Griff ‘s post Carnegie report.

The Knights recorded their third win of the new Championship season with a 23-32 victory over county rivals Leeds Carnegie away at Headingley. In an impressive display, the Knights ensured that they returned to South Yorkshire not only victorious but with a maximum five points.

 

Reflecting on his sides display Knights DoR of Rugby said. “It was a terrific team performance, showing a great deal of character to bounce back from the Worcester defeat.

 

“I believe we showed a huge amount of self belief, something that was a little bit limited last week, we gave Worcester a bit too much respect hence the 12-0 score line early on.

 

“After that slow start game was 20-16, only four points separating the two teams, which is how the contest should have played out.

 

“This week we got the first score on the back of some really good rugby and the intent to play was there for the off.

 

“For the spectators it must have been fantastic game with seven tries scored on a great day to play rugby.”

 

The win lifts the Knights to fifth place at this early stage in procedings and full of confidence as they return to Castle Park on Saturday. Griff was quick to praise the whole squad and playing staff for his sides superb start. “I have to pay a huge tribute to all the players and coaching staff for the preparation that went in to Saturday’s game. When you’re meticulous in your planning, as you saw in the Ryder Cup this weekend, you get the results.

 

“We’re absolutely delighted with the bonus point win, I don’t think anybody would have given us much chance of that this week but we did it and this is credit to all the team, I wont mention any stand outs because everyone played their part.

 

“Looking at the first half they [Carnegie] had two visits into our half and scored two tries, one when we were down to 14 but apart from that they weren’t in the game early on.

 

“They came out well in the second half and got themselves into the lead but as you’ve already seen with this team many times in the past, particularly towards the back end of last season, they are a resilient bunch with a never say die attitude which got us through again.

 

“Tyson’s [Lewis] try was a joy to watch, turning over possession deep inside our half. We played, played and played then ten phases later Tyson dotted the ball down.

 

“Dougie’s [Flockhart] try under the sticks was a great reaction by both him and Hillsy [Michael Hills] and the forwards will get the accolades towards the end, securing the win with a five metre catch and drive line out.

 

Not only did the Knights return with maximum haul of points but they also made sure the hosts took nothing from the game, something that could prove crucial as the season draws on. “We defended superbly till the very end, and needed to, if they had scored at the death then they would have taken two points from the game.

 

“It was vital that we scrambled back when they broke at the end and it was the smallest man on the pitch, Bruno Bravo, who got the all important contact on their fly half, Harry Leonard, to force the knock on over the line.

 

“We now have three wins from four games and most important 13 points on the board, wins and losses and draws can sometimes be a bit false because of the bonus points system. We always want to win but as we know from last season it is the points that determine where you finish.

 

“Once again I must say a huge thank you to the sizeable away support, to see the smiling faces at the end when they cheered us off really was superb.”

 

Sunday’s fixture saw the Knights return to the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy, a complimentary competition competed between the County’s three Championship sides. Griff states how the winning start to the regional competition was an added extra for the Knights but not the primary focus pre-game. “The Yorkshire Regiment Cup is a nice competition between the three Yorkshire sides and I am glad to be part of it again but it was certainly a bonus for us.

 

“We had to get a win, we did that which means we are able to think about things like the Yorkshire Regiment Cup point afterwards but there is another three games to play in that competition and if they all end like yesterday did we’ll be very happy”

 

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Dougie nominated for GK IPA Championship Player of the Month

New for the 2014/15 season, the Greene King IPA Championship has launched the inaugural ‘Player of the Month’ competition.

To recognise the standout individuals from across the competition, a panel of key regional and national media with vast knowledge of the Championship will submit their player of the month to public vote. A shortlist of nominees will be revealed towards the end of every month, to include an average of three rounds and on the back of his impressive September performances Knights winger Flockhart has made the cut.

 

It is now down to Knights supporters to visit EnglandRugby.com and vote for the Knights goal kicker. The winning player will receive a Greene King IPA magnum as well as the honour of being named the player of the month.

 

Everybody who votes during the competition will be automatically entered into a free prize draw to win a day at Twickenham for them and up to nine friends. The prize includes exclusive access to the hallowed turf for a day of touch rugby in May, followed by a pitch-side BBQ.

 

The full shortlist of five players reflects the geographical spread of the competition, with players from Jersey, Bristol Rugby, Worcester, London Scottish our very own Knight.

 

September Player of the Month shortlist

Dougie Flockhart (Doncaster Knights)

Mark Bright (London Scottish)

Matthew Morgan (Bristol Rugby)

Mike Williams (Worcester Warriors)

Tommy Bell (Jersey RFC)

 

Following last Friday night’s clash between their respective sides, Mark Bright of London Scottish and Bristol’s Matthew Morgan are included in the shortlist of nominees.

 

Nominated for the 2013/14 Championship Player of the Season, 36 year-old Bright joined London Scottish from Redruth in 2011, taking over the captaincy reigns. The New Zealand born back row forward was named in last season’s Championship Dream XV, and was also named player of the season in the club’s own awards. A dynamic ball carrier, Bright has played 74 games for London Scottish since joining in 2011, scoring 41 tries in the process.

