Sponsor success at Business Awards.

Doncaster Knights’ sponsors swept the board at last night’s Doncaster Business Awards.

The glittering ceremony saw dozens of firms going head to head for prizes across a number of categories. The awards, now in their 16th year, are renowned for showcasing the achievements of firms and the contributions that they make to the economy, as well as their social and environmental impact.

A number of Knights sponsors were up from a range of awards with main shirt sponsors Wirquin LTD scooping the Excellence in Overseas Trade and Success Through Innovation and Diversification Awards.

TwentyFour IT Services fought off stiff competition, including fellow shirt sponsors Chapman Physiotherapy, to pick up the Small Business of the Year Award. ProAktive bagged two awards with The Excellence in People Development and Training and Excellence in Marketing & Communications Awards.

There was also much deserved recognition for one of the Club’s longest standing supporters as Steve Lloyd of Hesley Group picked up the Lifetime Achievement award.

Congratulations to all of the Knights sponsors and thank you once again for your continued to support. Here is to a successful 2015 both on and off the pitch.

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Griff report: Never say die.

The Knights scored 21 points in the final ten minutes versus Cornish Pirates to record a 30-31 victory at The Mennaye Field last Saturday.

 

When hooker Rob Elloway crashed over for his second try of the afternoon to secure a four-try bonus point for the Pirates it seemed as if the Knights good run of Cup results was going to come to an end but a colossal final push snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

 

Reflecting on the victory Knights boss Clive Griffiths made reference to the inspiring pre-match speech former Knights Lee Audis had given just a couple of weeks previous.

 

“The speech Lee delivered to the boys before we played Bristol with the take home message of never give up is something I think has really registered with the lads.

 

“The message was very literal in Lee’s case following his horrendous accident and his sheer will power, unbreakable spirit and refusal to give up is a testimony to his character and is something I think the team have drawn great inspiration from.

 

“On Saturday that spirit was very evident. We looked completely out of the game, particularly when they had a penalty at the death but fortunately they missed the goal, we got a lifeline and took it with both hands.

 

“Those last three tries were all fantastic efforts. We exploited a cynical knock on from their player at a potentially try scoring pass.

 

“Dougie Flockhart went over for the first then gambled for the interception that put Paul Jarvis over. Then to go from your own twenty-two metre right down the field via twenty plus phases speaks volumes about how we can play the game.

 

“Pirates will be disappointed they didn’t close the game out, we’re disappointed with some of our game management particularly early on. Both teams made errors, we found ourselves with a huge deficit but what dug in, kept going and it was a pleasure to watch the final ten minutes.”

 

Parallels between Saturday and last season’s dramatic late victory in Tynedale are easily drawn, especially because on both occasions the final Knights try was scored by Club Captain Matt Challinor but Clive believes that the final score in Penzance may have been even more satisfying.

 

“The big difference between Chall’s try this weekend and the one in Tynedale was that one started on their twenty-two this one started in our own twenty two.

 

“We got up field using a lot of width and pace and then we got to the line it was Chall who got us over the line.

 

“Lets not forget that it wasn’t a ‘gimme’ conversion that Dougie had to knock over, the pressure of the moment was huge but he slotted it comfortably with a cool head.”

 

The win books the Knights a place in the B&I quarter finals, it is not job done just yet however, as the team still require a point versus Cross Keys for a home draw but Clive states that his side wont enter the game hoping for anything less than a win.

 

“It is very nice to be in the knock out stages for the first time in five years but we need to think about Saturday first, we to get a home draw and then it’s all in our hands.

 

“Just needing a point won’t come into consideration, we will be going for the win on Saturday, there is no doubt about that.

 

“Cross Keys will come here with nothing to play for and happy to throw the ball about, they have some good runners. We don’t know what sort of side they will turn out; they’ve had as many as twelve Newport Gwent Dragons players in their sides in recent weeks.

 

“They’ve lost the last two games but will want to prove a point on Saturday and they are quite an unpredictable outfit.

 

“We’ll focus on getting our own house in order this week, it’s going to be a tough old game but hopefully we can put on a good display for the home crowd.

 

“We seem to reserving some of our best performances and wins for the road, I thought we were gritty against London Scottish and there was no question of the heart they showed but we just need to get those top two inches and get it done at home.”

