player news | Hayes, Sproston and Bergmanas agree extensions at Castle Park.

The Knights have agreed new contracts with three members of the current squad as centre Lloyd Hayes and props forwards Joe Sproston and Jack Bergmanas all agree to extend their stay at Castle Park for at least another year.

The trio become the latest to pen at the Castle following the announcement that Morgan Eames has signed from Nottingham last week.

Lloyd Hayes signed with the club from local rivals Rotherham Titans ahead of the 2016 season, the hard-running centre quickly formed a formidable partnership with Mat Clark and has become an integral part of the Knights midfield, missing just two games all season and chipping in with six tries so far.

Commenting on extending his stay in Doncaster the 25-year-old said. “I’ve really enjoyed my first season at Castle Park, the setup is spot on and we’ve got a great group in terms of players and coaches. I’m looking forward to finishing the season strongly now and continuing our success next year.”

2016/17 was fellow North Wales Exile Joe Sproston’s second at the Club, ‘Big Joe’ arrived at Castle Park in the summer of 2015 after helping Bedfordshire based side Ampthill win promotion into National One.

Sproston was used predominately as a replacement during his first term but managed 17 appearances and earned many plaudits for his performances.

The 26-year-old has seen his 2016/17 campaign hampered by injury after a promising start but is now back in the mix and proving his value to the side on both sides of the scrum and has even filled in at number eight.

Joe believes that he can continue his development at Castle Park and is looking forward to his future with the Knights. “I feel like I’ve progressed a lot as a player since signing last year, the Club has great ambitions and I want to match that and be a big part of this team going forward.”

Donny born Jack Bergmanas has also put pen to paper on a one year contract extension, Jack returned to the Club in October 2016 after recovering from a severe knee injury.

The 24-year-old made his competitive return versus Jersey in December and has only missed one Knights fixture since and is now keen to build on this and make his mark for the Knights. “The progression the club has made has been outstanding since I first arrived in 2013 and it is a pleasure to be a part of, I feel we’re moving forward at a great pace.

“Hopefully next year I can get some more game-time under my belt and get some more league starts. I’m just going to keep training hard and use this pre-season to make the step forward and hopefully it goes my way.”

The announcement comes ahead of the Knights final two games of the season and Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths has expressed his delight at the re-signing of three of the Knights most promising young players. “Once again we are delighted to announce the resigning of three players whose loyalty and development is unquestionable again this season.

“All of them provide us with a freshness and great potential going forward; we are delighted that they have committed themselves to the Knights for 2017-18.”

 

 

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Phoenix trio at Castle Park this Saturday [April 1st].

No Knights action this weekend but we have a plethora of live rugby at Castle Park on Saturday regardless.

Doncaster Phoenix have; not one, not two, but three! Teams at home.

The first XV continue their fight for survival in National Three North versus Billingham, the 2nds take on Cleckheaton in a merit league clash and the threes will look to send Sheffield History Society back to school.

All three games kick off at 15:00 and are preceeded by the Doncaster Phoenix End of Season Lunch, tickets are on sale now and you can get yours for just £15 by calling Amy Plevey on 07787568504.

Following the full time whistle the fun continues with ‘Prop Idol’ – rugby’s answer to X-Factor and a source of much hilarity all are welcome to spetate or participate. 

Phoenix 1st XV v Billingham -Pitch 2
Phoenix 2nd’s XV v Cleckheation- Pitch 3
Phoenix 3rd’s v Sheffield History Society-Pitch 4

All kick offs 15:00. #Allez

 

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DKTV | Dougie Flockhart Pirates reflection

Dougie Flockhart’s seven point contribution was not enough to help the Knights keep pace with Cornish Pirates last weekend as the team fell to a 34-17 defeat at the Mennaye. 

The loss has left the Knights with two massive fixtures against Jersey Reds [April 8th] and London Irish [April 15th] and they now know that a positive result is needed in both to secure a play-off place.

Flockhart says that the belief in the camp is still very strong and that they have a sharpened focus knowing exactly what is required from the final two games. 

Tickets for the final two games of the season are on sale now and you cant take advantage of adavanced savings when purchasing through our online ticketing system. 

DKTV | Francis Cummins Pirates reaction.

Doncaster Knights Skills & Backs Coach Francis Cummins admits that the team’s performance in the 34-17 defeat just wasn’t good enough and that there will be a tough review before refocusing on the final two games on the season.

