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DKTV | James Wright scoring debut.

James Wright followed in the footsteps of Sam Jones this weekend to become the second Academy player to feature for the Knights in a Championship game.

The winger entered Sunday’s fixture vs Cornish Pirates late on but made an immediate impact to score with more or less his first touch of the game.

Wright was loaned into the Knights squad from Doncaster Phoenix ahead last weekend’s clash with Bristol and replaced one of his Academy coaches in Tyson Lewis to cross for the Knights fifth try of the afternoon. Unfortunately it was not enough to prevent a 29-46 defeat to the Cornishmen but the 21-year-old was delighted to have capitalised on his opportunity despite the scoreline.

Knights second best as Pirates plunder the points.

Doncaster Knights 29-46 Cornish Pirates.

The Knights suffered a first Championship defeat of the season on Castle Park soil versus Cornish Pirates in an error strewn display in front of the Sky cameras.

The recent tradition of the side losing when a player reaches a landmark appearance continued as Richard List’s 200th game ended the same way as Ben Hunter and Michael Hills’ 100th.

To the Knights credit they demonstrated attacking endeavor until the very end and, despite the score line, were only outscored by a single try in an 11-try exhibition at Castle Park.

The Pirates looked bright from the start and controlled early spells of possession without really threatening the Knights line. Good defense kept the visitors at bay but early questions were certainly being asked. Despite this the first opportunity for points went the Knights way as Lloyd Hayes hit a smart line following a Donny lineout in the Pirates 22m but the midfielder couldn’t quite hold onto the final pass to him and the chance went begging.

There was little more to report in the opening exchanges but Pirates continued to control possession and eventually forced a penalty out of the home defences that was kicked by fly half Will Cargill. Simon Humberstone had a chance to level the scores shortly after but from about 45 metres, against a tricky wind, his attempt dropped wide.

The first try of the game came just before the half hour mark and it went with the visitors.

A penalty against Junior Bulumakau for a high tackle put the Pirates in range with a line out and a smart carry broke the Knights line leaving the defence back peddling. Possession was quickly shifted wide giving full back Toby May a relatively simple try with Cargill adding the two.

The Cornishmen made it a seventeen-point advantage moments later, after what seemed like a nice kick return by Declan Cusack was pulled back for crossing. From the resulting penalty the Pirates back were able to get on the front foot where a missed tackle saw wing Kyle Moyle finish an easy two on one before Cargill converted.

The signs were pretty bleak for the Knights who had shown precious little by way of attacking threat up until that point. However, they did reduce the arrears before the interval after Cornish indiscipline pinned them back into their own 22m.

A smart line out move saw an airborne Nick Civetta hand on to Michael Hills who carried down the blindside before passing to Ben Hunter who crossed in the corner. Humberstone could not convert from the touchline so the sides went into the sheds with the Knights trailing 17-5.

Following what was probably a rather stern team talk from Griff and the coaching staff the Knights did look brighter in the second half. Unfortunately, just as it seemed an opening was going to be found, a loose pass was intercepted by Alex O’Meara and the pacey wing put his foot down to sprint the length; 5-22.

It was a cruel blow for the Knights following which things went from bad to worse as number eight Tom Lawday got his first of a second half brace. Laurence May took over kicking duties to add the conversion. 

At the hour mark the Donny coaching team looked to utilize the bench and it had a seemingly positive impact as replacement prop Owen Evans played his part in a try finished by Matt Challinor from short range.

As the game entered the dying stages both sides seemed to disregard their defensive systems in favour of all out attack. The Pirates scoring continued with Nick Coronel and Lawday both exploiting some haphazard tackling in the Knights ranks which, combined with a Laurence May penalty, took the visiting total to 46 points. 

For the Knights Lloyd Hayes linked up well with Tyson Lewis down the left touchline to score before turning provider with a smart break that was finished by Tom James for the Knights fourth try. 

In the final play of the game Academy wing James Wright marked his competitive home debut with a nicely taken score. On loan from Doncaster Phoenix, the winger cut infield to take an offload from Andy Bulumakau before staying strong in the tackle to touch down with what was his first touch of the game.

The weekend off has probably come at a good time for the Knights who will hope to have a few back from the sick bay before facing Richmond on November 10th.