 

Off the field there has been more positive news as several injured Knights near full fitness and a number more and now available for selection.

 

“On the injury front Tom Davies, Mat Clark and Colin Phillips will return to action in the New Year whilst Jamie Lennard needs an operation on his knee injury.

“Brad Field, Ross Davies and Andy Bulumakau are now available for selection.”

Image courtesy of Brian Tempest

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Castle Park Christmas Lunch.

The annual Castle Park Christmas Lunch is to take place before the Knights final home game of 2014, versus Cross Keys in the British and Irish Cup.

 

This year’s Castle Park Christmas Lunch will take place on December 13th before our brave Knights to battle with the Welsh invaders of Cross Keys. Janet and the catering team are preparing a sumptuous, traditional two-course Christmas Lunch served at 12:15 before kick off at 14:00 and we will be joined by the Armthorpe Elmfield Brass Band who will provide Christmas carols to help get you into the spirit.

The Christmas Lunch has become one of the highlights in the Castle Park social calendar and we hope that as many fans as possible are able to join us as we eat, drink and be merry this Christmas.

 

The cost of this festive feast is just £12 per-head and tickets are on sale now. To book your place please call 01302 831388, option 5 or email reception@castle-park.co.uk.

 

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Knights comeback sinks Pirates.

Cornish Pirates 30 v Doncaster Knights 31

The Knights pulled off the most remarkable of come backs to record a 30-31 victory away at Cornish Pirates. The home side enjoyed the better of the game right up until the final ten minutes when the Knights rallied to score three converted tries to escape with all five points. The victory means that the Knights now have an unassailable lead at the top of Pool 4 and progress to the knock out stages of the British and Irish Cup.

It was the third game between the two sides of the season. The two previous fixtures, both at Castle Park, resulted in a win for both sides; the Knights in the Cup and Pirates in the league. When the first British and Irish Cup fixtures of the season rolled around in early October Clive Griffiths gave a statement of intent for the competition, saying him team were not there to make up the numbers and today the side qualify having dropped just one point in the five pool games to date.

Victories against the Pirates at their Mennaye home do not come easily, just ask Bedford Blues who were beaten 65-14 there just a fortnight ago. The Knights made five changes to the starting XV that defeated Bedford Blues the week previous with two players making their Knights debut in Piers Francis and WillGriff John.

The home side suffered a blow shortly after the whistle blew, as winger Luke Jones took a knock at kick off and was forced off injured. In his place came Gavin Cattle and Tom Kessell moved to the wing. The early stages didn’t see much in the way of attacks or scoring opportunity, this said it was the home side that enjoyed the lion share of possession. Most of the game was being played in the middle third of the field and when the Pirates did make their first venture into the Knights half they capitalized fully. A penalty in midfield was kicked to touch by fly half Laurence May, a well organized driving maul was established by the home side and hooker Rob Elloway was able to barge over for the game’s opening score.

The Pirates continued to control possession and seemed to be having quite a bit of joy in the early scrums. The Knights growing penalty count allowed May plenty of opportunities to pin Donny back into their own territory and desperate defending only seemed to produce more penalties. Ben Hunter bore the brunt of the Knights ill-discipline as referee Craig Maxwell-Key sent the hooker to the bin. May went back to the corner and with a man advantage the home pack set off driving toward the Knights line. Donny managed to halt the initial drive but a couple of phases later Pirates set up another maul and second row Will Carrick-Smith touched down.

The Knights produced a reaction of sorts having gone 12-0 down. A penalty in midfield gave Piers Francis a penalty that he booted long into the home 22m. With no hooker on the pitch Bruno Bravo took over line out duty and did so successfully, shortly after the home defences infringed and Dougie Flockhart took the opportunity to open the Knights score. The twelve point lead was quickly reestablished however as a scrum penalty gave May a shot at goal.

With fifteen men back on the field the Knights started to play with a bit of improvement and began to enjoy more joy at scrum time. A solid drive in midfield created a platform that Flockhart took advantage off, hitting a fine line to break through the Pirates defence. The winger was hauled down short of the try line but quickly recycled ball and a good carry from Phil Eggleshaw opened up space for George Catchpole to take advantage of. The centre did very well to burst through a half gap and touch down. Dougie added the extras.

