John Gibbon

John Gibbon, a playing member of the club during the 1950/1960s, sadly passed away just before the weekend after a short illness. We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Ann, his family and his friends. The funeral will be held at Rose Hill Crematorium on Wednesday at 9.30am.
 

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Knights hold on for Cup triumph

Bedford Blues 15 Knights 17

The Knights made the journey to Goldington Road for round four of the British and Irish Cup boasting a perfect fifteen points from the three previous games. Unfortunately since 36-20 victory in the reverse fixture at Castle Park in October the Knights had slumped to three successive defeats and needed a win to end a disappointing November on a high.

In the week Clive Griffiths had announced three new signings and two of the trio were included in the match day twenty-two as hooker Villiame Veikoso and fly half Francis Piers both started on the bench. Elsewhere the Knights had been boosted by the return of the Tomasi Palu and Jon Phelan from international duty; both were thrust back in the starting XV.

Bedford entered the fixture on the back of a 65-14 humbling again fellow Pool 4 side Cornish Pirates and had a much adjusted squad that included Saracens and England Sevens centre Mike Ellery.

Doncaster made a bright start to the encounter and had registered their first points with slightly more than a minute on the clock. Having secured solid line out ball they set up a well organized diving maul that the Blues illegally stopped just outside their own 22m. Dougie Flockhart rarely misses from such distances and that continued to be the case as he comfortably opened the Knights account.

The Goldington Road playing surface is well known within the Championship for it’s infamous slope and the Knights played the first half down hill. They often looked to take advantage of the decline with rangey downfield kicks and with a degree of success. Despite this it was the Blues who created the second genuinely threatening opportunity. A penalty for an off the ball contact on James Pritchard was kicked to the corner and the Blues looked to attack sharply. Solid defensive work from the Knights forced a knock on and Paul Roberts was able to clear to about half way.

The Knights set piece looked solid throughout the first half, particularly the scrum and it was from scrums that Doncaster were able to register the game’s first try. A solid drive in midfield provided a platform for Paul Roberts to execute a well-measured cross-field kick that was collected by Tyson Lewis. The scrambling home defences were able to catch Tyson but the Knights were awarded a penalty shortly after. This was to be the first of six successive penalties to the Knights in a period that saw home skipper Paul Tupai sin binned and the Knight awarded a penalty try after some fine work at the scrum. Flockhart slotted the extras and the Knights lead by ten points with just over quarter of an hour played.

A good response by the Blues seemed to have produced a score through prop forward Camilo Parilli-Ocampo. Having kicked a penalty to the corner the home side moved the ball quickly and the tight head looked to have barged over. He was unable to keep control of the ball and the Knights were arwarded a scrum but a lapse in concentration saw them engage early gifting Bedford a free kick. Another knock on killed the attack but the Blues were playing with much improvement.

A hurried clearance under pressure from Paul Roberts gave the hosts a line out deep in the Donny 22m. After a powerful driving maul, number eight Hayden Thompson-Stringer barged over to score for the Blues. James Pritchard was unable to add the extras. 5-10.

Both teams created half chances but errors prevented any real scoring threat and the teams went in to the break with the Knights leading by a score.

The Knights were up against the slope in the second period but made a good start and soon extended their lead. A Tomasi Palu break upfield created good momentum but in the following phase Richard List was unable to hold on to the ball but the Knights continued to press. Following a scrum in midfield a looped pass from Roberts was allowed to bounce before Jarvis expertly collected and set off. The full back put his foot down and beat all before him to touch down in the corner. A sensational conversion from Dougie made the score 5-17, a deficit Bedford would never recover from though they did not give up.

Having made wholesale changes in the front row the home side began to compete far better in the scrums and won a scrum penalty of their own shortly before the hour mark. Pritchard, who’s kicking had been far from perfect, was on target with the effort and successfully added the three.