Knights; 15) Declan Cusack, 14) Junior Bulumakau, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Lloyd Hayes, 11) Tyson Lewis (James Wright 79’), 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney (Tom James 57’), 1) Richard List (Owen Evans 57’), 2) Ben Hunter (Jack Bergmanas 60’), 3) Colin Quigley (Ian Williams 57’), 4) Nick Civetta, 5) Tom Hicks (Sam Jones 57’), 6) Matt Challinor, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw (Jason Hill 60’).

Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Owen Evans, 18) Ian Williams, 19) Jason Hill, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) James Wright.

Tries; Hunter 36’, Challinor 60’, Hayes 68’, James 76’, Wright 80’

Conv; Humberstone 68’

Pens;

Pirates; 15) Toby May, 14) Alex O’Meara, 13) Dan Koster (Nicolas Coronel 63’), 12) Pete Laverick, 11) Kyle Moyle, 10) Will Cargill (Laurence May 48’), 9 Alex Day (Mike {p[e 74’) 1 Marlen Walker (Billy Keast 63’) 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie (Tom Channon 45’) 3 Jack Andrew (Christian Judge 63’) 4 Toby Freeman 5 Brett Beukeboom 6 Josh Caulfield 7 Rupert Cooper (Chris Fuca 71’) 8 Tom Lawday

Replacements; 16 Tom Channon 17 Billy Keast 18 Christian Judge 19 Chris Fuca 20 Mike Pope 21 Laurence May 22 Nicolas Coronel

Tries; May 31’, Moyle 32’, O’Meara 48’, Lawday 59’, 80’, Coronel 66’

Conv; Cargill 32, 33’, May 59’, 66’, 80’

Pens; Cargill 14’,May 76’

Attendance: 1,897

Referee: Christophe Ridley

 

 

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TEAM NEWS | Owen fails late fitness test.

The Knights side to face Cornish Pirates has been adjusted as Will Owen is ruled out with a knee injury.

Owen has been withdrawn following the Captain’s run meaning Andy Bulumakau moves infield to partner Lloyd Hayes in midfield. The switch sees Junior Bulumakau called straight into the starting XV on the right wing.

Elsewhere the starting XV is unchanged however there are two adjustments on the bench.

Ian Williams comes in for Joe Sproston and Academy wing James Wright will get the chance to make his second Knights appearance as Charlie Foley also fails a late fitness check.

Knights; 15) Declan Cusack, 14) Junior Bulumakau, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Lloyd Hayes, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Colin Quigley, 4) Nick Civetta, 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Matt Challinor, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw.

Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Owen Evans, 18) Ian Williams, 19) Jason Hill, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) James Wright.

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Cookie back at the Castle!

Today we can announce that Skills and Backs Coach Paul Cooke will return to Doncaster Knights with immediate effect having parted way with Leigh Centurions.

Paul’s first stint at Castle Park began in 2013/14 as the Knights won promotion back to the Championship from National One. The former Super League star continued to work with Clive Griffiths and the Knights coaching staff upon the side’s return to the second tier and was an integral part of the coaching team that reached the 2015/16 play off finals. 

Prior to his switch to coaching, Cookie had an illustrious playing career in the thirteen-a-side code representing Hull FC, Hull Kingston Rovers and Wakefield Trinity in Super League clocking up 280 appearances in the top flight. 

The 36-year-old returned to coach rugby league with Leigh Centurions following the close of the 2015/16 campaign at Castle Park, midway through their 2016 season as the side won promotion to Super League. Leigh were unable to retain their top flight status in 2017 and Paul has parted ways with the Club and Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths wasted no time in approaching him about a return to the Knights and the vacant Backs Coach position.

Speaking upon the announcement, Cooke states that he is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with old friends and getting stuck back in with the Knights. “Having departed the Leigh Centurions, myself and Clive spoke quickly about me returning to Doncaster Knights and there was an air of inevitability early in the conversations. Clive and I have always remained in touch, always remained friends and have spoken at least once a week within the last 18 months. 

“I am delighted that Clive has the confidence in me returning, I’m also delighted to be returning to a very professional organization headed by Clive. 

“I want to thank Tony De Mulder and Steve Lloyd without whom my return to the Knights would not be possible.

“It will be fantastic to work closely with Glen Kenworthy, Dougie Flockhart, Clive and a new group of players where I can hopefully make a difference and cannot wait to get back onto the training field at Castle Park.” 

