Start of Season Lunch: September 10th.

Castle Park brings in the new season with the annual Start of Season Lunch, prior to the Knights kick off versus Rotherham Titans on September 10th.

The start of the new Championship season is just three sleeps away and that means several things; The return of competitive rugby is one, the clamber for league points beginning another and, the one that’s surely top of most fans agenda, the Castle Park Start of Season Lunch!

This DRFC tradition is even more of an occasion for 2016/17 as it proceeds one of world rugby’s fiercest derbies; Doncaster Knights versus Rotherham Titans.

As is custom, Cow Pie with all the trimmings will be dish of the day followed by a cheeseboard and a vegetarian option will be available.

The event will be hosted in the Arms Park Suite with proceedings beginning at 12:30pm and costing just £14* which includes a match day programme.

You can book your place by calling 01302 831388, Monday-Friday (9am-5pm).

Get the new season off to the best possible start and book your place now!

*Start of Season Lunch price does not include a match day ticket.  

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DKTV: Glen Young on dual-registration at Castle Park.

Falcons second row Glen Young has been in impressive form on his return to Castle Park this season and with a brand new Championship season just around the corner says he is enjoying playing in South Yorkshire.

Chugga has featured in each of the Knights pre-season fixtures this summer, scoring in the Castle Park clashes against Canada and Darlington Mowden Park and is likely to play a crucial role in Saturday’s Championship opener with London Irish. 

 

 

Knights finish off pre-season in style.

Knights 64 v 0 Darlington Mowden Park

The Knights recorded a resounding win in their final pre-season test of the summer against a committed Darlington Mowden Park outfit at Castle Park.

In drizzly conditions the Knights ran in a total of ten tries against the National One outfit and prevented Park from registering a score all afternoon.  

The Knights made an electric start to the tie and scored the game’s opening try with less than a minute on the clock. David Nolan took a nice catch from the kick off and when play was brought in field Paul Jarvis raced through a gap to open up space for Tyson Lewis on the left wing. Dougie Flockhart converted and the Knights were up and running.

Paul Jarvis enjoyed an impressive opening to the tie and was at the forefront of the Knights attack again not long after. A deep Donny lineout was brought in field before play was switch back to the blindside and Jarvis hit the line at pace to cross for the second score.

Before Mowden had chance to find their feet in the game the Knights struck with a third. Ed Falkingham took a smart catch at the line out which was continued with a nice run from Alex Shaw. On the front foot, the Knights backs always looked dangerous and, with space out wide, possession was moved for Tyson to register his second with a trademark show of pace.

The visitors created a half chance when Callum Mackenzie collected an intercept deep in his own half but the Knights defence scrambled well to recover. A fourth try came before the interval as the Knights pack managed to get a post line out rumble over the line, lock forward Glen Young emerged with the ball and Flockhart’s conversion made it 26-0.

The coaching staff made a handful of changes at the half but it did little to effect the Knights momentum as they added a further two tries shortly after the restart. Sam Edgerley struck first, showing good awareness to dart over at the back of another powerful driving line out before Jarvis went over again; finishing a nice piece of post scrum back play.

The intensity dropped slightly as the second half progressed and both sides were guilty of spurning promising opportunities but overall the Knights defence always looked firm.

The final quarter saw the Knights add gloss to the score line with four more tries in the closing stages. Simon Humberstone finished a nice breakaway that featured impressive carries from Mat Clark, Lloyd Hayes and Alesana Tuilagi. Clark was on the attack again shortly after, powerfully finishing a good break by James Fitzpatrick.

Sam Edgerley got his second with an impressive display of pace from his own half after Makaafi stole a Mowden line out and Sean Scanlon got the final try of the day, linking up nicely with Lloyd Hayes on way to the line.

It was encouraging display for the home faithful ahead what will be very challenging Championship opener at the Madejski Stadium next Saturday.

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Lloyd Hayes, Blank) Alesana Tuilagi, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney (C) , 1) Robin Hislop, 2) Harry Allen, 3) WillGriff John, 4) Glen Young , 5) David Nolan, 6) Ed Falkingham, 7) Will Owen, 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Joe Sproston, 18) Dave Nelson, 18) Jarad Williams, 19) Matt Challinor, Blank) Latu Makaafi, 20) Beau Robinson, 22) Sam Edgerley, Blank) Simon Humberstone , Blank) James Fitzpatrick, 21) Mat Clark, 15) Sean Scanlon (all used).