As the game entered it’s final fifteen minutes Bedford began to play some really good rugby and spun together waves and attacking phases. One man who looked a threat every time he touch the ball was Pat Tapley, on one surge forward he was met by a thunderous hit from Tomasi Palu who was, rather harshly, shown a yellow card for the tackle. The scrum half judged not to have used his arms in the contact

With a man advantage the blues soon registered their second score of the evening. With numbers outside him and space to run at centre Henry Staff was able to get around Bevon Armitage and touch down to set up a nervy final ten minutes. Pritchard’s conversion crept over to make the score’s 15-17.

The home side created a handful of chances in the closing stages but were ultimately unable to break the Knights defence meaning the team returned to Castle Park with their 100% percent cup run still intact and top of pool 4.

Blues XV

15) James Pritchard, 14) Pat Tapley, 13) Henry Staff, 12) Viliami Hakalo (Jake Sharp 22’), 11) Mike Ellery, 10) Nils Mordt (Peter White 69’), 9) Darryl Veenendaal, 1) Tom Williams (Johnny Harris 50’). 2) TJ Harris (Charlie Clare 50’), 3) Camilo Parilli-Ocampo (James Currie 40’), 4) Harry Wells, 5) Ben Gulliver, 6) Paul Tupai, 7) Justin Blanchet, 8) Hayden Thompson-Stringer

Replacements:

16) Charlie Clare, 17) Johnny Harris, 18) James Currie, 19) Mike Howard, 20) Josh Buggea, 21) Peter White, 22) Jake Sharp

Tries; Thompson-Stringer 29’, Staff 67’

Conv; Pritchard 67’

Pens; Pritchard 58’

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Paul Roberts, 9) Tomasi Palu (Bruno Bravo 78’), 1) Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 75’), 2 Ben Hunter (Villiame Veikoso 78’), 3) Tiziano Pasquali (Colin Quigley 58’), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Will Foden (Phil Eggleshaw 60’), 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements;

16) Colin Quigley, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18 Phil Eggleshaw, 19) Latu Makaafi, 20) Villiame Veikoso, 21) Piers Francis, 22) Bruno Bravo.

 

Tries; Penalty 18, Jarvis 46’

Conv: Flockhart 18’, 47’

Pens: Flockhart 2’

Referee: Andrew Small

Attendance: 2,002

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Piers pens with Knights.

In what has been a busy week of transfers at Castle Park Griff has added a third new signing to his squad, fly half Piers Francis.

The Kent born outside half joins the Knights having parted company with Guinness Pro 12 side Edinburgh Rugby this summer, after two seasons with the Club. Piers made 15 appearances with the Edinburgh senior side featuring in both the Pro 12 and Heineken Cup.

24-year-old Francis honed his skills in the academy of Premiership heavyweights Saracens, spending three years with the Club before furthering his education in New Zealand. The number ten was part of the Auckland Blues academy and featured for Auckland in the ITM Cup, making seven appearances in their 2011 campaign before moving to Waikato.

Following the 2011 campaign Piers joined the Waikato Chiefs as part of their ‘wider training squad.’ The Chiefs won the 2012 Super Rugby competition and whilst a groin injury and fierce competition limited his chances with the first team the stand off featured in the ITM Cup with Waikato and trained along side All Blacks including; Liam Messon, Aaron Cruden, Sonny Bill Williams and Brodie Retalick.

Francis has signed until March 2015 and will stake his claim for the number 10 jersey against Jamie Lennard and Paul Roberts.

Speaking this morning Griff said of his new addition. “His game management seems to be very good, I like the way he goes to the line and sacrifices himself.

 

“He has had a thorough rugby education, starting at Saracens academy then playing out in New Zealand with Auckland and Edinburgh Rugby.

 

“At present Jamie Lennard is out injured, fly half is such an important position so we had to act quickly.

 

“Piers was coming into the country and we have signed him until the first week of March when he will return to play in New Zealand.

 

“He has a great grounding at a very high level, he has already shown some real quality in training and will be a most welcome addition to the team.”

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Rugby at Castle Park over the festive period.

Whilst the Knights and other playing sections take a well-earned rest from their normal schedules to enjoy Christmas Castle Park will not be completely bereft of Rugby.