It looked like the Knights might record a quick fire brace of tries when a well taken restart was carried forward by Alex shaw. The number eight carried deep up field before being brought down and the Knights forwards continued the attack. Having worked their way deep into the Pirates 22m the ball was spun wide but unfortunately Francis was unable to hold on to the ball and the hosts cleared.

With time almost up in the first half the Pirates rounded off a solid opening period with a third score, having accumulated a number of attacking phases they stretched the visiting defense sufficiently for winger Craig Holland to find a gap to score in the corner. May was off target with his conversion making the half time score 20-10.

The Knights changed ends at half time but continued to be on the wrong side of the referee’s whistle. The hosts continued to play in the same attacking vein in which they had played the majority of the opening forty minutes. Referee Craig Maxwell-Keys called over Skipper Foden as the Knights continued to be penalized and it was from penalties that the Pirates secured the four-try bonus point. A series of infringements saw the Pirates repeatedly go to the corner and eventually the Donny pack caved as Elloway went over for a second score. May made it a seven point score.

Now trailing by seventeen Griff rung in the changes and introduced Colin Quigley, Tomasi Palu and Matt Challinor. With a comfortable lead and four tries already scored it seemed that the Pirates relinquished a degree of their attacking intensity but still the Knights seemed incapable of producing decisive offensive play. The early home dominance of the home scrum had subsided but with quarter of an hour of second half action played the Knights pack were pinged at the breakdown and May looked to extend his side’s score. The stand off was on the money and the Knights trailed 30-10.

Twenty points behind and having been far from at their best all game, the Knights looked destined to return to South Yorkshire disappointed and, more importantly, pointless. The score stayed the same as the second half wore on and neither side looked particularly dangerous. With nothing to lose Doncaster began to blow caution to the wind and played with greater endeavor, one attack stretched the Pirates defenses and Paul Jarvis entered the line nicely. The full back looked to hand on to Bevon Armitage but a stray arm from winger Craig Holland stopped the pass and as a result he was sin binned.

The Knights momentum continued and having grafted hard through the pack to make hard yards up field the ball was spun wide. With numbers and space ahead the ball found it’s way to Dougie Flockhart and the winger raced over in the corner. The Scotsman had not left himself an easy conversion but made no mistake from the touchline, 30-17 with ten minutes left to play.

The try sparked The Pirates into action who went on the attack immediately from the restart, they quickly made their way into the Knights 22m and only superb defensive work prevented replacement center Tom Henderson from touching down. The ball was quickly recycled and with several defenders to cover Flockhart gambled and shot out of the line to make an interception, it paid off and he set off up field. Dougie made it into the Pirates half before full back Max Bodilly caught him but in support was Paul Jarvis who collected to touch down under the posts. Dougie converted, meaning the Knights were now in a position to leave with a losing bonus point with less than five minutes to play.

Having secured possession it looked like the Knights indiscipline would cost them once again as the Ref signaled for a penalty on the 22m, centerfield. May stepped up and pulled the penalty wide of the right upright giving the Knights a lifeline with two minutes left to play.

Donny mounted one final attack and were able to work their way up field with some telling carries. The pack eventually got to within a couple of yards of the Pirates try line, picking and carrying repeatedly but the home defenses held firm. That was until Club Captain Matt Challinor managed to fight his way over for a score reminiscent of the winning try at Tynedale last season. The try made the score 30-29 meaning Flockhart’s conversion would decide the game, as calm as you would like Dougie converted to seal a truly remarkable come back victory.

 

Cornish Pirates XV: 15 Max Bodilly, 14 Luke Jones (Gavin Cattle 1’), 13 Alex Dancer (Tom Henderson 61’), 12 Rheon James, 11 Craig Holland, 10 Laurence May, 9 Tom Kessell (Oliver Snook 75’), 1 Jack Andrew (Jamal Ford-Robinson 61’), 2 Rob Elloway (Dean Brooker 72’), 3 Francisco Deformes (Alan Paver 40’), 4 Will Carrick Smith, 5 Darren Barry (c), 6 Joel Conlon, 7 Joe Atkinson (Chris Morgan 55’), 8 Matt Bolwell.