 

Welsh international Matthew Morgan represents the table toppers in the September Player of the Month nominees, having made an impactful start to his season at Bristol Rugby. Racking up a tally of 51 points, including one try, six penalties and nine conversions, the 22 year old was named Man of the Match following his impressive debut performance against Worcester Warriors on September 7th.

 

Representing the competition’s new contingent are Dougie Flockhart of Doncaster Knights and Mike Williams from Worcester Warriors.

 

Former rugby league player Flockhart was instrumental in Doncaster’s promotion back to the Greene King IPA Championship, hauling in 237 points across the 2013/14 season. His abilities have continued into the professional second tier, proving significant in the Knights’ three wins from four, including kicking six successful penalties to see Doncaster come from 18-7 behind to seal victory over Jersey in Round 2. In his latest performance, the wing scored a try, three conversions and two penalties to help Doncaster in their victory over last season’s semi-finalists Yorkshire Carnegie.

 

Warriors’ Mike Williams also impressed the panel during September with his huge ball-carrying ability, superb work at the lineout and relentless work rate.

 

The 21-year-old Zimbabwean signed for Warriors after five years with The Sharks in Natal, joining Sixways as a lock in 2013. Since then, he has moved to flanker and flourished, opening his debut Championship season with a try against Bristol Rugby. Williams – who is a qualified EQP player– has appeared in all four of Warriors Championship fixtures.

 

Finally, Jersey’s Tommy Bell completes the inaugural Championship Player of the Month shortlist after a series of impressive performances for the Islanders. Named man of the match following his two try, 24-point display over Nottingham Rugby, the former England U20 full back was also awarded the same honour for his efforts against Doncaster in Round 2.

 

Voting will opens today and closes at noon on Thursday, October 2. The winner will be announced on Friday, October 3.

 

Commenting on the newly formed competition Chris Houlton, managing director for Greene King Brewing & Brands, said: “Like other awards of its kind, the player of the month is designed to recognise some of the outstanding performances across the competition, and with the journalists’ and supporters’ knowledge and passion, the chosen players will no doubt be worthy winners.”

 

#VoteDougie

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Knights take bragging rights in Yorkshire derby

Yorkshire Carnegie 23 v Doncaster Knights 32.

A stunning away victory saw the Knights collect a full five points from the Headingley Carnegie stadium and prevail in the first Yorkshire derby of the season.

 

The Knights travelled to Headingley Carnegie Stadium hoping to bounce back from their first defeat of the season versus Worcester Warriors the week previous. As well as County bragging rights and Championship points on offer the game also signaled the Knights return to the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy having had a season’s absence last year.

 

Conditions could not have been much better as the West Yorkshire sun shone on the Headingley turf and the large, vocal Donny support ensured that there was no shortage of encouragement for the Knights.

 

The Knights started brightly and, following a handling error by the hosts at the kick off, turned the pressure up immediately with a very solid scrum. The Donny packed drove their Carnegie counterparts backwards before being awarded a penalty. Nothing came from the subsequent attack but the early signs were encouraging as Donny continued to pour forward with good support and powerful running.

 

Having made their way into the home 22m, fly half Jamie Lennard sent a testing grubber kick to the corner for Mat Clark to chase. At first it appeared as if the centre had just lost the foot race but, following a discussion between the referee and his touch judge, a penalty try was awarded as winger Christian Georgiou deliberately knocked the ball dead and was sin binned for doing so. Flockhart added the extras and Donny has a dream start.

 

The hosts hit back soon after, a well worked attack had the Knights frantically defending their line and Colin Quigley was shown a yellow card for going off his feet at the breakdown. The penalty was kicked to the corner and almost ended in a score for former Knight Oli Goss, the winger was bundled into touch and the Knights had a line out five metres from their own try line. The ball was well collected but the Carnegie pack was able to drive Donny back over their own line resulting in a five metre scrum.

 

A man light the home pack produced a very solid base to attack from and quickly spun the ball wide. Centre Jon Clark hit the line at pace and was able to take advantage, racing home to even things up with a score. Harry Leonard was unable to add the extras as his effort bounced back off the upright.

 

From the restart, fine work from winger Tyson Lewis forced a turnover and the hosts fell foul of the referees whistle. Dougie Flockhart elected to take the shot at goal and was on the money again putting the Knights ahead by 5-10.

 

The game continued at a very fast pace with both teams looking to attack quickly and, occasionally, forcing plays that weren’t necessarily on. One attack from the Knights saw Alex Shaw and Tom Davies link up well to put the former just short but the hosts produced plenty of chances themselves. Centre Jon Clarke looked as if he was going to score having hit a good line in midfield only to be pulled back for a forward pass.