On Sunday December 28th Doncaster’s home of rugby plays host to an exhibition fixture, showcasing some of the region’s finest rugby players followed by an evening of entertainment.

The event kicks off at 2pm and will see the Yorkshire Under 20s, coached by DRFC Development Manager Ants Posa, take on a Doncaster Select XV comprised of the finest local rugby talents and select members of the Doncaster Knights and Doncaster Phoenix squads in what promises to be a hard-fought, entertaining clash.

The bar will be open throughout and from 5pm there will be a disco/Karaoke held in the Clubhouse, hopefully completing what should be a full days entertainment for all the family.

Admission to the event costs just £5 and is an open DRFC to ALL members, players, friends, family.

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Griff confident despite set backs.

In a Sportsbeat interview, DoR Clive Griffiths spoke about how the Knights recent spate of injuries will not derail the fine start his side made to the 2014/15 campaign.

With seven important first-team players currently absent through injury, including centre duo Mat Clark and Andrew Bulumakau, the Knights fell to their fourth consecutive Greene King IPA Championship defeat with a hard-fought 19-9 loss to London Scottish last time out.

The recent slump is in stark contrast to a sterling run of form that saw Doncaster triumph in three of their first four games following promotion from National League One.

Griffiths admits the injury problems have been slightly alleviated by a close relationship with Leicester Tigers that has seen young prospects Riccardo Brugnara, George Catchpole, Tiziano Pasquali and Rhys Williams all turn out for the Knights.

Yet while Griffiths believes his side’s initial run could still prove vital come the end of the season, he is determined to recruit further to ensure Doncaster achieve more than just beating the drop.

“We have only let ourselves down in one half of rugby this year against Moseley, which was a self-inflicted loss but we are confident we can survive,” said Griffiths, who bolstered his ranks further with Fijian international Viliame Veikoso penning a one-year deal on Wednesday morning.

“It’s nice to have that buffer already and I’m sure we will pick up at least a few more wins as long as no-one hits the panic button.

“Our injury list at the moment is a mirror image of last year when we had 35 points out of 35 then all of a sudden we get a host of injuries and things get tough.

“And the same has happened this year – our centres Mat Clark and Andrew Bulumakau were in top form and it was cruel to see them cut down in full flow and out for a considerable period of time.

“I have to bring people in but Leicester have been fantastic, so we’re not short of friends. All the guys who have come in have been brilliant and we’re very grateful for the relationship.”

Although the Knights were only out of the Championship for one season, Griffiths admits the league has gotten a lot tougher in their absence but is drawing confidence from competitive performances against high-flyers Bristol and London Scottish.

And while the league campaign is proving a challenge, Doncaster are hoping to receive a boost as they try to make it four wins from four when the British & Irish Cup resumes this weekend.

Yet Griffiths is wary of facing a Bedford Blues side that will be hurting after a heavy 65-14 defeat to Cornish Pirates in the Greene King IPA Championship.

“We came back at the first attempt, which shows what the club is about and we’ve clearly got the right personnel to survive in this league, with the right atmosphere and ethos,” he added.

“This league is a lot tougher than when we last played in it – the standards of the teams and players have gone up and it’s a really good division for people to learn their trade in.

“We’re doing well in the British & Irish Cup and can use it to get back to winning ways. We lost our last league game before beating Cross Keys and I’m hoping for the same scenario.”

 

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Knights name strong side for Cup return.

Clive Griffiths has named a strong side to travel to Goldington Road tomorrow evening for Round 4 of the British and Irish Cup.

The solitary change to the backline that faced London Scottish in the league last Saturday sees Tomasi Palu back in the number nine jersey having come off the bench versus Scotland last weekend for Tonga.

 

Upfront there is a first Knights start of the season for Tiziano Pasquali; he enters the XV at tight head in place Colin Quigley who will start on the bench. Jon Phelan returns from international duty having faced Samoa and Romania for Canada to partner Matt Challinor at lock. Will Foden enters the starting XV at blindside flanker with skipper Michael Hills continuing at openside and Alex Shaw at eight.