Replacements: 16 Dean Brooker, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Alan Paver, 19 Chris Morgan, 20 Gavin Cattle, 21 Oliver Snook, 22 Tom Henderson.

Tries; Rob Elloway 13’, 48’ Carrick Smith 21’, Holland 39’

Conv; May 22’, 48’

Pens; May 29’, 55’

Sin Bin; Holland 65’, Barry 79’

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Rhys Williams, 10) Piers Francis, 9) Bruno Bravo (Tomasi Palu 50’), 1) Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 65’), 2 Ben Hunter (Villiame Veikoso 40’), 3) WillGriff John (Colin Quigley 50’), 4) Tyler Hotson (Matt Challinor 50), 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Phil Eggleshaw, 7) Will Foden © (Latu Makaafi 71’), 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements;

16) Colin Quigley, 17) Villiame Veikoso, 18) Matt Challinor, 19) Jack Bergmanas, Blank) Latu Makaafi, 21) Tomasi Palu, 22) Paul Roberts.

 

Tries; Catchpole 33’, Flockhart 70’, Jarvis 74’, Challinor 80’

Conv; Flockhart 34’, 71’, 74’, Flockhart 80’

Pens; Flockhart 25’

Sin bin; Hunter 20’,

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Griff names side for Cornish Cup Clash.

DoR Clive Griffiths makes six changes to the Knights starting XV that defeated Bedford Blues last Friday evening for the final away fixture in the 2014/15 British and Irish Cup Pool stages.

There is a complete overhaul in the half backs where Bruno Bravo returns to the staring XV to play inside debutant fly half Piers Francis. The pair replaces Tomasi Palu and Paul Roberts who are both included on the bench. Elsewhere Rhys Williams returns from Welford Road and makes his second start of the season for the Knights, Williams joins fellow Tiger George Catchpole who continues at outside centre. The rest of the backline is unchanged with Bevon Armitage at twelve Dougie Flockhart on the left wing and Paul Jarvis at full back.

 

Upfront another player makes his Knights debut as tight head WillGriff John starts in the three jersey. The Welshman accompanies Richard List and Ben Hunter in the front row, behind them it is an all Canadian affair as Tyler Hotson swaps with Matt Challinor to start alongside countryman Jon Phelan. Phil Eggleshaw is sole change in the back row, he switches with Will Foden at loose forward who takes his place amongst the replacements.

 

Colin Quigley, Jack Bergmanas and Villiame Veikoso ensure the playing staff have a full compliment of front row replacements to draw from and will hope to make an impact from the subs bench.

 

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Rhys Williams, 10) Piers Francis, 9) Bruno Bravo, 1) Richard List, 2 Ben Hunter, 3) WillGriff John, 4) Tyler Hotson, 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Phil Eggleshaw, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements;

16) Colin Quigley, 17) Villiame Veikoso, 18) Matt Challinor, 19) Jack Bergmanas, 20) Will Foden, 21) Tomasi Palu, 22) Paul Roberts.

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Cover It Live.

Many of you will be well aware of the fantastic Cover It Live facility on the Knights Website. For those that are unaware, Cover It Live [CIL] can be found under the FanZone tab of www.drfc.co.uk.

 

For many seasons CIL has provided match day updates that run alongside the Twitter commentary of www.twitter.com/DoncasterKnight but without the confines of 140 characters, courtesy of Knights supporter Tom Blair who used to play for Thornensians but despite this still manages to deliver accurate and informative game updates.

 

This season Tom has upgraded the facility and as result, as well as providing Tom’s own live updates and photos, CIL now takes the updates from both the Twitter streams of the teams playing. This means that anyone unable to be at a match can take in live updates from both sides of the fence. There is also the opportunity for fans to give their thoughts on the game’s progression through polls.

 

This weekend however CIL is going a step further and will centralize all the Twitter commentary from Round 5 of the British & Irish Cup. Meaning that every update from all twenty teams competing this weekend will be available to follow in one place. As a result no Knights fan need be behind the pace with any of the action from this weekend’s game. Want to see how the Titans are fairing in Aberavon? Or if London Scottish can cause an upset at Ashton Gate tomorrow night? No problem, every update from every team will be displayed live from this link > www.drfc.co.uk/fanzone/cover-it-live.