Tries; Lewis 1’ & 22’, Paul Jarvis 16’, 47’ Young 36’, Edgerley 42’ & 72’, Humberstone 69’, Clark 78’, Scanlon 80’

Conv; Flockhart 1’, 16’, 36’ Cusack 42’ 47’, Humberstone 78’ 80’

Pens;

 

Darlington Mowden Park XV

15) Jamie Barnard, 14) Pete Homan, 13) Chris Auld, 12) Ben Frankland, 11) Callum Mackenzie, 10) Tom Putt, 9) Tim Duchesne, 1) Adam Brocklebank, 2) James Penman, 3) Ignas Darkintis, 4) Tailiti Vaioleti, 5) Myles Tucker, 6) Brandon Staples, 7) Joe Craggs, 8) Ollie Hodgson

Replacements; 16) Santiago Socino, 17) Chris Woods,18) Seb Freydell, 19) Caolan Ryan, 20) Alex Glashen, 21) Will Murrary, 22) Rory Duff, 23) Lorenzo Cemetti , 24) Dom Shaw, 25) Diogo Ferreira. (all used).

 

Tries;

Conv;

Pens;

Attendance: 553.

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Strong side named for Park pre-season clash.

The Knights side for the final pre-season tie has been named.

The starting XV has seven changes to the one that took to the field in last weekend’s victory over Rugby Canada.

Dougie Flockhart returns on the right wing with Paul Jarvis shifting to full back and Tyson Lewis continuing on the left.

Alesana Tuilagi makes his eagerly anticipated debut in midfield, the former Leicester Tigers star lines up inside Lloyd Hayes who makes his second start for the Club.

In the half backs Dec Cusack switches with Simon Humberstone at stand off with Michael Heaney captaining the side from scrum half.

WillGriff John is the only front row to retain starting berth with Robin Hislop and Harry Allen at loose head and hooker respectively. Glen Young and David Nolan continue at lock with Ed Falkingham making his first Doncaster Knights start in an otherwise unchanged back row. 

There is a total of thirteen replacements for tomorrow’s clash, including new signing Beau Robinson who will hope to make an impact on debut having first linked up with the squad yesterday.

James Fitzpatrick continues to train with the Knights after featuring in both pre-season fixtures thus far.

Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Lloyd Hayes, 12) Alesana Tuilagi, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney (C), 1) Robin Hislop, 2) Harry Allen, 3) WillGriff John, 4) David Nolan, 5) Glen Young 6) Ed Falkingham, 7) Will Owen, 8) Alex Shaw.

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Joe Sproston, 18) Dave Nelson, Blank) Ben Hunter, 18) Jarad Williams 19) Matt Challinor, Blank) Latu Makaafi, 20) Beau Robinson, 22) Sam Edgerley, Blank) Simon Humberstone, Blank) James Fitzpatrick, 21) Mat Clark, 15) Sean Scanlon

Kick off tomorrow is at 14:30 & adult tickets start from just £5. Doncaster Phoenix 1st Xv take on Ilkley in the Yorkshire Cup also on pitch one, KO 16:00.

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Castle Park triple-header this Saturday.

In addition to the Knights pre-season clash with Darlington Mowden Park, Doncaster Phoenix will play two Castle Park clashes tomorrow before and after the Knights game.

The Phoenix second XV will start proceedings as they take on Stocksbridge in a pre-season friendly; KO 13:00. The Twos enjoyed a fine campaign last season that saw them win promotion and the South Yorkshire Trophy; as a result they will compete in Yorkshire Merit League – Premiership this term.

Commenting ahead of the clash Phoenix Head Coach Ants Posa said. “I’m really looking forward to being able to watch the Seconds along with fellow coaches Adam Kettle and Jamie Lennard. We rarely get to see them in action due to being with the first team so it’s a great chance to see how they go in a game situation rather than just training.

Action continues on Pitch One with the Knights clash with Mowden Park (KO 14:30) before the final fixture of the game, Phoenix 1sts vs Ilkley in the Yorkshire Cup (16:00). Both sides will compete in National Three North this season and Ants believes Saturday’s game will provide an accurate yard stick for his side. “Ilkley will be a huge challenge and a step up from what we have faced so far in pre-season; they have a lot of familiar faces in their ranks and it should be a very exciting game.

“We take the cup very seriously but it will be good to get out their and try some combinations without the pressure of league points.

“I’ve wanted a Knights/Phoenix double-header for a long time and now we’re going to have triple header to really show case all the different levels of rugby played at Castle Park.”

Saturday will be Phoenix’ final game before league action recommences next weekend with three senior teams playing regular fixtures throughout the season and Ants feels the whole squad is well-placed for another successful campaign following a solid pre-season. “Our pre-season preparation has been good, we’re pretty fortunate to have such good a number of players turning up to training with over 40 guys down to most sessions.

“Our challenges have been to keep all these guys involved and giving everyone the right standard of rugby but I think we’re doing well.

