickly hit back through the pack. A commanding first scrum from the Donny forwards earned a penalty, which Dougie Flockhart converted. Flockhart kicked another three-pointer shortly after when the Falcons defense failed to release Alex Shaw at the breakdown.

The rest of the first half belonged to Doncaster and they demonstrated some truly excited play that the Castle Park fans will be hoping is replicated throughout the season. Bevon Armitage was at his devastating best and was the catalyst for the first Donny score, a trademark carry up the pitch stretched the Newcastle defences for Paul Jarvis to take advantage. The full back put his foot down and scythed through the Falcons line before handing on to Flockhart who raced home.

A yellow card for Falcons flanker Dan Temm just after the 20-minute mark was brilliantly punished by Griff’s charges as they ran in two further scores before the interval. The first came from a solid Knights line out and having driven just short of the Falcons line Matt Challinor picked and from that range he rarely gets stopped, Dougie added the extras. The second came following a superb individual break from Andrew Bulumakau who darted through a number of would be tacklers before finding Mat Clark in support who raced over the line.

The Falcons did enjoy a strong period before the teams went back into the changing rooms, having won back possession they fought their way upfield, centre Adam Redman making some telling carries, and in a bid to quell the attacks the hosts fell foul of the refs whistle; second row Tyler Hotson saw yellow for his efforts. A man down the Knights defence refused to cave and eventually they forced a mistake from the Falcons backline, the ball went to ground and Jarvis seized upon it and with that the half time whistle blew.

Newcastle showed a renewed zeal in early stages of the second half and they had the Knights on the back foot quickly after the interval. Being a man light handicapped the Donny scrum and they gave up a penalty, which was once kicked to the corner. This time Newcastle could not be kept at bay and hooker George McGuigan blasted through a gap to score.

A number of substitutions were made early in the second half but the momentum remained with the visitors. Building on a rock solid set piece, the Falcons strung together a series of attacking phases which culminated with impressive second row replacement Will Witty scoring and bringing the score to 25-19.

With 20 minutes left to play it seemed as if the Knights may be in trouble but this wasn’t to be the case as Griff’s charges picked themselves back up and finished the game in the same impressive vein that they had play for most of the first half. Two much needed tries from Paul Jarvis, who had a remarkable afternoon at full back, sandwiched a score from flanker Temm and gave the Knights an 11 point cushion as the game entered the final ten minutes.

The Falcons threw everything at the Donny defense as full time beckoned but they were unable to create anything of real danger and the Knights look composed in possession. With only seconds left on the clock the Knights won another penalty at scrum time and Jamie Guy took the points on Final score: Doncaster Knights 40 Newcastle Falcons 26.

Tries; Flockhart 19’, Challinor 28’, Clark 32’, Jarvis 62’, 71’

Conv; Flockhart 28’, 32’, Lennard 71’

Pens; Flockhart 6’, 9’, Guy 80’

Sin Bin; Hotson 35’

Knights XV/Replacements

15. Paul Jarvis, 14. Dougie Flockhart/ Sam Wilson, 13. Mat Clark, 12. Bevon Armitage, 11. Andrew Bulumakau/ Tyson Lewis, 10. Jamie Lennard/ Jamie Guy, 9. Jack Maplesden/ Bruno Bravo, 1. Richard List/ Tom Davies, 2. Jack Bergmanas/ Ben Hunter, 3. Ross Davies, 4. Matt Challinor/ Glen Kenworthy, 5. Tyler Hotson/ Jon Phelan, 6. Alex Shaw/ Latu Makaafi, 7. Michael Hills/ Will Foden, 8. Phil Eggleshaw.

Falcons XV

15. Lee Smith, 14. Sean Brown, 13. Adam Redman, 12. Jamie Helleur, 11. Tom Small, 10. Tom Catterick, 9. Mike Blair, 1. Alex Rodgers , 2. George McGuigan, 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Dom Barrow, 5. Glen Young, 6. Brian Tuilagi, 7. Dan Temm, 8. Richard Mayhew ©

Replacements; Jake Elwood, David Nelson, Mark Irving, Dan Grange, George Hedgley, Dan Taylor, Adam Redman


Tries; Barrow 3’, McGuigan 46’, Witty 59’, Temm 68’

Conv; Smith 3’, 46’, 68’


Sin bin: Temm 23’


Attendance: 456

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Griff names side to face Falcons

DoR Clive Griffiths has named his starting side for tomorrow’s exciting pre-season clash with Newcastle Falcons, KO 14:30.