 

We understand not all fans will be able to make the long trip to Cornwall this weekend, particularly given that there is no supporters coach, so why not give CIL a try. Let us know your feedback via the polls available and fingers crossed we can continue to provide the updates for the remainder of the season.

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Final Friday Knight Club of the year.

Tomorrow night will be the final Friday Knight Social evening of 2014.

 

Friday Knights social evenings are to take a winter break following this week as Castle Park gears up for Christmas. As usual Chris has organized a quiz with various prizes up for grabs and the game tape from last Friday’s victory away at Goldington Road will be shown (worth watching for Paul Jarvis’ second half try alone).

 

The bar will be open from 7:30pm, so why not come down, chat with fellow Knights ahead of Saturday’s clash with Cornish Pirates and kick off the weekend with a couple of hard-earned pints. Open to ALL members of ALL sections of the Club.

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Supporter info – Cornish Christmas.

For Knights fans who are travelling South to support the boys away at Penzance this Saturday why not soak up some seasonal atmosphere at the Mennaye Field in aid of Little Harbour Children’s Hospice as Cornish Pirates ‘kick off Christmas.’

– Enjoy festive food and drink in the marquee before and after the match.

– Bring the family to meet Santa in his grotto, not only with free gifts for children but just as importantly, he’ll be there to receive unwanted presents and pre-loved toys for Children’s Hospice South West Little Harbour. Donated items will be sold in the Charity’s shops to raise much needed funds for the hospice.

– Little Harbour will also be selling their highly attractive traditional and contemporary Christmas cards.

– Festive dress is optional but why not get out your Christmas jumper, Santa’s hat, red nose or antlers and if you want to show off your true colours visit the face painters in the marquee.

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British & Irish Cup Round 5 preview.

The Knights head to Penzance tomorrow ahead of Saturday’s all important B&I Cup clash with the Cornish Pirates. Griff’s men still have a undefeated record in the competition but will face arguably their toughest challenge of the Pool stages so far down at Mennaye Field.