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths added. “Paul’s departure from Leigh is the Rugby League club’s loss and The Knights gain especially with Francis’s recent departure to Widnes Vikings.

“The timing of both mens change of direction could not have been more timely! It was a bit surreal to say the least but I am absolutely delighted to welcome Cookie back into the Castle Park family.”

Paul will form part of the coaching team for today’s clash with Cornish Pirates. Kick off 15:00 & tickets available on the gate.

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Match day info: Doncaster Knights vs Cornish Pirates.

Ahead of the Knights Greene King IPA Championship clash with Cornish Pirates tomorrow (Kick off 15:00) here’s what you need to know before travelling to Castle Park.

Leger Way

There are proposed road works on Leger Way tomorrow, with the road due to be closed from the Racecourse roundabout to Whitby’s Restaurant, please factor this in to your travel plans.

Car Parking.

The Woodside pitch at Castle Park will be available for parking at a cost of £3 and will be open from 11am.

Outwood Academy (Approx 200m West of Castle Park) is also available for parking, costs £3 and will be open from 11am until 8pm. 

Tickets

Match day tickets are still on sale and available from the ticket window at Castle Park, the ticket window will be open from 11am.

See you tomorrow! #COYK

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DKTV | Listy 200 Club reflections.

Richard List will become only the third Knight to reach 200 professional appearances for the club when he takes to the field versus Cornish Pirates on Sunday.

Watch the video below to hear Rich reflect on some of his favourite moments in a Knights jersey, including that try versus Coventry in 2014 and also discuss how the Club is positioned for a successful future.

 

DKTV | Ian Williams Bristol Rugby review.

Sunday’s 33-22 victory over Bristol Rugby was prop Ian Williams’ first competitive start for the Knights since joining the Club from Rotherham in the summer.

Ian played 60 minutes before making way for Joe Sproston in what was a successful afternoon for the Knights pack particularly in the set piece. 

The 26-year-old says he was delighted to have got the victory at the weekend and is now looking forward to pushing forward and competing for a starting jersey. 

Listy set for 200 vs Pirates.  

Richard List is set to make his 200th appearance for Club on Sunday as the Knights welcome Cornish Pirates to Castle Park live on Sky Sports Arena.

The Thorne born prop forward is part of wholesale changes to the front row alongside familiar company in Colin Quigley and Ben Hunter.

Nick Civetta and Tom Hicks continue in the second row having started together for the first time in last weekend’s win over Bristol at Ashton Gate and Matt Challinor shifts to the back row at blindside flanker.

Michael Hills lines up in his usual position at open side having featured from the bench last Sunday and Alex Shaw switches to No. 8 in place of Jason Hill who is named on the bench.

The coaching team make just one change to last week’s starting back line as Michael Heaney gets the nod at scrum half switching with Tom James.

Jack Bergmanas will offer cover at hooker this weekend with David Nelson ruled out through a broken thumb; Owen Evans and Joe Sproston provide cover at prop. 

Sam Jones retains his position in the squad once again following back to back starts in the Cup and Charlie Foley has overcome an ankle concern to complete the twenty-two.

Kick off on Sunday is at 15:00 and, if you can’t make it, the game is live on Sky Sport Arena with coverage starting at 14:55. 

Knights XV; 15) Declan Cusack, 14) Andy Bulumakau, 13) Lloyd Hayes, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Colin Quigley, 4) Nick Civetta, 5) Tom Hicks, 6) Matt Challinor, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw. 

Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Owen Evans, 18) Joe Sproston, 19) Jason Hill, 20) Sam Jones, 21) Tom James, 22) Charlie Foley.

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Chamber jackets on sale now.

Keep warm this winter with the wind and showerproof the Knights Chamber Jacket on sale now. 

With the clocks going back this weekend and November upon us in under a week, keep warm with the latest piece of Knights leisure wear our Chamber jackets. 

To celebrate the launch of the jackets we are giving away one to a lucky fan, head to our social media pages to enter or purchase yours today from online Club Shop today. 

 

 

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Club shop | supporter Jersey restock.

The Club Shop has had a full restock of home supporter jersey is sizes ranging from extra small to six XL. 

Additional away jerseys have also been stocked as well as junior sizes in both the home and away shirt. 

Chamber jackets, the perfect bit of winter kit (see below), are also now on sale and you can purchase yours today through the Club shop.

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