New Year’s Lunch.

Join our celebratory New Year’s Eve Lunch ahead of our home game with Richmond on December 31st.

The Knights will look to end 2016 on a high note as they take on Richmond on New Year’s Eve and we are looking forward to toasting the New Year at Castle Park.

Start your day right by joining us for our New Year’s Eve lunch in the Arms Park Suite where the catering team have crafted a sumptuous two course meal all for just £14. A main course of either curry or Castle Park’s staple Cow Pie will be followed by cheese board and places are on sale now.

To book your place please call Emma on 01302 831388 before noon on December 30th.

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New Year’s Eve at Castle Park.  

Tomorrow we welcome Championship rugby back to Castle Park for the first game in over a month as the Knights end 2016 versus Richmond Rugby.

We hope you can join us for what promises to be an entertaining show with the team looking to build on the Boxing Day victory over Rotherham.

As well as the rugby itself we will open the Arms Park Suite pre-match for an end of year good feed with Cow Pie taking centre stage and a curry alternative available. A pre-match interview with Alex Shaw will take place who will also be offering fans the chance to win one of five gift hampers; lovingly created by the Knights players.

After the game we will have our usual post-match presentations followed by karaoke on the concourse so bring your best singing voices and get up on the stage for a star turn.

The concourse food counter and bar will stay open for as long as people stay and we look forward to toasting the New Year at Castle Park.  

The Club shop will be open for business from 12 noon until 5pm. 

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Knights name unchanged side for end of year clash.

Clive Griffiths and the Knights coaching staff are sticking with the same twenty-two that defeated Rotherham on Boxing Day as they look to end 2016 on a high.

For the first time this season there are no changes to the match day squad as the Knights welcome Richmond to Castle Park for the final game of the year.

The Knights recorded their largest victory of the season at the Athletic Ground when the sides last met in September. However, a sterner test is anticipated tomorrow as Richmond arrive having picked up some impressive recent form including victories over London Scottish and Cornish Pirates as well as a narrow defeat to the unbeaten London Irish.

Tyson Lewis is now the division’s leading try scorer having moved to ten following a Boxing Day brace and starts on the wing opposite Sean Scanlon with Paul Jarvis continuing at full back. Following an impressive display at Clifton Lane, converted midfielder Dougie Flockhart starts at centre alongside Mat Clark with Cusack and Heaney in the half-backs.

The pack will be hoping for another dominant afternoon following an impressive debut from Jack Ram and long awaited return to fitness for Michael Hills.

Kick off tomorrow is 14:30 and we look forward to celebrating the New Year at Castle Park and hope you stay for some post-match karaoke.

Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Sean Scanlon, 13) Mat Clark, 12) Dougie Flockhart, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Robin Hislop, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) WillGriff John, 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Glen Young, 6) Jack Ram, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Jarad Williams.

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Colin Quigley, 19) Huw Taylor, 20) Latu Makaafi, 21) Sam Edgerley, 22) Simon Humberstone.

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Knights take derby bragging rights.

Rotherham Titans 12-23 Doncaster Knights.

The Knights produced an authoritative performance to overpower Rotherham Titans 12-23 in the third South Yorkshire derby of the season and move themselves back into the Championship’s top four.

Boosted by several returns to fitness following a two-week layoff, and the arrival of new-signing Jack Ram, the Knights were hoping to end a losing run at Clifton Lane that spanned over half a decade. They did so in convincing enough fashion and will probably be disappointed that they were unable to touch down for an all-important bonus point fourth try.

There wasn’t a great deal separating the two sides in the early exchanges as Caolan Ryan and Dougie Flockhart traded penalties without either side really threatening the other’s try line. The Knights certainly seemed to enjoy the better of possession but the Rotherham defence made Donny battle for every inch of territory and much of the play remained in the middle third.    