The Greene King IPA Championship looks on course to have a healthy representation in the quarter-finals of the B&I Cup, with English sides topping four of the pools with two rounds to go and Leinster, winners of the competition for the last two years, heading a fifth.Bristol Rugby, Rotherham Titans, Worcester Warriors and Doncaster Knights all maintained their perfect records in the competition, while Leinster remain in command of Pool 5 after scoring 10 tries in a 67-12 romp against Carmarthen Quins.Pool 1Bristol Rugby v London Scottish, Friday 5 December, KO 19:45Bristol are guaranteed their place in the quarter-final draw with a round to spare if they beat London Scottish for the third time this season and extend their winning run to 13 matches. Bristol won 22-18 when the sides met earlier in the competition, while the league meeting at Ashton Gate ended in a 42-17 victory for the West Country side.Pontypridd v Connacht Eagles, Saturday 6 December, KO 14:30Pontypridd need to bounce back from the disappointment of losing at Bristol with victories in their last two matches if they are to entertain any hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages as one of the three best-placed runners up. Hooker Liam Belcher scored a hat-trick of tries and there was one each from full-back Aled Summerhill, lock Craig Locke and winger Lewis Williams in Pontypridd’s 42-16 win over Connacht Eagles in Round 2.Pool 2Aberavon v Rotherham Titans, Saturday 6 December, KO 14:30Aberavon have conceded more points (179) than any other side at this stage of the competition, and worse could be to come with pool leaders Rotherham Titans arriving in Port Talbot on Saturday. Titans have won all three previous B&I Cup meetings between the sides, although their only other visit to the Talbot Athletic Ground in October 2012 was a close run affair. Titans fell 13-0 down before fighting back to win 25-21.Yorkshire Carnegie v Ulster Ravens, Sunday December 7, KO 14:30Yorkshire Carnegie welcome Ulster to Laund Hill, Huddersfield as they take to the road again in the B&I Cup. Two tries from winger Dan Tai earned Carnegie an impressive 22-17 win at the Kingspan Stadium when they last met Ulster in Round 2. Carnegie are the top points scorers in the competition with 153 from four games.Pool 3Nottingham Rugby v Moseley, Sunday 7 December, KO 15:00The bottom two sides in Pool 3 meet for the second time in as many weeks in what is effectively a dead-rubber. Nottingham took the honours in the league fixture at Billesley Common, edging a fractious encounter 27-26. The respective fly-halves that day, Sam Olver (Moseley) and Dan Mugford (Nottingham) have both received Championship Player of the Month for November nominations.Munster A v Worcester Warriors, Friday 5 December, KO 19:30Munster A need to beat Worcester to keep their hopes of topping the pool alive. The former champions are five points behind the Warriors, who have won all four of their games to date. Munster’s only defeat in the competition came at the hands of the Warriors, when they lost 27-23 on 18 October, after Ben Sowery saved the day for the Championship side with a late try.Pool 4Cornish Pirates v Doncaster Knights, Saturday 6 December, KO 15:00A fifth straight victory would guarantee Doncaster a presence in the quarter-final draw for only the second time in their history. Pirates won 24-22 when the sides met in the league on 4 October, while the Knights gained revenge with a 29-25 victory in the cup a fortnight later. If beaten, Pirates still have a good chance of qualifying for the knockout stages as one of the best runners-up.Bedford Blues v Cross Keys, Saturday 6 December, KO 14:30Bedford have only won twice at home in five attempts this season and are without a win to their name in the B&I Cup. Cross Keys snatched a 23-22 victory with stoppage time try from captain Leon Andrews when the sides met at Goldington Road back in October. Keys will be looking to take their first English scalp at Pandy Park having lost at home to Doncaster and Cornish Pirates.Pool 5Jersey v Leinster A, Saturday 6 December, KO 15:00Jersey need to halt a run of three straight defeats if they are to remain in contention for top spot in Pool 5. The Channel Islanders are five points behind the two-time B&I Cup champions in the standings, having slipped to a disappointing defeat to Plymouth last time out. Leinster won 26-6 on a wet and blustery night in Dublin in Round 2.Plymouth Albion v Carmarthen Quins, Saturday 6 December, KO 15:00The winner of this tie could still be in contention for a quarter-final place if Jersey beat Leinster, preferably without either side picking up a bonus point. Improving Albion picked up their first win of any description for nearly nine months when they defeated Jersey 23-14 at St Peter in Round 4. Plymouth shipped 20 unanswered points in the final quarter to lose 29-16 when they last met Quins at Parc y Scarlets on 18 October.

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Griff post Bedford report.

The Knights held on for a 15-17 triumph away at Goldington Road last Friday night to maintain not only their perfect record in the British and Irish Cup but also their standing at the top of Pool 4.

 

November has been a trying month for Griff’s troops, on the back of three hard fought Championship defeats. The Knights DoR was full of praise for the team’s efforts and believes Friday’s result was very much deserved on the back of some superb defensive play.

 

“We showed a great deal of resolve in the London Scottish game last week, we completed 91% of our tackles in the game but unfortunately we switched off twice and they punished us twice.

 

“It could have been different but it wasn’t and we knew that the same sort of resolve would be required against Bedford, again we were strong in defence against a side smarting from a heavy defeat.

 

“We had a lot to prove ourselves because we went in to the game on the back of three straight losses in the league and disappointing losses at that.

 

“I’m delighted with the boys effort and determination to carve out a win, we made it difficult for ourselves at times, turning over possession in the middle third. Our scramble defence was good it was just one dodgy catch and drive that undid us in the first half and then them taking advantage of a sin binning in the second half.

 

“In attack Jarvo [Paul Jarvis] picked up a superb individual try and the forwards absolutely earned a penalty try by pounding the Bedford line for several minutes before the referee went to the posts.

 

“There aren’t that many teams that will come away from Bedford with a win as the season goes on, they’ve regrouped and they play their pitch very well; using the contours and slopes to their advantage.

 

“You have days were you need to defend and teams will look to pin you back in the corners, it happened against Moseley and it they tried to do it on Friday.

 

“Defence wins matches is something I continually tell the boys and it won the game for us on Friday.”