Cummins highlights an unacceptable ammount of errors that must be rectified as the Knights look ahead to back to back home games against Jersey and London Irish. 

Yorkshire Rugby Union Show Episode Three

Episode Three of the Yorkshire Rugby Union Show is now online and ready for you to watch.

You can watch the latest show on YouTube here.

The show shares the good work and stories from our great game from within our county and this month they focus on the development of Yorkshire’s young upcoming talent and there is a heavy DRFC presence. 

The Knights feature with two pieces. Firstly the Show speaks to academy flanker Sam Jones. The 18 year old shares his story of how battled against and beat cancer just months after joining us; and how his return to playing is now going.

The second piece focuses on ther new academy setup and the success we’ve had in our first full season. Academy director of rugby Anthony Posa and Yorkshire Under 20’s players William Burden and William Hollings feature as the show looks at what we do in the academy and how we are developing young players.

The Show also heads to Prince Henry’s Grammar School, the school of England Internationals Danny Care and [Former DRFC Colts] Paul Hill. They speak with the school’s latest rising star Marion Ridgway after her selection from England North; and learn about the school’s Excellence in Sport Education Programme and how it helps pupils develop as athletes while continuing their studies.

The online TV programme also features Otley, as the club debate whether to leave their famous Cross Green Ground as they build a sustainable future.

And National League Three North leaders Huddersfield are the latest team to take on the Show’s Dizzy Kicks Challenge. Watch to find out if any of them can match our very own Dougie Flockhart in beating the challenge.

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Pirates prosper as Knights misfire at the Mennaye.

The Knights were outscored by five tries to two in a 34-17 defeat to Cornish Pirates which means that the side’s play-off fate will go down to the final weekend of the season.

Donny were unable to back up last Sunday’s fine derby win over Yorkshire as they came up short against an impressive Pirates outfit who held the upper hand in most quarters for the duration.

A lively start saw both sides look to force early opportunities, the Knights enjoyed more of the possession but were rarely granted opportunity to leave their own half. Fleeting opportunities were created by the Knights but a lack of composure with front foot ball scuppered further progress.

Few real scoring opportunities were created in the opening quarter of an hour but most of the play seemed to be taking place in the Knights half and indiscipline gave the Pirates opportunity to enjoy some decent territory from which they took full advantage.

A penalty for dropping the maul at a line out almost saw Tom Hendrickson drop over on a Laurence May grubber kick but the centre was held up in goal with advantage. The Pirates went back to the corner and after the maul was illegally dropped for a second time referee Matt O’Grady sin binned Glen Young and ran under the sticks for a penalty try. May added the extras.

With a man advantage the hosts quickly increased their lead and it was from another deep driving line out preceded by midfield indiscipline. This time the Knights pack managed to legally drop the drive but after a handful of quick carries play was spun blind where Max Bodilly finished smartly.

The Knights needed a reaction and did produce a response of sorts following a fine kick to touch from Simon Humberstone; one of many in the opening forty. From the resulting lineout the Pirates gave up a penalty and Dougie Flockhart took the opportunity to put Donny on the score sheet.

Unfortunately, the Knights could not kick on from the penalty and instead gave away a rather sloppy third try. Defensive confusion saw the Knights shoot up in midfield which allowed Kyle Moyle to nip through a gap Paul Jarvis raced across to try and cover but the winger would not be stopped. A smart conversion from May made is 19-3 and the signs were ominous.

The Knights have fought back from compromising positions at the Mennaye before but a 16-point deficit at the half would have required a complete change in fortunes; or divine intervention. Thankfully a late rally before the interval provided a lifeline for Donny.

A deep line out the Knights lead to a succession of penalties resulting in number eight Tom Duncan being sent to the sin-bin. With no time left on the clock Michael Heaney fed Matt Challinor with a quick tap and the pack set about rumbling towards the Pirates line with Ben Hunter eventually crashing over. Flockhart’s conversion made the half time score 19-10.

With a man advantage and the deficit down to ten points the considerable travelling Donny support had good reason to believe that the game was far from lose. However, just five minutes after the resumption Kyle Moyle scooped his second score of the afternoon as the winger collected a well-weighted grubber to secure a bonus points for the Pirates to extinguish the half time hope.

Soon after the Knights coaching staff looked to utilise the bench but it failed to stem the Pirates ascendancy as they continued to put the Knights under pressure in the loose and at scrum time. A succession of scrum penalties ended with May extending his sides lead with a well hit three pointer,

The Knights did show some defiance as they formulated a beautifully structured driving lineout to put Aaron Carpenter over the line against his old side but this was about as good as it got.