A breakthrough eventually came at the game’s quarter point, having won a penalty in centerfield Dec Cusack found touch deep in Roth territory and after some close range carries space was created. Cusack took the ball at first receiver and, with options outside him, elected to head for the line. The fly-half rode contact to get over in the corner for the game’s opening score; Flockhart’s conversion dropped just short.

The try seemed to be a turning point for the game and the Knights spent the rest of the half firmly on the front foot but the hosts continued to defend with impressive steel. Chances came and the Knights spent what seemed to be an age in Titans territory with precious little to show for it, though this changed in the final ten minutes of the half.

The second try of the game came just after the half hour mark and was the result of a Titans error rather than sustained pressure. A poorly executed lineout was scooped up in midfield by the Donny pack who drove into the heart of the scrambling home defences. Quickly manoeuvred possession saw Michael Hills carry before handing onto Hunter who showed great awareness to draw in defenders before releasing Tyson Lewis down the left flank. With a clear route to the try line Lewis would not be stopped as he sprinted home from just inside half way.

The hosts hit back moments later as Ryan slotted his third penalty of the game and with less than a couple of minutes left in the half the Titans probably felt pleased to be trailing just 13-9. Donny had other ideas, however, and finished with a flurry as Lewis bagged a first half brace. Once again Hills was heavily involved with a deft show of handling as the Skipper reminded the travelling fans just what he adds to the squad. The flanker tipped onto Lewis under heavy pressure and Tyson tip-toed the touchline to race away and score. Flockhart’s successful conversion made the half time score 20-9 in the Knights favour.

The double figure lead was no less than the Knights deserved and they continued to take the game to Roth in the opening stages of the second half. Further opportunities came for the Knights but a combination of poor execution and the unrelenting home defence meant no further scores.

As the game entered it’s final quarter the hosts began to show more attacking intent and reduced their arrears on 58 minutes with a fourth penalty from the boot of Ryan. However, it was cancelled out moments later as Flockhart added to his tally for the day with a three-pointer.

The Titans produced more pressure in the final ten minutes and were aided when Latu Makaafi was yellow carded for an alleged swinging arm shortly after he entered the game from the subs bench. The Knights showed the same resolve that the home defence had demonstrated for much of the day and were able to close the game out without conceding to wrap up a league double over the Old Enemy.

The Knights next challenge is Richmond at Castle Park on New Year’s Eve knowing a win would mean ending the year firmly in the division’s top four.

Titans XV: 15 Caolan Ryan, 14 Sam Wilson, 13 Will Thomas, 12 Joe Barker (Andy Humberstone 70’), 11 Matt Walsh, 10 Brett Connon, 9 George Tresidder, 1 Tom Williams (Joe Hutchinson 51’), 2 Santi Socino (Joe Graham 61’), 3 Joe Rees (Danny Herriott 51’), 4 Miles Normandale (Toby Salmon 54’), 5 Tom Hicks, 6 Oli Curry (James Tyas 61’), 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.), 8 Dan Grange.

Replacements: 16 Joe Graham, 17 Joe Hutchinson, 18 Danny Herriott, 19 Toby Salmon, 20 James Tyas, 21 Andy Humberstone, 22 Jonny Sykes

Tries;

Conv;

Pens; Ryan 4’, 13’, 38’, 58’

Knights XV 15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Sean Scanlon, 13) Dougie Flockhart, 12) Mat Clark, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Robin Hislop (Rich List 70’), 2) Ben Hunter, 3) WillGriff John (Colin Quigley 40’), 4) Matt Challinor (Huw Taylor 78’), 5) Glen Young, 6) Jack Ram, 7) Michael Hills © (Latu Makaafi 70’), 8) Jarad Williams.

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Colin Quigley, 19) Huw Taylor, 20) Latu Makaafi, 21) Sam Edgerley, 22) Simon Humberstone.

Tries; Cusack 19’, Lewis 33’ & 40’

Conv; Flockhart 40’

Pens; Flockhart 9’, 61’

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Returnees boost Knights ahead of derby.