 

New signing Vili Veikoso will be hoping to make his Knights debut from the bench tomorrow evening. The hooker accompanies Coin Quigley and Jack Bergmanas to provide comprehensive front row cover. Latu Makaafi and Phil Eggleshaw are also included in the twenty-two amongst the replacements. As are Bruno Bravo and Jamie Guy, who returns from Wharfedale to make his first Knights appearance since impressing in pre-season.

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Paul Roberts, 9) Tomasi Palu, 1) Richard List, 2 Ben Hunter, 3) Tiziano Pasquali, 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Will Foden, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements;

16) Colin Quigley, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18 Phil Eggleshaw, 19) Latu Makaafi, 20) Villiame Veikoso, 21) Jamie Guy, 22) Bruno Bravo.

Blues XV

15) James Pritchard, 14) Pat Tapley, 13) Henry Staff, 12) Viliami Hakalo, 11) Mike Ellery, 10) Nils Mordt, 9) Darryl Veenendaal, 1) Tom Williams. 2) TJ Harris, 3) Camilo Parilli-Ocampo, 4) Harry Wells, 5) Ben Gulliver, 6) Paul Tupai, 7) Justin Blanchet, 8) Hayden Thompson-Stringer

Replacements:

16) Charlie Clare, 17) Johnny Harris, 18) James Currie, 19) Mike Howard, 20) Josh Buggea, 21) Peter White, 22) Jake Sharp

KO: 19:45

Remember the supporters coach is making the trip to Bedford, leaving Castle Park at 4pm. If you wish to reserve your place on the coach (Cost £25), please contact John Lowe know by either texting him on 07977112706, emailing him at johnlowe0002@gmail.com or put your name on the sign up sheet outside the sales office.

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British & Irish Cup Round 4 preview.