 

The Knights scrum, which had started so brightly, continued to be tested with the numerical disadvantage and another powerful surge from the home pack forced a penalty that Leonard put to the corner. Quick, well-executed phase play followed a solid line out and another former Knight, David McIlwane, spotted a half gap and managed to work his way through, reaching out to score. The try made things all square but Leonard was unable to put Carnegie in the lead as his conversion sailed wide.

 

The next major incident in the match really spun the game in the Knights advantage. A hectic couple of phases of play saw Donny lose possession in an attacking position before recovering the ball through Bevon Armitage. The centre carried forward powerfully only to be met by a thumping tackle from Phil Nilsen. The tackle saw Armitage lifted off his feet and referee Steve Lee believed Nilsen to have illegally dropped him and showed the hooker a straight red card. Flockhart kicked the three points and the Knights were back in the lead and would play the rest of the game against 14 men. Halftime score Carnegie 10 Knights 13.

 

Despite being a man down Carnegie came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, enjoying arguably their strongest spell in the game. The home side controlled possession in the opening stages and were able to produce a number of chances but the Knights defence held firm. Andy Bulumaku was introduced in midfield for Donny as the after effects of that first half tackle forced Armitage from the field.

 

The next score went the way of the hosts and it came following the Knights first jaunt into Carnegie territory of the second period. Having won a penalty Yorkshire attacked quickly through Harry Leonard who handed on to Oli Goss, the winger chipped ahead cleverly and was able to gather possession. The ball was quickly recycled and replacement hooker Ollie Hayes found front row counterpart Lee Imiolek who charged through to score under the sticks. Leonard added the extras and the Knights trailed for the first, and only, time in the game.

 

Carnegie continued in the same impressive vein they had started the second half following the try but the Donny defenses held firm. A Mat Clark break got the Knights firing again, the centre broke a couple of tackle to carry his side up to the home 22m and the Knights continued the attack quickly. A powerful carry from Matt Challinor was followed by the ball being spun wide, some elaborate handling in the Knights back line paid off as the ball found its way to Tyson Lewis in space. The Winger put his foot down and sprinted over and Flockhart converted, 17-20.

 

With the game very finely balanced and Leeds showing little signs of suffering the man disadvantage the next try was always going to be crucial and thankfully it went the way of the Knights. An over thrown line out by the home side was quickly pounced upon by skipper Michael Hills. The flanker popped a well-timed pass to the oncoming Flockhart who raced away to score. He added the extras to his effort and the Knights were ten points clear going into the final 20 minutes.

 

Carnegie have been one of the more successful sides in this division in recent years and they were not going to lie down and accept defeat, particularly on their own patch and they responded almost immediately with a Harry Leonard penalty. The Physicality of both teams in both attack and defence was intense and Carnegie continued to threaten. Another good scrum from the hosts won them a penalty just inside the Knights half and a remarkable strike from Leonard saw the ball sent through the posts, reducing the Knights lead to just four points

 

Momentum was seemingly swinging back to the home side but the Knights were able to find another gear and fought back. A superb piece of defensive work from Paul Jarvis won a penalty for Doncaster in midfield and replacement fly half Paul Roberts kicked it deep into the home 22m. Having won the lineout, the hosts infringed as they desperately tried to quell the Knights attack. With Penalty advantage Roberts attempted a long cross-field kick for Tyson Lewis, the winger caught it but good defence by Christian Georgiou prevent a score. The Knights went back to the corner and this time would not be stopped, a powerful maul surged over the line and Latu Makaafi claimed the bonus point winning score.

 

With the game firmly into the dying stages the Knights held a commanding nine point lead but all credit to the hosts who refused to accept defeat and went straight back on the attack. It seemed as if their relentlessness may have paid off when the impressive Harry Leonard scampered through a half gap but the fly half knocked on in the process and the referee blew for full time.

 

A fantastic effort by the Knights, who played some of their best rugby so far this season sees the side match the total number of league wins they recorded in 2012/13 and draw first blood in this season’s Yorkshire Regiment Trophy.

 

Yorkshire XV; 15. David McIlwaine, 14. Oli Goss, 13. Jon Clarke (Rob Vickerman 46’), 12. Pete Lucock (James Fitzpatrick 60’), 11. Christian Georgiou, 10. Harry Leonard, 9. Chris Pilgrim, 1. Lee Imiolek (Ben Harris 58’), 2. Phil Nilsen, 3. Ben Hooper (James Tideswell 40’), 4. Liam Edwards (Jack Ramshaw 39’), 5. Harry Casson, 6. Jack Barnard (Ollie Hayes 37’), 7. Chris Walker (Josh Bainbridge 40’), 8. Ryan Burrows (c)

Replacements; 16. Ollie Hayes, 17. Ben Harris, 18. James Tideswell,19. Jack Ramshaw, 20. Josh Bainbridge, 21. Rob Vickerman, 22. James Fitzpatrick

Tries; Clarke 23’, McIlwaine 33’, Imiolek 51’

Conv; Leonard 51’

Pens; Leonard 66’, 72’

Sin Bin; Georgiou 14’

Red Cards; Phil Nilsen 34’