Despite needing two scores Donny looked the least likely to improve on their total as the game creeped into the final quarter. The odd opportunity presented itself but the Pirates looked the more threatening of the two sides.

With time all but done the host capped a dominant performance with a fifth try after the Knights coughed up possession outside of their own 22m. The ball was then quickly put through several pairs of hands with some ambitious offloads with the ball eventually finding its way to May who dived over.

A bad day at the office for the Knights who now have a weekend off before what could be a season defining clash against Jersey at Castle Park on April 8th.

Cornish Pirates: 15 Toby May, Kyle Moyle (Jack Arnott 62’), 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Nicolas De Battista 11 Max Bodilly, 10 Laurence May, 9 Alex Day 1 Marlen Walker, 2 Jack Innard, 3 Paul Andrew, 4 Chris Morgan (capt) 5 Brett Beukeboom, 6 Jake Parker (John Stevens 64’), 7 Dan lee, 8 Tom Duncan

Replacements: 16 Jack Andrew, 17 Luke Chapman, 18 Josh Caulfield, 19 John Stevens 20 Mike Pope, 21 Will Cargill, 22 Jack Arnott

Tries; Penalty 17’, Bodilly 29’, Moyle 35’, 45’, May 80’

Conv; May 17’, 36’, 45’

Pens; May 56’

Knights; 15. Paul Jarvis, 14. Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Lloyd Hayes, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Simon Humberstone (Dec Cusack 52’), 9. Michael Heaney (Sam Edgerley 63’), 1. Rich List (Jack Bergmanas 52’), 2. Ben Hunter (Dave Nelson 56’), 3. Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 52’), 4. Matt Challinor (Joe Makymiw 45’), 5. Glen Young, 6. Jack Ram (Alex Shaw 56’), 7. Michael Hills ©, 8. Aaron Carpenter

Replacements; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Dave Nelson 18. Joe Sproston, 19. Joe Maksymiw, 20. Alex Shaw, 21. Sam Edgerley, 22. Dec Cusack.

Tries; Hunter 40’, Carpenter 64’

Conv; Flockhart 40’, 64’

Pens; Flockhart 33’

Referee: Matthew O’Grady

Attendance; 1,248

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Heaney hoping to put one foot in the play-offs.

The Knights 31-26 derby win over Yorkshire Carnegie meant they have kept a strong hold on the play-off positions but know this weekend’s clash will be equally as crucial to their end of season ambitions if not more so.

Cornish Pirates are just nine points off the Knights meaning that their own play-off hopes are not extinguished despite defeat to league leaders London Irish last week.

Scrum half Michael Heaney will start his 20th game of the season on Sunday and knows the challenges they will face down at Mennaye Field and states the team want to make amends for November’s 35-26 defeat as they go in search of a fifth successive win. “We didn’t really deliver what we had practiced when we played Pirates here and we didn’t play that well on the day, that’s something for us to put right and something we intend to do this weekend.

“I’m feeling reasonably confident, we’ve had a good week training but we know going down there is not an easy task, it isn’t easy for anyone to go down there, they have been going quite well so we’re under no illusions of what we’re going to face.

Heaney lines up alongside Simon Humberstone for the fourth consecutive game on Sunday and believes the squad depth has been crucial to the Knights 2017 form.

“I’m happy with how it’s gone with Si in the last couple of weeks but I’m happy playing with both Simon and Dec. We’ve got a really good group of half-backs who all work well together so it’s just a case of everyone doing their job on a weekend whoever is wearing nine and ten.

“We have a tough run in but know that Pirates, Jersey and Irish are three games we can win but at the same time if we don’t pitch up on the weekend we could lose those and find ourselves out of the running for the play-offs.

“You have a bit of a glance at the league table now and again, you see the teams that are around and we have been playing teams that are in and around the play-offs the last few games so it is massively important that we don’t drop points.

“Right now our focus is just on the next game and getting the results versus Pirates.”

Kick off at the Mennaye on Sunday is 15:00 but remember, if you cannot make the trip, the game is being shown live in the Lansdowne Suite at Castle Park via the England Rugby facebook page.0

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Knights hoping to make it four in a row in Cornwall.

The Knights have named an unchanged starting XV for the fourth game in a row as they travel to Penzance to face Cornish Pirates in what could prove to be a pivotal play-off showdown.

