Late Owen try secures maximum points for the Knights.

London Scottish 15-27 Doncaster Knights.

The Knights made it two wins on the spin with a gutsy performance against London Scottish, securing a bonus point in dramatic late fashion  

On a grey but fine afternoon in Richmond the Knights started the game the stronger enjoying continued spells on possession in the Scottish half. Good carries from the Knights midfield pairing often put them on the front foot but a lack of early execution repeatedly let the hosts off the hook.

The game remained scoreless until after the quarter point when, deservedly, Donny took the lead.

A smart carry from Andy Bulumakau saw the centre break the defensive line and only a good, one on one, tackle from Craig Holland prevented a score. The Knights got close in the subsequent phases but were unable to break through but play was brought back for a Knights penalty.

Alertness is a quality highly valued for those who play scrum half and Michael Heaney more than demonstrated his for the first score moments later. With the Scottish backs turned, and seemingly switched off ,Heaney tapped and went from just inside the home 22m to race over untouched. Humberstone was unable to convert; 0-5.

The try seemed to breath life into the hosts who reacted with some of their best play of the first half immediately following the Heaney score. A period of pressure followed the restart and only some resolute goal line prevented an immediate response.

The pressure continued however and eventually the break came as a stretched Donny defence allowed space down the left-hand side and flanker Joe Atkinson gladly took possession to run home. Craig Holland added the extras and Scottish lead. 

The Exiles continued to apply the pressure following the score but it was the Knights who bettered their position before the half.

A miss hit clearance kick from winger Nick Scott gave the Donny pack a lineout in the home 22m and following a smart drive possession went wide. A couple of quick phases followed and room was made for Tyson Lewis who produced a fine finished to get over in the corner. Humberstone could not convert and the Knights took a slender, three point, lead into the break. 

Having struggled to take their chances for the majority of the first half the Knights began the second in electric fashion.

From a deep lineout the Knights attacked infield and made good progress into the Scottish 22m. Morgan Eames produced a clever dummy and carry to get within range of the goal and a couple of phases later Heaney backed himself from the base of a ruck get his second of the game.

A reaction came again from the Scots who almost hit back with a try of their own moments later but Matt Eliet managed to bump into James Tyas on his way to the line; the obstruction letting the Knights off the hook. The Exiles did add to their score however as play was brought back for an earlier infringement against the Knights and Holland kicked the three; 10-17. 

After this a tense period followed with both sides creating half chances but neither really asserting their dominance on the game. Overall, the Knights were probably on top but the hosts made enough chances to make viewing uncomfortable for the considerable travelling support. 

On 54 minutes Charlie Foley kicked the Knights back into a ten-point lead with a penalty, having replaced Simon Humberstone at stand off shortly before but the lead didn’t last long. 

Having threaded a number of threatening phases together Scottish threw a loose pass that bounced back towards the half way line and looked like it might have killed their momentum. Not so, as the home midfield seized possession and countered down the right; Atkinson collected raced away for his second of the game – 15-20.

At this point the home crowd were getting quite excited and with just under ten minutes to play had every right to be. Opportunities befell both teams in the closing stages but it was Donny who made it count.

On an attacking move, a wide pass was spun to Holland and the full back’s hands failed him as he spilled possession in front of him. David Nelson reacted the quickest and dropped on the ball before offloading from the floor to the oncoming Will Owen who raced away under the sticks untouched. Foley added the extras and shortly after the full time whistle was blown.

It was far from a classic and the coaching team will doubtlessly have plenty to say ahead of Hartpury next Saturday but the wins means the Knights end September with four wins and firmly positioned in the league’s top four.

London Scottish: 15) Craig Holland, 14) Matt Williams, 13) Ross Neal, 12) Ben Mosses, 11) Nick Scott, 10) Fraser Lyle (Jake Sharp 63’), 9) Ed Hoadley, 1) Jonny Harris (Ben Christie 51’), 2) Isaac Miller, 3) Phil Cringle (Dino Waldren 67’), 4) Jonathan Mills, 5) James Tyas ,6) Matt Eliet (Kyle Baillie 73’), 7) Joe Atkinson, 8) Danny Kenny (c) (Chris Walker 51’),

Replacements; 16) Pete Austin, 17) Ben Onyeama Christie, 18) Dino Waldren, 19) Kyle Baillie, 20) Chris Walker, 21) Josh Barton, 22) Jake Sharp.