Knights XV; 5 Paul Jarvis,?14 Dougie Flockhart,?13 Mat Clark,?12 Bevon Armitage (Andy Bulumakau 46’),?11 Tyson Lewis,?10 Jamie Lennard (Paul Roberts 68’),?9 Tomasi Palu (Bruno Bravo 65’), 1 Tom Davies (Richard List 53’),?2 Ben Hunter,?3 Colin Quigley (Ross Davies 66’),?4 Matt Challinor,?5 Jon Phelan (Tyler Hotson 69’),?6 Latu Makaafi,?7 Michael Hills (C),?8 Alex Shaw

Replacements; 16 Richard List, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Paul Roberts. 21 Andy Bulumakau, 22 Bruno Bravo.

 

Tries; Penalty 14’, Lewis 55’, Flockhart 62’, Makaafi 75’

Conv; Flockhart 14’, 55’, 62’

Pens; Flockhart 24’, 34’

Sin Bin; Colin Quigley

Attendance: 1,858

Referee: Steve Lee

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Away travel for Cross Keys.

The Knights opening game in the 2014/15 British and Irish Cup sees them travel to South Wales to face Welsh Premiership opposition in the form of Cross Keys, who were beaten finalists a couple of season ago and will no doubt be representing Gwent with pride.

The Knights have been drawn in pool four of this season’s competition where they will face Greene King IPA Championship sides Bedford Blues and Cornish Pirates in addition to Cross Keys. To give the boys the best possible chance on the road we hope that a strong contingent Knights fans will follow them West of the border.

For the next few months John Lowe has agreed to help Bob (who has not been too well) and Chris Briggs with the organisation of our supporters’ coaches.

The first coach John is looking to organise will, numbers permitting, be for the Cross Keys match on October 11th (subject to confirmation). The coach will leave Castle Park between 8 and 9am and should get back about 10pm. John is looking to book the same 32 seater coach that went to Tynedale. To cover the cost we need a minimum of 20 adult supporters paying £25 each.

If you would want to support the Knights and wish to reserve your place on the coach, please let John know by either texting him on 07977112706, email him at johnlowe0002@gmail.com (this is a new address), or put your name on the article on the Unofficial Forum.

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Knights side named for County clash.

The Knights team that will take on Yorkshire Carnegie in Sunday’s derby at Headingley has been named.

DoR Clive Griffiths has gone with a largely unchanged side from the one that lost out to Worcester Warriors last weekend.

Upfront Tom Davies makes his first start of the season as he replaces Richard List at loose head, joining Ben Hunter and Colin Quigley in the front row. At lock, Jon Phelan makes his Knights competitive debut switching with fellow Canadian Tyler Hotson. The back row remains unchanged, skipper Michael Hills and Latu Makaafi start on the flanks with Alex Shaw at number 8.

The Knights back line will remain unchanged for a third straight game and on the bench Paul Roberts replaces Phil Eggleshaw, who will get game time on loan with Hull Ionians.

15 Paul Jarvis
14 Dougie Flockhart
13 Mat Clark
12 Bevon Armitage
11 Tyson Lewis
10 Jamie Lennard
9 Tomasi Palu

1 Tom Davies
2 Ben Hunter
3 Colin Quigley
4 Matt Challinor
5 Jon Phelan
6 Latu Makaafi
7 Michael Hills (C)
8 Alex Shaw

Replacements; 16 Richard List, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Paul Roberts. 21 Andy Bulumakau, 22 Bruno Bravo.

KO this Sunday at Headingley Carnegie – 14:30.

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Warriors prove too much for valiant Knights.

Dean Ryan’s Worcester Warriors ended the Knights unbeaten record at Castle Park with a commanding 32-16 victory.

Knights 16 Warriors 32

Having conceded twice in the very early stages of the game the Knights rallied and gave the league favourites a real challenge but were unable to overcome the solid Warriors outfit.

 

The Knights put themselves under the cosh from the very beginning when they were unable to effectively deal with an Ignacio Mieres kick off. The ball was spilt forward and the Knights pack struggled at the first scrum against the Worcester pack, after a reset second attempt referee Tom Foley awarded a penalty to the visitors and Mieres had a chance to open the scoring. The Argentinian international was off the mark with his first kick at goal, let off.

 

Unfortunately the Knights did not head the warning and Warriors were immediately back on the attack. Having driven powerfully through the forwards the visiting backline found themselves in plenty of space. Full back Ben Howard carried powerfully and was able offload out of the tackle, in support was loose head Ryan Bower who produced a finish any winger would have been proud of.

Mieres proved that his first miss was just a blip and converted the extra points from the touchline.

 

A big response was needed from the home side who had not shown any of the form from the previous two Championship victories in the early exchanges, but it was the Warriors who reacted the better. From a Jamie Lennard restart the Worcester were allowed to immediately break down the left wing with plenty of support. Full back Paul Jarvis found himself with several players to try and stop and winger Sam Smith took advantage of the overlap to race away and score.