“Up until now we have been doing our training at Hill House School, who have been brilliant in housing us, to give the Castle Park pitches the best chance of recovering but we came back this week ahead of Saturday’s games.

“We’re always on the look out any new players, our motto always has been rugby for all and we strive to be a very welcoming club whatever level of rugby you want to play. Training takes place from 6:45pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Castle Park throughout the season.”

For Knights fans keen to track the progress of the high-flying Phoenix this season you can take advantage of our Season Ticket bolt on. The Phoenix bolt on applies to all Knights season ticket holders and allows you to add a 2016/17 Phoenix season ticket to your Knights ticket for just £35; a saving of £20.

There are no Castle Park fixture clashes for the Knights and Phoenix 1st XV this season meaning the bolt is perfect for Knights fans unable to travel to away games.

You can see all of Doncaster Phoenix 1st XV’s fixtures and apply for your bolt here.

For those interested in sponsoring Doncaster Phoenix check out the 2016/17 sponsorship brochure.

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NEW SIGNING: Aussie international Beau Robinson

The Knights announce today that Australian international and Super XV winning back-rower Beau Robinson has signed a one-year contract with the Club.

The former Wallaby arrives in South Yorkshire having most recently spent time with Premiership heavyweights Harlequins and will bolster the Knights back row options; offering extra cover, particularly at open side, following the hamstring injury suffered by Michael Hills.

The 30-year-old began his Super Rugby career at the NSW Waratahs in 2006 having previously represented NRL outfit Canterbury Bulldogs at U20 level. In 2011 he joined The Queensland Reds after successfully completing a trial period.

In his first season he helped the Reds win the 2011 Super XV title before being capped by Australia against Samoa at the ANZ Stadium.

Beau went on to make over 50 appearances for Queensland across a four-year period and started against the British and Irish Lions in a midweek match during the 2013 tour.

Standing at six-feet-tall and over 100KG the gifted back-rower will provide a wealth of top flight experience and boost what is already a fierce looking Knights back-row.

Commenting on Robinson’s signing DoR Clive Griffiths said. “It is rare that a player of Beau’s quality comes available and I am delighted welcome him to Castle Park.

“Our recent injuries and recalls highlighted the need to reinforce our back row unit and Beau will provide a, much needed, quality presence in the Knights squad.”

Robinson added. “I’m pretty excited to get started, it’s a great opportunity for me especially as the Knights had such a great year last year.

“I feel as though I’ve got a fair bit of experience that I can bring to the team on numerous levels and I’ll try to be a leader on and off the field.

“We really want be in the top four again this year and give it another good crack in the play-offs this, although we know it will be hard given the strength of the competition.

“I’ve been training pretty hard and really want to hit the ground running and hopefully I’ll be able to have a bit of gallop on Saturday to blow off some of the cobwebs.”

Check out a few of Beau’s highlights here.

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Match day parking – Darlington Mowden Park.

This Saturday the Knights take to the field for the final pre-season test of the summer as Darlington Mowden Park visit Castle Park.

Ahead of Saturday’s clash we wish to advise fans about the reduced availability of match day parking at Castle Park due to the creation of two new junior pitches on the Woodside pitch.

We pride ourselves on being the home of rugby in Doncaster, highlighted by our hosting of three matches this weekend, and over summer have invested heavily in the renovation of all the pitches at Castle Park to allow the vast range of rugby we host to enjoy the best facilities possible. As a result a large proportion of the Woodside pitch is no longer available for match day parking

Plans are in place to create extra parking spaces next to the Woodside junior pitches but in the meantime parking will be restricted.

We encourage supporters to lift share, park offsite or make alternate travel arrangements where possible though additional parking will be available this Saturday at Danum School for £3.

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DKTV: Rugby Canada’s Adrian Wadden reflects on Knights clash.

The Knights & Rugby Canada played out a hard fought pre-season clash last Saturday with the Knights eventually running out 20-16 winners at Castle Park.

The Knights are at home again this Saturday against Darlington Mowden Park but the Canucks head on their travel once more as they journey to Ireland to face Ulster Ravens.

DKTV caught up with Rugby Canada second row Adrian Wadden to get his thoughts on Saturday’s game & his visit to South Yorkshire.

 

Highlights from Saturday’s game are available below courtesy of Rugby Canada. 

 

 

Knights make winning return to Castle Park

The Knights held off a determined and physical Canada side to record the first win of pre-season in front of a healthy crowd at Castle Park.

In a game that didn’t at all feel like a pre-season friendly, the Knights outscored the Canucks by three tries to one to record a 20-16 victory with all of the 26 man squad getting time on the field.

The Knights made a bright to the fixture and quickly spun phases together from kick off, demonstrating much of the structure that seemed missing for long periods in the opening clash versus Newcastle.