The British & Irish Cup resumes after a three-week break, with four of the pools topped by Greene King IPA Championship sides and a fifth headed by Ireland’s flag-bearers Leinster A. The double B&I Cup champions are in a three-way battle with Jersey and Saturday’s opponents Carmarthen Quins for top spot in Pool 5.Elsewhere, the tie of the round appears to be at Ashton Gate, where the Pool 1 pacesetters, Bristol and Pontypridd, two sides with good B&I Cup pedigrees, go head-to-head in the latest installment of a rivalry that dates back 115 years. Bristol have won each of their 11 games this season while Pontypridd’s only defeat was at the hands of Andy Robinson’s men in Round 3. The Sardis Road fixture was watched by just under 6,000 fans and another bumper attendance is expected for Sunday’s rematch.POOL 1London Scottish v Connacht Eagles, Saturday 29 November, KO 19:00It has been a case of so near yet so far for London Scottish in the B&I Cup. The Exiles looked to be heading for their first win of the competition in Round 3, but two late Connacht tries meant they had to settle for the consolation of a third losing bonus point. The 30-27 defeat in Galway leaves Scottish bottom of the pool with Saturday’s opponents two points above them in third.Bristol Rugby v Pontypridd, Sunday 30 November, KO 15:00The respective leaders of the Greene King IPA Championship and Welsh Premiership clash at Ashton Gate in a tie that could well decide who qualifies for the knockout stages as winners of Pool 1. Bristol go into Sunday’s match sitting atop the table on 13 points with Pontypridd four points off the pace in second. A brace of tries from David Lemi and one from Luke Baldwin saw Bristol win 24-13 at Sardis Road. Since then, Bristol have stretched their winning start to the season to 11 matches while Pontypridd’s league record remains unblemished.POOL 2Rotherham Titans v Ulster Ravens, Saturday 29 November, KO 14:00Top plays bottom at Clifton Lane on Saturday as Pool 2 leaders Rotherham go in search of their fourth straight win against an Ulster side that has yet to taste victory. Titans top the table on 14 points while Ulster have 4. Perry Parker’s last-gasp try and James McKinney’s conversion saw Rotherham come from behind to win 31-29 when the sides met in Round 3. Ulster won 31-24 on their only other visit to Clifton Lane, in December 2011.Aberavon v Yorkshire Carnegie, Friday 28 November, KO 19:15Yorkshire Carnegie have encountered lean times since they thrashed Aberavon 85-0 in Round 3. The Leeds-based outfit have lost to Rotherham and Bedford and drawn with lowly Plymouth, scoring just three tries in the process. Aberavon, meanwhile, are rooted to the bottom of the Welsh Premiership with just one win to their name.POOL 3Munster A v Nottingham Rugby, Saturday 29 November, KO 15:00A 23-12 reverse to Munster A in Round 3 at Meadow Lane made it three straights defeats for Nottingham in this year’s competition. The Green & Whites prop up Pool 3 with one point to their name while former champions Munster are on nine points, four points behind leaders Worcester. Munster have won all five previous B&I Cup clashes between the sides.Worcester Warriors v Moseley, Saturday 29 November, KO 15:00Worcester secured their first try bonus point and their third win of the competition when they beat Moseley 39-0 at Billesley Common in Round 3. Moseley’s last win of any description against the Warriors was a 22-15 victory on December 9, 2000. Worcester go into the match on 13 points while Moseley have five.POOL 4Bedford Blues v Doncaster Knights, Friday 28 November, KO 19:45Pool 4 leaders Doncaster defend their 100% record in the B&I Cup against a Bedford side no doubt still smarting from Sunday’s 65-14 league defeat to Cornish Pirates. The Knights’ last success at Goldington Road was a 33-31 win in the Championship promotion play-offs, on 2 April, 2011. Doncaster will hope for a return to winning ways after losing all three leagues since they beat the Blues 36-20 at Castle Park in Round 3.Cross Keys v Cornish Pirates, Saturday 29 November, KO 14:30Cornish Pirates need to avenge their loss to Cross Keys at Pandy Park in the semi-final of the 2011/12 competition if they are to maintain the pressure on Doncaster at the top of Pool 4. Pirates are currently four points off the pace having won two of their first three games, including a 34-33 win over Cross Keys in Round 3, while the Welsh side are a further four points adrift on seven points. Pirates have been involved in three high-scoring matches with an average of 63 points scored per game. Of all the sides holding a top two position at the halfway point of the pool stages, they are the only one with a negative points difference (-2).POOL 5Jersey v Plymouth Albion, Friday 28 November, KO 19:30Jersey go looking for a hat-trick of victories over Albion this season, after winning 19-0 in the league at St Peter and 22-16 at Brickfields in the 3rd Round of the B&I Cup. In what is proving to be the most competitive of all the pools, Jersey are joint top with Leinster on nine points with third-placed Carmarthen Quins one point in arrears. Winless Plymouth have three points from three games.Leinster A v Carmarthen Quins, Saturday 29 November, KO 13:00Carmarthen Quins stunned two-time winners Leinster in Round 3, after coming back from 21-3 down at half-time to win 26-24. A last-gasp try from replacement prop Ben Leung and Frazier Climo’s brilliant touchline conversion clinched a terrific victory for the Welsh side, who are currently second in the Welsh Premiership table. Quins’ five-game winning run in all competitions came to an end at the weekend though, when they were beaten 20-15 away to Cross Keys.

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Fijian international hooker signs with Knights.

We are delighted announce the second new signing of the week as hooker Viliame Veikoso pens a one year deal.

‘Vili’ arrives at Castle Park having been involved in Fiji’s autumn international campaign, named in the match day squad that lost out to France in Marseille. The 32-year-old has amassed 29 caps for his national side and featured twice in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

The 32-year-old has been playing his club rugby for the Fijian Capital side Suva and is a regular for the Nadi’s in the provincial competition in Fiji.

 

Vili becomes the second new front rower to join the Knights in a week, following yesterday’s announcement of the arrival of Welsh tight head prop WillGrif John. The hooker will compete for starting birth with Ben Hunter and Jack Bergmanas and has signed a deal that will see him at Castle Park till, at least, the end of the season.