 

Two tries down and with only quarter of an hour played it seemed as if the Knights may be in for a long afternoon but this was not to be the case and for the rest of the game Griff’s charges matched the Warriors in every department. Donny’s first spell of possession followed the second try and Knights made inroads into the Worcester half, the forwards looked dynamic and offloaded cleverly out of contact. Fearsome defence from the West Midlanders met every carry by the Knights but this would be to their detriment as over eagerness from the Worcester backline gave the Knights a penalty. Dougie Flockhart continued his fine form with the boot to get the Knights off the mark.

 

Having worked so hard to register their first points it was frustrating to see them nullified so quickly afterwards. Once again the Knights pack were put under pressure at the restart, this time winger Tom Biggs was able to get under the Mieres restart and win possession for his side. The Warriors quickly attacked and the Knights infringed at the ruck for Mieres to reestablish a 12-point advantage, 3-15.

 

The latter stages of the first half belonged to the Knights who threaded together several phases of powerful attacks. Solid carries from Richard List, Alex Shaw Michael Hills made steady progress for the Knights but the unrelenting Worcester defence made them work for every inch. Having drawn in a number of Warriors defender the Knights backline were finally permitted some space and a nice starter move gave Tyson Lewis an opportunity to stretch his legs. The winger carried well and from the following phase Worcester were penalized for offside. Flockhart doubled his tally for the afternoon and the Knights went into the break trailing by 6 points to 15.

 

The Knights had fought back from a losing position versus Jersey one week ago but even the most optimistic of Doncaster fans knew the Knights were very much up against it against this classy Worcester outfit. The early stages of the second period saw the visitors control much of the possession but the Knights defence rose to the task. Having absorbed a number of Worcester attacked the hosts were able to win possession but unfortunately a knock on saw a scrum deep in their own half. After the opening stages the Knights forwards had enjoyed, at least, parity at scrum time but a penalty was given against them, to the bemusement of the home fans as both front rows popped up. Mieres, following a lengthy routine, slotted the three points.

 

Griff’s charges reacted well and a clever chip ahead by Jamie Lennard, with penalty advantage, was almost collected by Hills but the bounce of the ball evaded the Knights on field skipper. Referee Foley brought play back for the original offence and Flockhart was once again on the money.

Restarts had been a facet of the game that the home side struggled with all afternoon and it was an error at the restart that saw the game put firmly game beyond them. The Meires kick was allowed to bounce and the ball found it’s way to replacement winger Max Stelling, the youngster put his foot down and raced away untouched. Meires ensured that the error was fully capitalized upon as he converted successfully and the Knights trailed 9-25.

 

Despite the scoreline Donny refused to roll over and they responded very well through the pack. Having won a penalty Lennard went to the corner and a solid line out provided the platform for a well organized driving maul. The Knights rode the initial hit to rumble on towards the Warriors try line, the visitors did manage to stop the drive inches short of the line but illegally so and a penalty try was awarded. Referee Foley sent replacement scrum half Jonny Arr to the sin bin for his part in the play and Dougie converted to give the home fans a glimmer of hope. 16-25.

 

Against 14 men there was a hope that the Knights could rally and get themselves into a position to at least pick up a losing bonus point but the Warriors showed why they are one of the favourite for an immediate return to the Premiership with an immediate response. Donny were pinged at the ruck and the ball was put to the corner, this time it was the Warriors who produce an commanding drive to eventually get over the Knights line. There was a long discussion between referee and touch judge but eventually it was decided that beneath the pile of bodies flanker Sam Betty had scored. The conversion was successful.

 

The Knights continued to fight up until the final whistle and replacement scrum half Bruno Bravo produced a couple of dangerous attacks but they were unable to add to their total. The final whistle blew and Worcester recorded a five-point victory. For the vast majority of the game the Knights matched their Worcester counterparts but were ultimately punished for a slow start by a very clinical outfit.

 

 

Paul Jarvis, Dougie Flockhart, Mat Clark, Bevon Armitage, Tyson Lewis, Jamie Lennard, Tomasi Palu, Richard List, Ben Hunter, Colin Quigley, Matt Challinor, Tyler Hotson, Latu Makaafi, Michael Hills ©, Alex Shaw

 

Replacements; 16 Tom Davies, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Jon Phelan, 20 Phill Eggleshaw, 21 Andy Bulumakau, 22 Bruno Bravo

 

Tries; Penalty

Pens; Flockhart (3)

Conv; Flockhart (1)

 

Worcester Warriors XV; Ben Howard Sam Smith, Alex Grove, Andy Symons, Tom Biggs; Ignacio Mieres, Charlie Mulchrone; Ryan Bower, Niall Annett, Nick Schonert; James Percival, Dan Sanderson; Mike Williams, Sam Betty, GJ van Velze (Capt.).

 

Replacements: Dan George, Mike Daniels, Val Rapava Ruskin, Matt Cox, Jonny Arr, Tiff Eden, Max Stelling.