Tries; Atkinson 31’, 62’

Conv; Holland 32’

Pens; Holland 46′

Doncaater Knights; 15) Junior Bulumakau, 14) Curtis Wilson, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone (Charlie Foley 46’), 9) Michael Heaney (Tom James 63’), 1) Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 57’), 2) Ben Hunter (David Nelson 68’), 3) Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 60’), 4) Morgan Eames, 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Matt Challinor © 7) Alex Shaw, 8) Jason Hill (Sam Jones 60’)

Replacements; 16) David Nelson, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Joseph Sproston, 19) Curtis Langdon, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) Charlie Foley

Tries; Heaney 23’, 42’, Lewis 39’, Owen 76’

Conv; Humberstone 42’, Foley 76’

Pens; Foley 54’


Referee: Fergus Kirby

Attendance: 868

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TEAM NEWS | Hills fails late fitness test.

There has been a last minute adjustment to the Knights side to face London Scottish today as skipper Michael Hills fails a late fitness test.

The Knights physio team have withdrawn the flanker due to a groin concern who will now see his place in the twenty-two taken by hooker Curtis Langdon who featured heavily in the Knights pre-season schedule on dual-registration from Sale Sharks.

Langdon starts on the bench with Morgan Eames promoted into the starting XV partnering Tom Hicks in the second row.

Matt Challinor will now wear the Captain’s armband from blindside flanker with Alex Shaw switching to openside and Jason Hill continuing at number eight.

Kick off today from the Athletic Ground in 15:00 & you can keep up to speed via @DoncasterKnight on twitter

Starting XV; 15) Junior Bulumakau, 14) Curtis Wilson, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Colin Quigley, 4) Morgan Eames, 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Matt Challinor © 7) Alex Shaw, 8) Jason Hill

Replacements; 16) David Nelson, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Joseph Sproston, 19) Curtis Langdon, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) Charlie Foley.

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Academy star Jones set for Knights inclusion

Academy back-row Sam Jones has been registered with the Knights squad from Doncaster Phoenix ahead of tomorrow’s clash with London Scottish.

The 19-year-old who, featured in all of the Knights pre-season fixtures, is now registered and eligible for selection in tomorrow’s Greene King IPA Championship clash with London Scottish.

Sam will, in all likelihood, become the first Academy product named in a Championship match day twenty-two. Previous Academy contributions for the Knights include Alex Keeton who featured in the Knights British & Irish Cup campaign versus Rotherham last season and James Wright who was a travelling reserve versus Jersey Reds.

Commenting on Sam’s registration Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths commented. “Sam’s development has been fantastic since he’s been with us and he is a welcome addition to the squad due to the levels and ability he has shown both in training and the pre-season fixtures.

“Against Newcastle he was matched up against a full international in Nili Latu and showed what he could do against the best and was one of our best players in that game.

“The injury to Aaron [Carpenter] and lack availability on dual-registration due to ‘A’ League fixture this week meant our head was turned towards Sam. Whilst, we know he will be a loss Doncaster Phoenix this weekend we are very excited about him being in action with the Knights.”

Jones has featured in each of the Phoenix’ four Midlands Premier fixtures to date, whilst training with Knights alongside his studies, but is raring to take his shot in the first team, saying. “I am just excited to get out there for a match with the boys, I’ve been training with them since June now and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be involved in a competitive match.

“I’ve put in a lot of work since pre-season so I just really want to take the opportunity and hopefully it will have all paid off.

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TEAM NEWS | Wilson to make debut vs Scots.

The Knights coaching staff make five changes to the starting XV that defeated Nottingham last weekend for tomorrow’s clash with London Scottish.

Winger Curtis Wilson will make his debut on the right wing with Junior Bulumakau moving to full back in place of Charlie Foley who is named on the bench.

The midfield of Will Owen and Andy Bulumakau is unchanged for fourth week with Simon Humberstone returning to the starting line up outside Michael Heaney at Stand off.

Upfront Ben Hunter gets the nod over David Nelson as hooker and Matt Challinor returns at lock with Morgan Eames included among the replacements.

Jason Hill makes his first competitive start for the Knights at number eight in place of Aaron Carpenter who misses the game with a head injury.

Academy back row Sam Jones is named on the bench, making him the first Academy product to be selected in a Knights Championship match day twenty-two.  