The Knights return to action following a lengthy lay off on Boxing Day as they head to Clifton Lane to take on Rotherham Titans in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Boosted by several returns to fitness and the arrival of Tongan international Jack Ram, The Knights will look to end a baron run at The Lane which sees a string of losses extending back to 2011.

In the backs, Sean Scanlon starts at full back against his former club with Paul Jarvis and Tyson Lewis on the wings. Mat Clark returns to fitness to assume his usual role in midfield accompanied by Dougie Flockhart who starts at outside centre.

The familiar combination of Michael Heaney and Dec Cusack start in the half backs.

Upfront Bomber Hislop will also start against his former employers at loose head alongside Ben Hunter and WillGriff John. Glen Young makes a welcome return from duty with Newcastle Falcons to start alongside Matt Challinor at lock. Jack Ram makes his debut for the club at blindside flanker with skipper Michael Hills featuring for the first time since pre-season at seven and Jarad Williams at number eight.

Richard List, Colin Quigley and Jack Bergmanas form the front row replacements with Huw Taylor and Latu Makaafi also named on the bench. Simon Humberstone and Sam Edgerley give options to the coaching staff out wide.

15) Sean Scanlon, 14) Paul Jarvis, 13) Dougie Flockhart, 12) Mat Clark, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Robin Hislop, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) WillGriff John, 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Glen Young, 6) Jack Ram, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Jarad Williams.

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Colin Quigley, 19) Huw Taylor, 20) Latu Makaafi, 21) Sam Edgerley, 22) Simon Humberstone.

 

 

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DKTV: Simon Humberstone pre-boxing day.

Fly half Simon Humberstone talks about the last couple weeks of training following the cancellation of back to back games versus London Welsh and looks ahead to the Knights Boxing Day derby vs Rotherham Titans.

Si featured from the bench away against Yorkshire Carnegie and Jersey Reds and is hoping to build on two promising displays and make a winning finish to 2016.  

Knights bring Christmas cheer to Children’s Ward

The Knights paid a visit to the Children’s Ward at Doncaster Royal Infirmary bringing with them Christmas cheer and gifts for the young patients.

Richard List, Colin Quigley, Matt Challinor, Dave Nolan, Tyson Lewis and Michael Heaney visited the ward on Monday to spread some festive spirit to the children who unfortunately have to spend Christmas in hopsital.

Lindsey Arthur, Play and Activity Leader at DBH said: “We really appreciate the Knights taking time out of their busy schedules to visit the children on the ward. We can see how it makes the children happy to have a visit from their local sporting stars. I would like to say thank you on behalf of the Trust for the generous gifts the team has brought for the children.”

During the visit the players spent time with the children and gave out the Christmas gifts that had kindly been donated by the Knights fans; through the Club’s toy appeal.

Following the visit, prop forward Richard List said: “It was great but also humbling to be able to spend time with the kids on the Children’s Ward.

“At Christmas we look forward to spending time with our families and loved ones and it is a particularly special time for children, so to be able to take the gifts that the fans generously donated and see them smiling was really nice. I’d also like to say thank you to Lindsey and her team for taking us around and for the fantastic work they do.”

If you’d like to get involved in fundraising for Doncaster Royal Infirmary, please contact 01909 502726 or 01302 644244 or email communicationsandengagement@dbh.nhs.uk.

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Knights fully focused following break says WillGriff

The Knights face local rivals Rotherham Titans on boxing day in their penultimate game of 2016.

Without a win since the start of November and having not played since the start of December, it has been a difficult two months for the Knights but prop WillGriff John believes the team are in a good position to finish 2016 on a high. “The break has given us more time to focus on our preparation, the amount of analysis we’ve already done is going to give us a head start going into this week.

“Due to the lack of games we’ve had December has been about getting ready for the Titans, we know their gameplay inside out so come Monday we’ll know exactly what we need to do and what areas of the game to target.

“We didn’t do too well against them in the British & Irish Cup, we want to put that right especially the local boys who are really wanting to put in a big performance.”