 

Speaking about his signing earlier today Viliame said. “I am really looking forward to playing for the Knights this season, it is a privilege and honour to be involved and playing with such a professional club.

 

“As soon as I was contacted by Clive I searched Doncaster Knights online and was really impressed by what I saw on the website and from news articles and I am really excited to start playing.

 

“Playing for Fiji in international games is a step up from playing Club rugby back home and I am looking forward to playing regularly at a more competitive level.

 

“I just hope that I can help the boys do well and try to push the team forward, that is what I am excited about.”

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Coaches Office: Clive, Cookie & Kendo react to LS defeat.

The Knights slumped to a second home defeat in two week’s as they lost out to London Scottish on Saturday afternoon 19-9.

Scottish arrived having comprehensively beaten Jersey the week previous and have barely put a foot wrong in their quest to make the end of season play offs after eight rounds of Championship action. Despite the impressive form of the weekend’s opponents the Knights coaching staff accept they have a lot to work on as they look to end a disappointing month on a high away at Bedford on Friday.

 

Cookie “ We were better as a team than last week against Mosley but unfortunately better wasn’t good enough on Saturday.

 

“We have got to learn quickly that we need to play a bit smarter and turn our half chances in to points, should we do that then we’ll win games going forward.”

 

Griff “We had two chances, they had two clear cut chances, difference is they took there’s, it is as simple as that.

 

“Our key performance indicators are far better than they were against Moseley, the boys went out there and had a dig.

 

“There wasn’t a lot between us on the day, London Scottish are much fancied for the play-offs, they’ve invested a lot of money and effort in the squad they have, we defended well but we need to find some answers about how we’re going to breakdown these top teams.

 

A Dougie Flockhart penalty in the dying minute’s looked as if it would secure a vital points for the Knights, only for the visitors to reestablish their ten point advantage moments later with a penalty of their own.

 

Kendo “We worked hard to get in to a good position and get a point out of the game at the end but unfortunately we gave that away. On reflection taking one point, whilst it wasn’t what we went out aiming for, wouldn’t have been too bad.

 

“We talk a lot about and work hard on our game management, the boys knew how long was left we could have kicked possession straight out, played from a line out up field and kill the clock.

 

“Unfortunately we saw a bit of red mist and gave away a penalty. We’ve talked about it in review as a team and as units and accept that we can’t afford to make those sort of errors going forward and are kicking ourselves a little bit.

 

On Friday the Knights head to Goldington Road as the British and Irish Cup returns, a competition that the Knights have been very successful in so far this season, with a clash against Bedford Blues.

 

Cookie “We need to get back into winning ways, it is as simple as that and it doesn’t matter what competition it is in.

 

“We need a good performance this Friday night from a group of players which will be picked with the intention of winning the game. We desperately need a win to snap this little losing streak that we’re on.

 

Earlier today it was announced that 21-year-old prop forward WillGriff John has been signed to relieve the current injury situation in the front row and elsewhere things seem to be looking up on the injury front.

 

Griff “Jamie Lennard is struggling a bit with his knee, hence why he wasn’t in the team on Saturday.

 

“Mat Clark had a positive update on his shoulder yesterday and Andy Bulumakau looks like he should only be couple more week’s off.

 

“Hopefully Andy will be back in the mix for Cross Keys and, with a bit of luck, Brad Field should be ready for the Pirates game.

 

“Fingers crossed I should have a lot more players fit to pick from by the time the league resumes against Nottingham before Christmas.

 

“These next three games are crucial to build some momentum, we’ve had three tough games on the bounce.

 

“We were below par against Moseley but Bristol and London Scottish are very good sides so there isn’t any need to be panicking, we’ll just focus on getting back into it, starting Friday.”

 

Remember the supporters coach is making the trip to Bedford, leaving Castle Park at 4pm. If you wish to reserve your place on the coach (Cost £25), please contact John Lowe know by either texting him on 07977112706, emailing him at johnlowe0002@gmail.com or put your name on the sign up sheet outside the sales office.