Kick off tomorrow is at 15:00 and you can follow the live updates @DoncasterKnight

Starting XV; 15) Junior Bulumakau, 14) Curtis Wilson, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Colin Quigley, 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Alex Shaw, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Jason Hill

Replacements; 16) David Nelson, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Joseph Sproston , 19) Morgan Eames, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) Charlie Foley

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Phoenix Ladies Lunch Sept 30th.

With the Knights away in the Capital Phoenix take centre stage at Castle Park with all three senior teams at home.

Saturday also hosts Phoenix’ Ladies Lunch and tickets are still available. 

Enjoy a two-course lunch plus a glass of fizz on arrival before watching the Phoenix 1sts take on Birmingham and Solihull in a top of the table Midlands Premier clash. 

Arrival is 13:00 for a 13:30 sit down and you can book your place by phoning Amy Plevey on 07787568504.

1st XV v Birmingham and Solihull – KO 15:00 – Midlands Premier 

2nd XV v Ilkley – KO 14:30 – Yorkshire Premier Merit 

3rd XV v Sheffield Engineers – KO 14:00 – South Yorkshire Merit

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50% off entry for Cup opener.

We’re offering fans half price entry to the Knights British & Irish Cup opener versus Leinster ‘A’ at Castle Park [October 14, kick off 14:30]

The Knights look to make a winning start to their Cup campaign in just over a fortnight’s time against two-time winners Leinster ‘A’ on October 14th and you can get 50% off entry today. 

To take advantage of this limited time offer, follow the ticket link below & enter the code Leinster50 when prompted at the checkout. The offer expires at 17:00 on Monday October 9th so book your place today and back the Knights against an Irish invasion. 

Doncaster Knights vs Leinster ‘A’ tickets.


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DKTV | Tom James on Nottingham & London Scottish

Tom James played a crucial role in the Knights’ fightback win against Nottingham at the weekend, touching down for one of three second half tries.

The scrum half showed a wick turn of pace to sprint home from distance at the base of a ruck before Andy Bulumakau’s late effort won the fixture for the Knights. 

Whilst please with aspects of Saturday performance Tom highlighted the that Knights need to cut out avoidable errors in their play when they face a wounded London Scottish at The Athletic Ground.

DKTV | Griff Nottingham review.

Knights boss Clive Griffiths reacts to Saturday’s 32-26 win over Nottingham at the weekend.

Clive praised the character of his team after giving Nottingham a ‘head start’ in the fixture which saw the Knights trail by ten points approaching the hour mark.

The Director of Rugby states that he and his coaching team didn’t need to say a great deal at half time and that the side knew what needed to be done in the second forty. 

This weekend the Knights head to The Athletic Ground to face a London Scottish hurting from a heavy defeat to Ealing Trailfinders. Griff states that The Exiles will be a different beast on their own patch and that they’ll be fired up to put last week’s behind them on Saturday. 

DKTV | Will Holling Academy update.

Hooker Will Holling is part of the Academy group that trains with the first team on a regular basis and has done so since the start of pre-season. 

In addition to Knights training, Will has featured in all four of Doncaster Phoenix Midland Premier games and will play a key role in the Academy’s (in association with Doncaster College) British Universities and Colleges Sport campaign.

Will discusses how he’s found his first pre-season in a full time rugby set up as well as his hope and aspirations for Phoenix and the Academy this season. 

*Tomorrow’s Academy fixture with Derby University has been cancelled*

Supporters coach details.

This coming Saturday [September 30th] the Knights are away against London Scottish and will be hoping to end September on a winning note at the Athletic Ground. 

As usual the Knights Supporters coach makes the trip and will depart Castle Park shortly after 9am.

The cost will be £20 for adults and £10 for juniors and, to book your place, please text me John Lowe on 07977112706. 

There will be a guess the Score competition and Raffle also for those feeling lucky (donated prizes very welcome as always thanks).

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Andy Leslie’s funeral service 

Andy’s funeral service will take place at Rose Hill Crematorium, on Wednesday 11th October at 11am. The address of the Crematorium is Cantley Lane, Cantley, Doncaster DN4 6HE.

Andy’s Family have extended an invitation to all who are attending to join them after the service to celebrate Andy’s life in the Arms Park Suite at Castle Park 

The Family have asked that no flowers are to be sent. They are supporting two charities St John’s Hospice Doncaster and MacMillan Cancer Support

Donations can be directly using the links above or through J Steadman & Sons Funeral Directors, 3 Balby Road, Doncaster DN4 0RB [Tel 01302 344444].

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