The front row of Richard List, Ben Hunter and Colin Quigley remain after an impressive outing against Yorkshire Carnegie. Matt Challinor and Glen Young make up the front five, whilst Jack Ram, Michael Hills continue on the flanks and Aaron Carpenter will start at eight against his former team.

Paul makes his 101st appearance with Dougie Flockhart and Tyson Lewis on the wings. Lloyd Hayes partners last week’s man of the match Andy Bulumakau who will be looking to replicate his two-try performance against Carnegie.

Michael Heaney and Simon Humberstone start in the half-backs; the duo has led the Knights to victory in every league game they’ve started together so far in 2017.

The Knights have made just one change to the bench as they opt once more for a five-two forward back split. Front-row cover is provided by Jack Bergmanas, Dave Nelson and Joe Sproston with dual-reg Joe Maksymiw in to replace Dave Nolan, Alex Shaw makes up the forward replacements.

Offering cover for the backs are Sam Edgerley and Declan Cusack.

Kick off at the Mennaye on Sunday is 15:00 but remember, if you cannot make the trip, the game is being shown live in the Lansdowne Suite at Castle Park via the England Rugby facebook page.

Knights XV; 15. Paul Jarvis, 14. Dougie Flockhart, 13. Andy Bulumakau, 12. Lloyd Hayes, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Simon Humberstone, 9. Michael Heaney, 1. Rich List, 2. Ben Hunter, 3. Colin Quigley, 4. Matt Challinor, 5. Glen Young, 6. Jack Ram, 7. Michael Hills ©, 8. Aaron Carpenter

Replacements; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Dave Nelson 18. Joe Sproston, 19. Joe Maksymiw, 20. Alex Shaw, 21. Sam Edgerley, 22. Dec Cusack.

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Lock Eames becomes Knights first new signing for 2017/18.

The Knights can today announce the first new signing ahead of the 2017/18 season in the form of second-row Morgan Eames from Nottingham Rugby.

At almost two metres tall and weighing 116KG Eames will certainly add a significant physical presence to the Knights pack and arrives with three years Championship experience.

The lock-forward made his debut for Nottingham at just 19-years-old in December 2013 and developed into a regular starter by the close of the 2015/16 season.  He has continued to be a key feature for the Green and Whites this campaign and is someone Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths is excited to see develop at Castle Park. “Morgan is a hungry, young player full of potential and I have been very impressed by his attitude and willingness to learn.

“He’s been someone we have highlighted several times in our analysis, not just when we’ve played Nottingham when looking at other teams when he’s been on the opposing side.

“For a young man, he has a lot of Championship experience and whilst he is still cutting his teeth he’s very much up for the challenge of competing for a starting spot in what he believes is a very progressive Club.

“We need to expand our second-row numbers and we believe Morgan is the man to come in and provide some youthful exuberance in that department.”

In addition to his experience with Nottingham Eames also featured for England Students whilst studying for a degree at Bishop Burton College and spent a summer developing his game in New Zealand.

The 22-year-old will now finish the season at Lady Bay before a summer move to South Yorkshire – a prospect he claims to relish. “I am excited to be joining Doncaster Knights next season and to be making Castle Park my new home with its fantastic facilities.

“I’m looking forward to the start of pre-season so I can meet the squad and to play in front of the Donny fans next season.”

Why not welcome Morgan to Castle Park on Twitter @MorganRugby5

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Watch Cornish Pirates vs Doncaster Knights at Castle Park this Sunday.

The Knights team head to Penzance to face off against Cornish Pirates this Sunday [March 26th] for the final away trip of the regular season but you can watch the game live without leaving Donny!

Whilst every travelling voice of support will be very much appreciated by the team, this weekend, fans who are unable to make the trip can watch the game live at Castle Park.

The fixture is being streamed live on Englandrugby.com and the England Rugby Facebook page and we will be screening it live in Lansdowne Suite at Castle Park; kick off 15:00.

We will also show the Sky footage of last Sunday’s derby win from 13:00 so you can re-live the action and try to spot yourself in the crowd! 

The bar will be open, refreshments on sale and free parking available across the Stadium.  

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DKTV | Simon Humberstone Carnegie reflection.

Fly-half Simon Humberstone raced over for the Knights first score in an impressive display versus County rivals Yorkshire Carnegie last weekend.

Humberstone reflects on what was a dramatic encounter, highlighting that it was crucial to take the scalp of one of the league’s top four ahead of a gruelling final three Championship games.