The Knights will face a powerful looking Falcons outfit at Castle Park and entry is free to all Season Ticket holders. Dean Richards has named a squad with a wealth of top-level experience including’ British and Irish Lion Mike Blair, former Rugby League England International Lee Smith, first team regular Tom Catterick as well as some very impressive up and coming talents.

Griff’s squad charged with clipping the Falcons wings has eight changes from the XV that started in the comprehensive victory over Swansea last Saturday. In the backs Paul Jarvis returns, starting at full back and trialist scrum-half Jack Maplesden will get the chance to really showcase his talents starting in the number nine jersey.

Upfront Richard List will start the game ahead of Tom Davies, Jack Bergmanas gets his first start of the new campaign at hooker and Ross Davies will start on the tight head side.

Matt Challinor and Tyler Hotson will start the game in second row with back up provided by Glen Kenworthy and new arrival Jon Phelan who will make his Knights debut if call up from the bench. Phil Eggleshaw’s impressive second half display has seen him picked at number eight with Michael Hills and Alex Shaw completing the back row.

Knights XV/Replacements

15. Paul Jarvis, 14. Dougie Flockhart/ Sam Wilson, 13. Mat Clark, 12. Bevon Armitage, 11. Andrew Bulumakau/ Tyson Lewis, 10. Jamie Lennard/ Jamie Guy, 9. Jack Maplesden/ Bruno Bravo, 1. Richard List/ Tom Davies, 2. Jack Bergmanas/ Ben Hunter, 3. Ross Davies, 4. Matt Challinor/ Glen Kenworthy, 5. Tyler Hotson/ Jon Phelan, 6. Alex Shaw/ Latu Makaafi, 7. Michael Hills/ Will Foden, 8. Phil Eggleshaw.

Falcons XV

15. Lee Smith, 14. Dan Marshall, 13. Tom Small, 12. Jamie Helleur, 11. Sean Brown, 10. Tom Catterick, 9. Mike Blair, 1. Alex Rodgers, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Scott Wilson, 4. Dom Barrow 5. Glen Young, 6. Brian Tuilagi, 7. Dan Temm, 8. Richard Mayhew

Replacements; Jake Elwood, David Nelson, Mark Irving, Dan Grange, George Hedgley, Dan Taylor, Adam Redman




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More than a Bog Standard Sponsorship

The Knights’ new main shirt sponsor Wirquin LTD’s branding will not be limited to the playing kit this season.

The Sanitary equipment specialists have produced a specially designed, co-branded toilet seat featuring the Knights and Wirquin logos which are now present in 35 of the lavatories around Castle Park. The novelty toilet seats are the latest step in the Knights partnership with the Warmsworth based company and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Wirquin for their support of the Knights ahead of the 2014/15 season.

If you wish to have one of the Knights co-branded toilet seats at home fear not, they will be on sale in the Club shop this season.

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Tynedale Supporters coach.

With the reorganisation of the Knights pre-season fixtures announced earlier this week today the planned coach to Welford Road has been cancelled.

All fans who paid for their seat on the bus can now collect a refund from reception but, for those who a still keen to get their rugby fix, John Lowe has kindly volunteered to organise a coach to Tynedale for the new fixture on August 30th.

In order for the Coach to run a minimum of 25 supporters must book a seat, so if you fancy following the Knights squad on the road before they start the league season in earnest the following Saturday at Castle Park please contact John via the details below.

The coach will leave Castle Park at 10.30am and will cost £20 per head. If we could get a full coach we could looking at cutting this cost.
Telephone 07977112706 & email
Or put your name on the notice that will be placed in the usual place just inside the DML stand.

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Knights make Snickers stop off

With the day off training members of the Knights squad visited Club sponsors Snickers Workwear’s HQ with the National One trophy & 2014/15 playing shirts and were superbly looked after.

Snickers Workwear, who are a new shirt sponsor for 2014/15 and also sponsor Knights centre Mat Clark, welcomed Club Captain Matt Challinor, Brad Field, Tyson Lewis as well as Mat Clark into their Huddersfield HQ for a guided tour of the their site and information on the companies operations and range of products.

The Knights squad also posed for photos in their brand new shirts and league winners trophy with members of staff before enjoying some lunch. For more information about Snickers Workwear check out their Website at

If you or your company fancy becoming a sponsor at Castle Park, please have a look at our 2014/15 DRFC Sponsor booklet or email


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Griff’s weekly report

As those who keep a close eye on will be well aware it has been a busy start to the week at Castle Park.


Monday’s usual post game review was interrupted by the news that Leicester Tigers could no longer fulfill the scheduled pre-season clash at Welford Road, leaving a two-week gap before the Knights opening Championship game on September 6th.


