‘Lessons to be learnt’ says Cooke after Nottingham loss

Backs Coach Paul Cooke gave an honest review after the Knights lost to Nottingham on Friday evening.

Paul was disappointed with the discipline of side, after the home side scored five penalties.

“I thought it was poor overall, our ball control and giving away the ball in possession was poor, there is some lessons to be learnt and we need to learn them quickly, I find it a really disappointing performance despite us scoring two tries to their one, but we’ve conceded 15 points to kicks. 

“So we’ve got some soul searching to do and look at ourselves to how we can fix it starting from myself and  Kendo and filtered down to the players.”

Paul was pleased to score more than Nottingham, but was dissapointed to still have lost by just five points.

“We have done well to score two good tries, but that has ended in a frustrating evening and the players will feel that, it’s one thing being frustrated it and another being frustrated and smart with it, we’re not happy to be in the opposition half and instead are gifting the ball back to them on the first three phrases.”

Paul’s attention is now firmly on being prepared for next Saturday’s match with Jersey Reds. “There’s always next week and a chance to win and forget all about this, first there is lessons to be learnt and we’ll have a good look at this over the weekend and be ready to go Monday to bounce back.”

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Knights left frustrated after Nottingham defeat

The Knights were left with a losing bonus point after a frustrating evening in Nottingham, resuting in a 20-15 defeat.

It was tale of ill discipline as the Knights conceded five penalties, yet out scored the opposition by two tries to one.

The Knights began in fine fashion though with a try after eight minutes from a well worked lineout; a driving maul resulted in Josh Tyrell barging over for his first try of the season. Kurt Morath added the extras.

Nottingham started to get a foothold back in the match soon after the halfway mark of the first half. Shane O’leary scoring his first penalty of the evening on 20 minutes.

O’leary doubled his tally 10 minutes later to edge the score line closer, before he gave the home side the lead with two more penalties.

Morath scored a penalty of his own to slender Nottingham’s lead to 12-10 at the break.

The Knights started the second half in a similar display to their previous performances against Hartpury and Richmond. Winger Steve McColl scored Doncaster’s second try with a superb outstretched arm while riding a tackle, after Tyrell and Tom James combined well.

The Samoan International then made another break into the Nottingham 22, as the visitors piled on the pressure.

Nottingham, who entered the match on the back of two victories, soon showed the form that had earned them wins, as O’leary scored another penalty on 59 minutes with the balance of the match beginning to sway.

The decisive blow came in the final quarter of hour of the match, when Sean Scanlon ran at full speed onto a pass and dotted over for Nottingham’s first try of the match.

Doncaster rallied late on, but couldn’t find a way past an confident Nottingham side.

Knights XV: 15. Cowell 14. McColl 13. Hayes (60 Creed) 12. Clark 11. Lewis 10. Morath (70 Foley) 9. James 1. Hislop (30 List) 2. Malcolm (55 Nelson) 3. Sproston 4. Challinor © 5. Civetta (67 Hicks) 6. Ryan 7. Calladine 8. Tyrell

Replacements: 16. Nelson 17. List 18. Williams 19. Hicks 20. Creed 21. Dawson 22. Foley

Tries: Tyrell, McColl Conversions: Morath  Penalty: Morath

Nottingham XV: 15. Scanlon 14. Williams 13. Millett 12. Peters 11. Robinson 10. O’leary 9. McConnell 1. Sio 2. Cole 3. Daniels 4. Cecil 5. Qualter 6. Buckley 7. Coghlan 8. Poullett

Replacements: 16. Farnworth 17. Heffernan 18. Burke 19. Cox 20. Owen 21. Veenendaal 22. Lyons

Tries: Scanlon Penalties: O’leary 5

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Knights sign New Zealand born prop

The Knights have signed Matt Talaese to bolster their forward options as we enter our sixth match of the Championship season on Saturday against Jersey Reds.

The tighthead prop joins from New Zealand side Wellsford RFC and played for French Division Two side RC Massy Essonne until May this year, where he made 10 appearances last season.

Before that the 28 year-old spent three years at Northland in New Zealand, and is looking forward to getting started with the Knights. 

“Both my family and myself are extremely excited about joining Doncaster Knights. I’ve always kept a keen eye on rugby over in the UK and playing professionally over here has been a real ambition of mine.

“I’m aware of the history of the club and how well they’ve done In the Championship over the last few years so I’m aiming to bring something to the Team and add to this. My agent has spoken highly of the Coaching set up of Griff, Glen Kenworthy and Paul Cooke along with the facilities and support at Castle Park. It’s a tough old league but I can’t wait to get started.”   

Matt also spent three seasons at Counties Manukau, another New Zealand outfit, from 2011, where he made 22 appearances in three seasons.

The Samoan has three caps for his countries A side, all coming in the 2016/17 World Rugby Pacific Challenge. 

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Knights’ derby with Carnegie chosen for Sky Sports

The Knights’ local derby with Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday 29th December will be on Sky Sports.

Kick off has also been changed to 3.30pm at Castle Park. 

The Knights face their Yorkshire rivals three times in the space of nearly a month, twice in the Championship Cup.

Sky Sports have chosen the third meeting in that period to screened on their channels, as the two clubs face for the final time in 2018.

The Knights were on the end of two defeats last season to Carnegie, a 15-9 away loss was followed by a defeat of the narrowest margins on 29th December 2017.

Doncaster last claimed victory over the Leeds based club in the 2016/17 campaign winning 31-26 in front of an attendance of nearly 2,000 in late March 2017.

Tickets for the match can be purchased at https://drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk/doncasterknightsvsyorkshirecarnegie

Also on offer for the derby clash is a matchday lunch and hospitality package.