 

Tries; Bower, Smith, Stelling, Betty

Pens; Mieres (2)

Conv; Mieres (3)

 

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Griff names unchanged side for Warriors.

In what will be one of the Knights biggest tests of the season, Clive Griffiths has kept faith in the starting XV that produced such a fine second half fight back to overcome Jersey RFC on the road last Saturday.

 

The Knights pack that had enjoyed a dominant afternoon on the Island will look to carry the fight to the Warriors forwards headed by a front row of Richard List, Ben Hunter and Colin Quigley. Matt Challinor, who scored the Knights only try last Saturday, is accompanied by Tyler Hotson in second row. Captain Michael Hills is joined by Alex Shaw and number 8 and Latu Makaafi at the back of the scrum.

 

Tomasi Palu will hope to build on an impressive debut as he makes his second start at scrum half, Jamie Lennard will pull the strings from stand off with Bevon Armitage and Mat Clark continuing in midfield. The Knight back three is made up off Paul Jarvis, Tyson Lewis and the current joint Championship top point scorer Dougie Flockhart.

 

The one change to the match day twenty-two sees back row forward Phil Eggleshaw recalled to the squad at the expense of Paul Roberts as Griff elects to go with five forwards on the bench.

 

15 Paul Jarvis

14 Dougie Flockhart

13 Mat Clark

12 Bevon Armitage

11 Tyson Lewis

10 Jamie Lennard

9 Tomasi Palu

1 Richard List

2 Ben Hunter

3 Colin Quigley

4 Matt Challinor

5 Tyler Hotson

6 Latu Makaafi

7 Michael Hills ©

8 Alex Shaw

 

Replacements; 16 Tom Davies, 17 Jack Bergmanas, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Jon Phelan, 20 Phill Eggleshaw, 21 Andy Bulumakau, 22 Bruno Bravo,

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Shaw delighted with first win on the Island

On Saturday the Knights won their first ever game on the Island of Jersey fighting back from a half time deficit to win by 23 points to 17. The victory meant the Knights perfect start to the season continued and sees them third in the league at this very early stage.

One man who played an influential role in both the victories over Plymouth Albion and Jersey is summer signing Alex Shaw. The back row man who arrived at Castle Park from Meadow Lane in June was part of a forward pack that enjoyed a solid afternoon in the Channel Island sun last Saturday and is very pleased with the start his new team has made, particularly achieving a win on Jersey soil.

 

“This is a tough division and there are no easy games but, as the season goes, the first two games have been favourable to us. We’ve worked very hard and got two hard earned and well-deserved wins.

 

“I’ve been away to Jersey a fair few times and never won there before. To go there, playing in decent weather for a change, and win is a big result as it is a very difficult place to go.

 

“To have picked up eight points from two games is exactly the start we were hoping for.”

 

On Saturday the Knights met a Jersey side that were very quick out of the traps and had to weather an early storm before fighting back and recording their first away win of the season. Despite the early pressure, Shaw states that the side were never in any doubt that they could get the win.

 

“They started well, they have a pitch that they like to play on and are used to as well as a strong wind behind them in the first half, which they used very well.

 

“We were able to keep the game within two points at half time and we all felt pretty confident coming out for the second half that if we changed a couple of things we would be able to finish with a positive result.

 

“Our scrum was very dominant, that pretty much controlled the game for us, particularly in the second period.

 

“It seemed that whenever we wanted to scrum for a penalty we could and when we wanted to execute a backs move we could, that was a massive weapon for us and a huge key to victory.

 

“If you have a good scrum it stands you in good stead for a lot of games especially in this division and if we’ve got Dougie [Flockhart] kicking like he did at the weekend its going to be a massive weapon for us to utilize for the rest of the year.”

 

As good as the Knights start to the new Championship has been, Shaw knows that this Saturday they will face their biggest challenge to date when Dean Ryan’s Worcester Warriors arrive at Castle Park. Despite being widely touted as favourites for promotion the 27-year-old former Notts man states that the whole team are relishing the prospect and will be out for an upset.

 

“Worcester are arguably biggest team in the league.

 

“They’ve come down from the Premiership and have a lot of experience in their squad but everything we’ve done in our first two games and pre-season has been very positive.

 

“We take each game on it’s own merit, we’ve got a very difficult opposition on Saturday but we’re playing at home, which we enjoy doing, and we’ve won two on the bounce.

 

“If we continue the good things we’ve done so far and just work on a couple of other bits it should be enjoyable and very competitive game.”

Image courtesy of Sue Trower

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Second half surge sees Knights victorious.

Jersey 17 Doncaster Knights 23

Never say die spirit sees the Knights turn around a losing half time position to record their second win in as many games in the Greene King IPA Championship.

The Knights made their longest trip of the season to St. Peters for a renewal with the Islanders of Jersey. Bitter memories of the game in April 2013 where the Knights narrowly lost out in vicious weather conditions by 13 points to 10. The defeat, whilst not mathematically, realistically condemned the Knights to National One for the 2013/14 season.