Desperate to find a replacement fixture DoR Clive Griffiths drew on his vast book of rugby contacts and has now ensured a full schedule of pre-season games, not only securing a trip to Corbridge to take on Tynedale on August 30th, but also a clash with Premiership outfit Newcastle Falcons at Castle Park this Saturday (August 23d).


With the Knights emphatically recording their first win of the season on Saturday, Griff was pleased with his side’s performance but is under no illusions that tougher challenges will come. “I did expect us to win on Saturday and I expected us to be stronger than Swansea in certain aspects of the game because they are very much regrouping as a Club.


“They’re going through a very similar process to what we went through last year as they look to go from the Welsh Championship back up to the Premiership.


“We hit our straps in the second half and it was tough on them, I didn’t expect to get 50-odd points in the second half but we needed a good run out and we got that on Saturday


“We got another chance to look at a number of trialists and they have given us plenty of food for thought, we now need to sit down and think whether we will make it a more long term arrangement but the fixtures over the next couple of weeks will help us when making those decisions.


“Overall we were pleased with the set piece, with the exception of a couple of overthrows at the line out.


“The scrum needs to be on top, we got on top down in Neath as well, we’ve put together a pack to at least get parity at least in this division at scrum time.


“Their will be sterner test to come and that ‘s no disrespect to Neath and Swansea who were missing a couple of players in key positions but it is pleasing to see that what we’ve done in training seems to be working, that is all we can ask for as coaches.”


Having added two new fixtures to his pre-season plans Griff believes that the last minute additional games will be no problem and that they provide his side with more, much needed, game time and against opposition that will really test the capabilities of the Knights squad.


“The process of organising the Newcastle and Tynedale fixtures was a bit like waiting at a bus stop for ages with out sign of a bus then all of a sudden two arrive at once.


“I am absolutely delighted that Dean Richards’ and myself were able to put together Saturday’s fixture at such a late stage, we had a blank weekend and I thought it was important to get a bit more game time for a lot of the boys.

“Minutes on field have been spread quite evenly across the squad in the first two games and we have had boys coming back from injury who need to get some more time on court.


”I am looking forward to welcoming a first-class outfit to Castle Park and I am sure we will severely tested. You don’t get selected for a Premiership Club if you can’t play rugby and the team that they send down will be packed with quality.


“Dean Richards is very good at what he does, the players that play on Saturday will all either be first team or earmarked for first team in the near future so it’s going to be big game for us and for our players.”


The Knights will play their final preparation game away against National One outfit Tynedale and Clive was delighted that the Corbridgemen accepted the offer of a fixture and looks forward to returning to “the scene of the crime.”


“We have a good relationship with Tynedale, perhaps surprisingly after the smash and grab victory we got last time we played up there.


“They are a very committed, tough North East Club, I have huge respect for John Shotton and Tom Borthwick for the job they do up there and they jumped at the opportunity to play us.


“I think they may well still be smarting from our 36th phase winner in the last minute back in February. I say that with tongue in cheek of course but it is a great Club and it will be a good test because it is an extremely hard place to go.”


Tickets for Saturday’s clash with Newcastle Falcons cost just £5, kids go free with a paying adult, and are available from the ticket window on Saturday. Kick Off 14:30.


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Knights to play Falcons this Saturday!

Castle Park will play host to Newcastle Falcons this Saturday (August 23th) as it is announced that the Premiership outfit will take on the Knights in a pre-season clash.

Following yesterday’s disappointing news that the Knights pre-season game against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road had been cancelled, earlier today we announced that Tynedale had kindly stepped into the breach and that the Knights would travel to Corbridge on August 30th. We can now announce that a further fixture has been added to the Knights pre-season schedule as Griff’s charges will take on Newcastle Falcons, right here at Castle Park.

The Falcons side will include a mixture of first XV and academy players and will provide stern examination for the Knights. Kick off is at 14:30 and tickets cost just £5, children go free with a paying adult but this is now part of the Knights Season Ticket.

If you have any queries please contact the club on 01302 831388

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Knights to face Tyne in pre-season test

Following yesterday’s announcement that the pre-season fixture with Leicester Tigers had sadly been cancelled we are delighted to announce that a replacement fixture versus Tynedale RFC has been secured for August 30th.


It will be a return to Corbridge for Griff’s troops as the National One outfit will host the Knights for their third pre-season fixture of the year. Few Knights fans will have forgotten Matt Challinor’s game winning, last gasp try and Dougie’s celebration, in miserable February conditions to keep the Knights promotion challenge on track, and the team will now make a return to the North East for what surely be another hotly contested encounter.


The game will Kick Off at 14:00 on Saturday August 30th.

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