“It’s a derby so it is certainly going to be a big game for us but every game has got to be a big game going forward now that we are into the second half of the season.”

The Knights sit five places ahead of Rotherham in the table but they are only separated by as many points in what is an extremely congested Championship table. WillGriff appreciates the significance of the final two fixtures of the year but says he is more focussed on making a statement on the pitch than worrying about the league table. “We don’t look at the table that much, we obviously see what is there but we can’t get worried about what is too far ahead.

“All that matters is the team we are playing next week and getting ourselves ready for them. We know we are a good squad and when we get it right are a match for anyone in this league.”

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Haag added to Knights coaching staff.

The Knights are delighted to announce the appointment of former Nottingham Rugby and England U20s World Cup winning coach Martin Haag.

The 48-year-old joins Clive Griffiths, Glen Kenworthy and Francis Cummins on a consultancy basis for the ‘foreseeable future’ and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Castle Park.

Haag most recently held the post of England U20s Head Coach and lead them to their third World Cup win this summer and in emphatic style. England dominated the tournament with victories over Italy, Scotland, Australia and South Africa to secure a place in the final where they comprehensively saw off Ireland 45-21.

Prior to his age grade appointment, Haag was in charge at Nottingham Rugby and lead the Green and Whites to a second place finish in 2012-13; his first season with the club. He spent four years with the Championship side before his taking the role on the England coaching staff.

The former lock forward has also held coaching roles and Bristol and Bath where he made over 300 appearances as a player earning two England caps in the process.

Director of Rugby Griffiths has previously worked with Haag, coaching the then Bath forward for the first ever ‘Clash of the Codes’ match between Bath and Wigan RLFC and is pleased to have added him to the coaching staff at Castle Park. “I’m delighted to bring Martin on board, I’ve known Martin for a long time and it is surprising that he has become available given his recent achievements with the England under 20s.

“He showed whilst at Nottingham how well organised his sides are and how difficult it was to get one over on them.

“He’s one of the very few men who can say they’ve won a World Cup and we’re thrilled to have his experience to draw from.”

“Martin brings a wealth of expertise and will be a really strong addition to the coaching staff.”

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Knights fixture cancelled but Club Christmas party on!

There will be no Knights fixture at Castle Park this Saturday [December 17th] following the cancellation of our British and Irish Cup clash with London Welsh.

The Club made every effort to find a suitable replacement fixture for the scheduled Round Three British and Irish Cup clash, exhausting all available avenues; unfortunately, at such short notice, no opposition was available.

The sad tale of London Welsh’s financial situation highlights just how important the support and backing of loyal fans is to Championship Clubs. Whilst the lack of a competitive fixture is far from ideal with regards to the Knights on field preparation, it is also a significant blow to Club’s commercial activities and we are appealing to all who are booked into hospitality to come along and make the Club Christmas party an event to remember.

There are over 300 loyal Doncaster fans booked on to Saturday’s Christmas lunch celebration and despite the lack of Knights rugby, we are very much looking forward to welcoming to Castle Park all who are booked for what we hope will be a day of revelry and merriment amongst friends and fellow supporters.

The Club has organised a range of festive entertainment to take place throughout the afternoon as we come together to celebrate another Christmas at Castle Park.

In addition to carols from Armthorpe Brass Band, we welcome comedian and singer Steve Womack to the Arms Park Suite for two of his famed comedy sets. There will be the chance to win some fantastic prizes in the Knights ‘Grand Draw’ as well an auction hosted by Billy Petch.

The Knights playing and coaching staff will be joining fans for the day’s entertainment which will also see a Doncaster Knights themed quiz.

A game of rugby will also take place at Castle Park this Saturday as Doncaster Phoenix second team take on Hull Ionians on pitch two. The Lansdowne Bar will be open all day offering the perfect vantage point for those set on watching some rugby this weekend.

Places for the Christmas lunch are still available at £14 per head and you book yours by calling Emma on 01302 831388 up until 12 noon on Thursday.

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