This time around the Knights, buoyed by an impressive opening day victory over Plymouth Albion, were met by idyllic weather conditions and a pristine playing surface. Unfortunately despite this it was the hosts who took the early impetus. A deep kick off was fielded by Tyson Lewis but the Knights clearance allowed Jersey to attack and flanker Latu Makaafi made a tackle that was judged too high. The penalty that followed was kicked to the corner and Jersey’s well-renowned driving maul drove home skipper Ryan Hodson over the line for an early lead.

Donny responded well. A knock on by the Islander’s at the restart set up a scrum from which debutant scrumhalf Tomasi Palu carried blind. He found Tyson Lewis who carried forward over the gain line, the Knights recycled well and were awarded a penalty soon after. Dougie Flockhart took the three on offer, which marked the start of a superb afternoon with the boot for the Scotsman.

The Knights did look dangerous at times in the opening stages, the ball carriers often broke the defensive line and chances were being made out wide but time and time again they shot themselves in the foot. Over eagerness at key moments, combined with some poor decision making and discipline meant that chance went a miss and gave the hosts opportunity to capitalize. Following a Donny infringement at the lineout the hosts kicked back to the corner. At first it seemed as if the pack had done very well to stop the ominous Jersey forwards but penalty advantage was awarded and scrum half Ryan Glynn set off on a darting run. He found little joy in field but the following play was switched blind and full back Tommy Bell, who had an impressive afternoon, raced home but could not convert his effort, 10-3.

As was the case following the first try, the Knights responded strongly but were met by a resilient Jers defence. Having made an excellent cover tackle moments earlier Tyson Lewis looked like he might be in at the other end. He collected from Bevon Armitage, following a powerful break from the centre, but superb work from winger Mark Foster stopped him just short.

The opportunities were coming for Griff’s men but as the half grew into the second quarter every Jersey attack was met with nervous glances at the scoreboard by Donny fans. Thankfully it wasn’t long until they added to their total. Jamie Lennard spotted a gap in the defensive line and carried forward he found Tyson who again was caught with a superb cover tackle but this time Matt Challinor was on hand to pick up and power over.

The closing stages of the first half were very close, Tomasi Palu almost put Mat Clark in for a try but once more the Islander’s defence was there to stop it. Jersey created chances of their own and their driving maul was often a thorn in the Knights side but neither team were able to add to their scoreand referee Gamage’s whistle blew with the score at 10-8.

Things did not start well after the interval for the Knights, following a couple of unremarkable minutes in possession they lost the ball and the home back line attacked swiftly. Winger Mark Foster elected to grubber ahead down his flank which had Tyson back peddling. The bounce of the ball evaded Lewis and it was collected by the hosts with the ball going through a couple of pairs of hands and eventually to winger Jack Burroughs. He raced home under the posts and Bell comfortably converted.

Now trailing by 17 – 8 the Knights had a real task on their hands and they set about it promptly.

Just two minutes after Burroughs try the Doncaster pack worked their way in the Jersey’s 22m and forced an infringements from their opponents on the floor at the breakdown. Dougie took advantage to reduce the deficit to six points. Immediately after however the Knights were back under the cosh when flanker Ben Maidment nicely collected the restart, another kick toward the corner came in and Paul Jarvis did very well to clear his lines.

Penalties continued to be an issue for the Knights, as with every opportunity Jersey looked to get in to the corners and utilize their fearful driving line out. On the 55 minutes mark it looked as if they may just have got over for a bonus point fourth try but great work from Challinor and Alex Shaw disrupted the menacing oncoming drive.

Whilst the Knights line out wasn’t at it’s best, the forwards excelled at scrum time and made the advantage tell as the game grew in to the later stages. Two scrum penalties in quick succession gave Dougie, albeit a long range, chance to add another three to his total for the day. He measured the wind perfectly to slot it home and bring the Knights within three points.

Shortly after, Tom Davies replaced Richard List but it did nothing to slow the Donny scrum. The very next time the packs locked horns the Knights pack won another penalty and once again Flockhart, who was almost faultless with his kicking, converted to tie the scores.

As the game entered the final 20 minutes Griff introduced Jon Phelan and Ross Davies into the fray for Tyler Hotson and Colin Quigley. The momentum remained firmly with Doncaster and they fought their way up field giving Phelan a chance to show his skills at the line out after good pressure forced a kick out deep in Jers territory. The driving Donny line out was pulled down illegally and in such a fine vein of form Flockhart jumped at the chance to have a go at posts from out wide. He made no mistake and the Knights took the lead for the first time since the game began.

With less than ten minutes to play, home head coach Harvey Biljon introduced two pairs of fresh legs with Mark McCrea and Paula Kaho entering the field of play. Under pressure the Knights won their own line out just a couple of meters from the try line and second row Pierce Phillips brought down Challinor midair meaning Lennard a chance to ease the danger. The fly half made great distance with the kick, building a platform for the Knights to attack. With the lineout ball secured the Knights forward put together a handful of phases and the patient play drew a penalty out of the frustrated home defence. Dougie stepped up and, yet again, was on them money taking his personal total to 18 points for the afternoon and putting the Knights ahead by 6 points.