 

Last week saw a flurry of transfer activity at Castle Park with three new additions joining the Knights roster. Two of the new recruits were named in Friday’s match day twenty-two with WillGrif John looking set to make his debut sooner rather than later. Last week also saw the return of Jon Phelan and Tomasi Palu from international duty meaning that Clive now has a couple more options to look at when picking his starting line up.

“Two of the new signings have been forced upon us; we’ve lost Colin Phillips for a considerable amount of time with a neck injury, we didn’t know at the time how much longer Ross Davies would be out and Colin Quigley is carrying a bit of an ankle niggle so that’s three tight heads down.

 

“We cannot rely solely on our links with Leicester as they need their players as well, which we’ve found out this week with Tiziano [Pasquali] not being available. WillGriff John was available and we had to act quickly.

 

“Similarly we don’t know what Jamie Lennard’s scan will produce and how much longer he may be out for and Paul Roberts has been playing through knocks also, we needed to get reinforcements in at fly half and Piers Francis was back from New Zealand in a similar way to WillGriff so we moved quickly.

 

“Villi [Veikoso] is a player who we’ve been in discussions with for a long time but due to various complications his move has been delayed. I think he has shown already in the short period of time that he’s been here what a tenacious player he is going to be for us.’

 

The Knights travel to deepest darkest Cornwall next weekend for a top of Pool 4 clash with The Pirates, a win would secure the Knights position as pool leaders but Clive knows it will be a difficult trip.

 

“Pirates is always a tough place to go, the pitch isn’t the greatest when it gets heavy, I remember the last time we went down there and played the game in some torrential conditions.

 

“As a team they’ve turned it around recently, they struggled at the start of the season but not anymore.

 

“To put sixty points on Bedford is very impressive and then they’ve followed it up with a win away at Cross Keys and as we know that is a hard place to go and win.

 

“They are playing with an awful lot of momentum right now, they’ve openly said that they’re targeting five points in this game and the next game to challenge our position at the top of the pool so game on.”

 

 

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B&I Cup competition info.

The Knights maintained their perfect Cup run with a fourth win from four games away at Bedford on Friday evening leaving them top Pool 4.

The victory puts the Knights on 19 points and significantly boosted the team’s chances of reaching the quarter final stage, second placed Cornish Pirates currently sit on 12 points so one more victory would secure the Pool 4 top spot.

The eight quarter finalists are comprised of the top ranked side in each pool, plus the three best-placed runners-up. The rankings are determined in accordance with the following criteria and in the following order:

(a) Competition Points; or

(b) where the Competition Points are equal between two or more Clubs, the Club(s) that has achieved the greater number of wins; or

(c) where these are equal, the aggregate points difference from all Matches in the Pool Stage for each of the Clubs that have an equal number of Competition wins and Competition Points;

(d) or where these are equal, the Club that has scored the greatest number of points in the Pool Stage; or

(e) where these are equal, the Club that has the better result(s) from the Match(es) between the Clubs; or

(f) where these are equal, the greater number of tries scored in the Match(es) between the Clubs shall determine the rankings; or

(g) where the tries scored are equal, the aggregate points difference in the Matches between the Clubs in the Pool Stage shall determine the rankings; or

(h) where the aggregate points difference is equal the fewest number of players shown a red card in the Pool Stage shall determine the rankings; or

(i) where the number of red cards are equal, the fewest number of player shown a yellow card shall determine the rankings; or

(j) where the number of red cards are equal, by the toss of a coin.

The five pool winners are ranked one to five and the three runners up will be ranked six to eight using the same criteria used to determine to eight quarter finalists. Teams ranked one to four will be allocated home quarterfinals to take place on the weekend of January 24th.

Quarter final winners will enter a draw organised by the Committee to determine the semi-final ties in which winners will be deemed to be ‘Home teams’ and in which order the semi-finals will be played. The winners of the two semi-final matches will proceed to the British & Irish Cup Final. The Cup Final will be played on a date and at a venue determined by the Committee.

As it stands the Knights are currently the second ranked side in the Competition, level on 19 points with Rotherham who have also achieved four wins but have a superior points difference. As a result, if the pool stages ended without change to the rankings the Knights would have a home quarter final against the seventh ranked side, currently Munster A but plenty can change over the next two fixtures.