A lengthy injury to visiting flanker Oliver Nott meant a break in play but it did little to interrupt the Knights early momentum. Good work from the home pack forced a scrum penalty which was put to touch and, having worked the ball in field, space was created out wide for Simon Humberstone to thread a neat chip to Tyson Lewis who dotted down. Humberstone couldn’t add the extras, 5-0.

The opening exchanges continued to go with the Knights but, at times, execution let them down and with their first real venture into Doncaster territory the visitors won a penalty and skipper Gordon McRorie hit the three. The Canadian’s almost went in again shortly after as number eight Admir Cejvanovic showed good vision to intercept a loose pass in the Knights midfield. Great determination from Humberstone saw the fly-half chase back and make the tackle with Paul Jarvis doing equally well to stop Jordan Wilson-Ross after he collected the offload.

The set piece provided the basis for the Knights second score of the afternoon. Having forced another scrum penalty the pack produced a fine line out move that resulted in hooker Ben Hunter charging home from all of twenty metres. After hitting his target possession was quickly tapped back to Hunter who took advantage of the open space on the blindside to cross untouched.

There were no more tries before the half however McRorie added another penalty meaning the teams went into the interval with the Knights 10-6 ahead.

Last weekend’s fixture saw wholesale changes at half time however this week the Knights coaching staff made just two; introducing Robin Hislop and Dec Cusack at the break. Few would argue that the Knights weren’t the better side as the second half progressed but they struggled to turn pressure into points as the visitors defended admirably.

Both teams utilised their bench as the game headed towards the hour mark but there was no change to the scoreboard till the 65th minute when McRorie struck his third penalty of the afternoon to reduce to deficit to a point despite heavy Donny pressure.

A series of penalties and powerful phase play mean the Knights kept the Canucks under the cosh and eventually Pat Parfrey was shown a yellow card; the casualty of multiple team offences. The numerical advantage didn’t ease the Knights offensive concerns but they were able to add to their score on 68 minutes when Dec Cusack hit a three following another scrum penalty.

A Canadian mistake eventually forced the breakthrough for the Knigths, a dropped ball in midfield was punted forward by debutant Ed Falkingham. Glen Young won the foot race and was able to hack possession forward before touching down. Cusack’s conversion made the score 20-9 with just five minutes left to play.

The visitors had no intention on giving up on the fixture and a forward pass deep in the Knights 22m created a platform for attack. A series of pick and go carries got Canada to within a metre before replacement Lucas Albornoz barged his way over for a score. Robbie Povey added the extras to make it 20-16 with time left on the clock.

Ultimately though there was to be no comeback as the Knights finished strong and could have scored again after Michael Heaney and Sam Edgerley combined well to make ground from a short side scrum. At full pelt Robin Hislop was just unable to hold on to possession as he charged towards the line and shortly after the referee blew for full time.

A gritty win for the Knights on the day and another step in the right direction, next up Darlington Mowden Park at Castle Park next Saturday (27/08/16), kick off 14:30.

Knights XV; 15) Sean Scanlon, 14) Paul Jarvis, 13) Mat Clark, 12) James Fitzpatrick, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List ©, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) WillGriff John, 4) Glen Young, 5) David Nolan, 6) Latu Makaaafi, 7) Will Owen, 8) Jarad Williams.

Replacements; 16) Robin Hislop, 17) Joe Sproston, 18) Harry Allen, 19) Ed Falkingham, 20) Dec Cusack, 21) Sam Edgerley, Blank) Dave Nelson, Blank) Matt Challinor, Blank) Alex Shaw, Blank) Lloyd Hayes, Blank) Charlie Thacker. (All used)

Tries; Lewis 6’, Hunter 27’, Young 73’

Cons; Cusack 74’

Pens; Cusack 68’

 

Canada; 1) Anthony Luca, 2) Eric Howard, 3) Ryan Kotlewski, 4) Adrian Wadden, 5) Kyle Baillie, 6) Nanyak Dala 7) Oliver Nott, 8) Admir Cejvanovic, 9) Gordon McRorie,  10) Pat Parfrey, 11) Dan Moor, 12) Doug Fraser, 13) Mozac Samson, 14) Jordan Wilson-Ross, 15) Aidan McMullan

Replacements; 16. Alex Mascott, 17) Peter Houlihan, 18) Cody McClary, 19) Conor Keys, 20) Lucas Albornoz, 21) Matt Heaton, 22) Daniel Joyce, 23) Robbie Povey, 24) Guiseppe du Toit, 25) Sam Hayward, 26) Kainoa Lloyd. (All used)

Tries; Albornoz 76’

Cons; Povey 77’

Pens; Mcrorie 14’, 32’, 65’

 

Attendance: 873

Referee: John Meredith

 

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