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Prop WillGriff John joins Knights ranks.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths has boosted his front row options with the addition of Welsh tight-head prop WillGriff John.

 

WillGriff arrives at Castle Park having spent two seasons playing in the ITM Cup with the province of Northlands. The 21-year-old appeared in all ten of Northlands’ games in the 2014 competition aiding them to a third place finish. The Welshman’s impressive displays saw him selected in the Auckland Blues development squad that faced the Cook Islands in June.

 

Prior to his move to New Zealand John was making waves in his native Wales, gaining international honours through the Welsh age grades. The tight head was selected as part of the 2012 Welsh Junior World Cup Squad that finished third and inflicted the first ever defeat on New Zeland U20s since the competitions formation. WillGriff represented Pontypridd during the 2010/11 season before joining Cardiff Blues where he featured in the LV Cup for the Guinness Pro 12 side.

 

Following injuries to props Ross Davies, Colin Phillips and Tom Davies, WillGriff who stands at 6’2 and weights 120 KG, will add extra depth and bring another option to the Knights scrum. The youngster has signed at Castle Park till the end of the season and Clive says he is looking forward to seeing him in a Knights shirt. “He’s come through the Welsh age grade ranks, played two years in the Welsh U20s and furthered his rugby education out in the ITM Cup in New Zealand.

 

“He’s back in the UK now and we believe that the experience he’s already acquired and his impressive physical presence will help us through our injury crisis on the tight head side and give some of the other boys a bit of a lift.

 

“As well as having Colin Phillips & Ross Davies out injured Colin Quigley is carrying a few niggles, we went in to the Moseley game with just one tight head and Richard List had to transfer over from the loose head side which was not ideal.

 

“It is an area that we needed to cover and hopefully WillGriff will give us the much needed strength in that area and it is fantastic to have another Griff in our ranks!”

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Scottish secure Castle Park win.

Knights 9 London Scottish 19

Clinical Scottish prove too much for a Knights team who struggled to find their attacking edge

The Knights entertained London Scottish in the second of back-to-back Castle Park league encounters having lost out in the week previous versus Moseley. Scottish had suffered a similar fate at the hands of the Midlanders a fortnight ago but bounced back convincingly against Jersey.

At kick off the Exiles sat in third place in the Championship table with the Knights occupying eighth having slipped following successive league defeats.

On a gloomy November afternoon the Knights were slow to start. A knock on after a spirited chase by Tyson Lewis at the kick off gave the visitors a platform to build from and a clever chip ahead soon had Richard List scrambling into his own goal area. The Knights managed to clear their lines but at the subsequent line out were penalized and full back Peter Lydon opened to scoring with an on target penalty.

 

The visitors were on the attack again very soon after. Having gained field position following a penalty at the scrum they built on a line out from close range. Scrum half Matt Heeks broke smartly down the blind side and with winger Matty Williams in support the halfback was able to dart his way over for the game’s first score. Lydon could not add the extras but the Knights looked slightly shell-shocked, ten points behind after the opening 10 minutes.

The score served to wake up the home side who played with much improvement for the remainder of the first period. The very eager visiting defence toed the offside line very closely throughout and fell foul of the referee’s whistle on several occasions. Paul Roberts took advantage of one offside penalty with a long range touch finder and the Knights built an attack following powerful carries from Ben Hunter, Matt Challinor and Alex Shaw. The attack came to an end as full back Paul Jarvis was unable to hold on to the ball in contact much to the relief of the visiting defence.

 

The positive play continued from the Knights and following a penalty won by the pack at scrum time the forwards looked to attack from the corner. The driving maul was brought down illegally and Roberts went to the corner for a second time. Scottish stopped the drive and within the laws of the game this time so the pack looked to pick and go. They crept closer and closer to the visitors line but the London Scottish defence refused to part and eventually forced a knock on out of Tyler Hotson.

 

A second scrum penalty on the bounce for the Knights pack gave Dougie Flockhart a chance to put his side on the scored bored with just short of half an hour played. He made no mistake, 3-8.