The final stages of the game saw the Knights defend some audacious Jersey attacks and it looked as if it may have just come off for the hosts when Mark McCrea and Mark Foster combined to put the replacement through under the posts. Unfortunately for the screaming Jersey supporters the two crossed paths and the Knights were awarded a penalty. This proved to be the final telling play of the game and the Knights held on to complete a stunning comeback.

Next week will be the Knights stiffest test for some time, at home against Worcester Warriors, but they go in to the tie having recorded two wins from two!

 

Jersey RFC

1. Sam Lockwood (Ignacio Lancuba 10’) 2. Martin Garcia-Veiga 3. Harry Williams 4. Pierce Phillips 5. Dave Markham (Alex Rae 45’) 6. Ben Maidment (Paula Kaho 66’) 7. Ryan Hodson (capt) 8. Michael Noone 9. Ryan Glynn 10. Jonny Bentley 11. Jack Burroughs 12. Lewis Robling 13. Drew Locke (Mark McCrea 66’) 14. Mark Foster 15. Tommy Bell

Replacements: 16. Ignacio Lancuba 17. Gareth Harris 18. Danny Herriot 19. Alex Rae 20. Paula Kaho 21. Nicky Griffiths 22. Mark McCrea

 

Tries; Hodson 3’ Bell 16’ Burroughs 43’

Pens;

Conv; Bell 43’

Sin Bin;

 

Doncaster Knights XV

1.Richard List (Tom Davies 53’) 2.Ben Hunter 3.Colin Quigley (Ross Davies 62’) 4.Matt Challinor 5.Tyler Hotson (Jon Phelan 64’) 6.Latu Makaafi 7.Michael Hills (C) 8.Alex Shaw 9.Tomasi Palu 10.Jamie Lennard 11.Tyson Lewis 12.Bevon Armitage 13.Mat Clark 14.Dougie Flockhart 15.Paul Jarvis

Replacements: 16.Tom Davies 17.Jack Bergmanas 18.Ross Davies 19.Jon Phelan 20.Bruno Bravo 21.Paul Roberts 22.Andy Bulumakau

 

Tries; Challinor 26’

Pens; Flockhart 6’, 45’, 53’, 56’, 65’, 71’

Conv;

Sin Bin;

 

Referee: Darren Gamage

Attendance: 2,090

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Teams announced for trip to Jersey

Doncaster Knights and Jersey have both named their squads for the Knights first away trip of the season.

With the Knights on route to the Channel Island, DoR Clive Griffiths has named his squad for this weekends clash with Jersey. On the back of a great opening day victory, Griff makes one change from the team that overwhelmed Plymouth on the opening day with Tomasi Palu set to make his debut.

 

For all Knights supporters travelling to the game, have a safe journey.

 

Doncaster Knights XV

1.Richard List 2.Ben Hunter 3.Colin Quigley 4.Matt Challinor 5.Tyler Hotson 6.Latu Makaafi 7.Michael Hills (C) 8.Alex Shaw 9.Tomasi Palu 10.Jamie Lennard 11.Tyson Lewis 12.Bevon Armitage 13.Mat Clark 14.Dougie Flockhart 15.Paul Jarvis

 

Replacements: 16.Ross Davies 17.Jack Bergmanas 18.Tom Davies 19.Jon Phelan 20.Bruno Bravo 21.Paul Roberts 22.Andy Bulumakau

 

Jersey RFC

1. Sam Lockwood 2. Martin Garcia-Veiga 3. Harry Williams 4. Pierce Phillips 5. Dave Markham 6. Ben Maidment 7. Ryan Hodson (capt) 8. Michael Noone 9. Ryan Glynn 10. Jonny Bentley 11. Jack Burroughs 12. Lewis Robling 13. Drew Locke 14. Mark Foster 15. Tommy Bell

Replacements: 16. Ignacio Lancuba 17. Gareth Harris 18. Danny Herriot 19. Alex Rae 20. Paula Kaho 21. Nicky Griffiths 22. Mark McCrea

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TOSSERS Lunch

Greetings Tossers, our first lunch of the new season, in the Championship, will be on Saturday 4th October when our valiant Knights do battle against the Pirates of Penzance.

The meal will consist of the mandatory Cow Pie with chips and mushy peas or lasagne with a selection of salads, followed by cheese and biscuits.

All those who enjoy great food and good company are welcome to join us, along with all their family and friends. The price for this feast is £12 (not including match day ticket) and I would like you all to be there at 12.00 for 12.30 start.

I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on the 4th October.

CHIEF TOSSER.

 

Tickets are now on sale for this Knights tradition and can be purchased from reception or by calling 01302 831388 opt 5. Lunch starts at 12.300 followed by Doncaster Knights vs Cornish Pirates with kick off at 14:30.

#KnightsFamily

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