 

Donny were unable to add further points in the first half and in fact it was Scottish who looked the more dangerous as the first period came to an end. A knock on deep in their own 22m put pressure on the home side but they were let off the hook as the Scottish pack gave up a free kick for an early engage and shortly after the ref blew for half time.

 

The Knights made a bright start to the second period and with some intelligent, clinical play in attack and defence were able to force errors from Scottish. Ben Hunter, who had an impressive afternoon, showed great pace in defence to force a penalty at the ruck and Flockhart took full advantage kicking the Knights to within just two points.

 

The Knights continued to play positively as the second half progressed but indiscipline handicapped the home side. They were let off on 50 minutes as Lydon dragged a penalty attempt wide as the Knights entered the maul from an offside position but the full back got another go just three minutes later and made no mistake.

 

A remarkable chip ahead from number 8 Alex Shaw almost created a chance for Paul Jarvis but Heeks was able to drop on the bouncing ball and the visitors won a penalty at the subsequent breakdown. Scottish built powerfully from the penalty a following a defensive mix up in the Knights midfield found themselves with plenty of numbers out wide. The ball was quickly put through hands and despite a valiant attempt from George Catchpole and Alex Shaw, winger Matt Williams was able to cross in the corner. The conversion fell wide but the Knights trailed by 10 points with only quarter of an hour to play.

 

With time running out Griff made a host of substitutions and the Knights looked to finish on a high. A lovely chip forward from Roberts was well chased by Dougie Flockhart, Flockhart’s opposite man Miles Mantella collected and the Scotsman bundled him into to touch. From the line out the Knights carried with purpose and were awarded a penalty but Flockhart could not convert.

 

As the clock approached 80 minutes the Knights went in search of a losing bonus point and seemed as if they’d seized it after George Catchpole broke and found Tyson Lewis in support. The winger was tackled into touch by Matt Williams but shortly after the line out Scottish were caught off side and Flockhart made no mistake, 9-16.

 

Scottish kicked the restart with 82 minutes on the clock and the Knights looked to mount one last attack, unfortunately a rush of blood to the head from second row Tyler Hotson saw the Canadian international off his feet at the ruck meaning the visitors had an immediate chance to restore their ten point advantage. Lydon made no mistake and with that Referee Gammage blew the whistle.

 

For the Knights it was an improved display on last Saturday and had they played like they did today versus Moseley would have likely won last weekend but ultimately it is a third league game on the trot where the Knights have ended with nil points.

 

Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Tyson Lewis (Stephen Hihetah 78’), 10) Paul Roberts, 9) Bruno Bravo (Jack Maplesden 70’), 1) Richard List (Jack Cosgrove 68’), 2) Ben Hunter (Jack Bergmanas 75’), 3) Colin Quigley (Tiziano Pasquali 66’), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Tyler Hotson, 6) Phil Eggleshaw (Latu Makaafi 60’), 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex shaw.

 

Replacements; 16) Jack Cosgrove, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Tiziano Pasquali, 19) Latu Makaafi, 20) Will Foden, 21) Stephen Hihetah, 22) Jack Maplesden.

 

Tries

Conv;

Pens; Flockhart 29’, 44’, 80’

 

London Scottish XV; 15, Peter Lydon, 14, Matt Williams, 13, Lee Millar (Chris Auld 40’), 12, PJ Gidlow, 11, Miles Mantella, 10, Dan Newton, 9, Matt Heeks, 1, James Hallam (Mark Lilley 70’), 2, Adam Kwasnicki, 3, Ben Prescott (Max Maidment 60’), 4, James Phillips, 5, Gregor Gillanders (Tai Tuisamoa 52’), 6, Neil Best, 7, James Chisholm, 8, Mark Bright (c).

 

Replacements; 16, Mark Lilley, 17, David Cherry, 18, Max Maidment, 19, Tai Tuisamoa, 20, Chris Walker, 21, Ben Calder, 22, Chris Auld.

 

Tries; Heeks 11’, Williams 64;

Conv

Pens; Lydon 4’, 54’, 80’

Attendance 1,487.

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