Castle Park’s end of year Bollywood Bash – Indian musicians & Bollywood dancers will take place. Held in the Armspark suite for just £16 per person in a buffet style you can enjoy a delicious meal, before watching the Yorkshire derby.

Dining will start at 1pm and the menus are below.

Chicken Rogan Josh

Vegetable, spinach & chickpea curry

Coriander rice

Naan bread

Onion bhaji

Sweet onion raita

Mango chutney


Hospitality table Dine at 1.15pm, £40 plus VAT per place.

-Prime Seating in the DML Stand

-12 Matchday programmes

-Three course meal in the Hospitality suite

-Private bar facility in the suite

-Preferential parking

-Player interviews and entertainment in chosen suite


The Menu for the Hospitality is below:


Mixed Indian platter – chicken tikka onion bhajis, vegetable samosas, lamb shish kebab, poppadoms, onion salad, raita, & pickle tray (per table)

MAIN COURSE (chaffing)

Lamb Bhuna

Sweet potato, spinach, mushroom, & chickpea Masala Dosa

Basmati rice

Garlic & coriander naan bread

Kachumber Indian salad – cucumber, tomato, onion, lime & mint

There will also be a Cheese board selection – selection of English & Continental cheese served with crisp celery, grapes, savoury biscuits & butter and half time Columbian filter coffee & tea & treats.

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Team News for Nottingham clash

The Knight travel to Nottingham tomorrow looking to claim their third win of the season.

Nottingham enter the match on the back of two wins, beating London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie as the Green and Whites scored over four tries in each victory.

The Knights have an impressive form against Nottingham, having got the better of them in their last seven matches. 

Doncaster have not lost to tomorrow’s opponents since December 2014 in a 24-3 defeat.

Last Meeting: Nottingham 6-27 Doncaster Knights

Last Home Meeting: Doncaster Knights 32-26 Nottingham

                         Points:   F            A (Record since 2014)

Doncaster Knights    204          154

Nottingham               154          204


There are four changes to the starting lineup from the Knights defeat to Ealing Trailfinders with Mat Clark and Joe Sproston making their first starts of the season.

Ben Hunter, Colin Quigley, Morgan Eames and Paul Jarvis miss out through injuries. 

 15. Cowell 14. McColl 13. Hayes 12. Clark 11. Lewis 10. Morath 9. James 1. Hislop 2. Malcolm 3. Sproston 4. Challinor (c) 5. Civetta 6. Ryan 7. Calladine 8. Tyrell

Replacements: 16. Nelson 17. List 18. Williams 19. Hicks 20. Creed 21. Dawson 22. Foley 

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Nottingham Preview and Match Guide

The Knights travel to Nottingham on Friday looking to get back to winning ways.

However, they face a side in form with two consecutive victories over Yorkshire Carnegie and London Scottish.

Nottingham are fifth in the Championship table after two wins and two losses. Their defeats coming at the hands of league favourites London Irish 52-20, before an opening day 21-27 narrow loss to Bedford Blues.

The Nottinghamshire side recruited wisely in the summer, making just seven additions. Notably Will Owen has arrived from Wasps, while former Ealing Trailfinders pair Shane O’Leary and Llewelyn Jones switched their rugby to the Lady Bay Ground.

The Knights have beaten Friday’s opposition on the last seven meetings, the most recent victory coming away in January.

For Knights supporters travelling to the match a supporter’s coach is available. Leaving Castle Park at 5pm.

For further information and to book your place call John Lowe on 07977112706 to reserve your seat.

If you’re travelling to the game yourself the address is 1 Holme Rd, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 5AA.

Adults tickets for the match are just £13.

DKTV | Glen Kenworthy confident ahead of derby match

Forwards coach Glen Kenworthy is feeling confident ahead of the Knights derby match with Nottingham on Friday.

Glen was left frustrated by his side’s performance against Ealing Trailfinders, but that the Knights will be ready to bounce back to winning ways on against Nottingham.

 Watch all of the Knights highlights, post match reaction and interviews by subscribing to DKTV YouTube Channel!

Will Holling Aussie glory

Knights academy star Will Holling has returned from Australia with an extra weight in his suitcase, after securing the Gold Coast District title over the summer. 

Will joined Griffith University after Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths recommended the 19 year-old to a friend over in Australia that was flying over to be a coach.

The academy star spent four months in Australia and enjoyed the experience. “It was really good to help them win the GCDRU Premiership as they hadn’t won it for 22 years so to be a part off made the experience even better.”

The hooker developed his game ready to return to the Knights academy as well. “Overall it has been a very good experience and been able to learn a lot while over there from playing a different style of game, so hopefully when I get back playing for the academy and Phoenix I can put that into place.”

Will trained with the Knights first team over the 2017/18 pre-season and was a part of the Knights academy side that won their BUCS division last season.

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Academy Fixtures

The Doncaster Knights academy are back in training and are ready to begin the battle for promotion in the BUCS (British University and Colleges Sport) Northern 4B division. 

The academy won their division last season to earn promotion and will look to achieve a similar feat this season under the stewardship of coaches and Knights players Tyson Lewis, Richard List and Matt Challinor.  

All home fixtures will be hosted at Castle Park.


10th October (A) 2pm KO Durham University 5th

17th October (H) University of Sheffield 3rd

24th October (H) University of Sunderland 1st

31st October (A) University of Bradford 1st

7th November (H) (cup) University of York 3rd                          

14th November (H) University of Hull 2nd

28th November (H) Durham University 5th

5th December (A) University of Sheffield 3rd

30th January (A) University of Sunderland 1st

13th February (H) University of Bradford 1st

27th February (A) University of Hull 2nd


Knights Of the Roundy Table Lunch on 6th October

The Knights Of the Roundy Table will be holding their first lunch of the season on Saturday 6th October against Jersey Reds.

This will be the first of three KORT lunches as well as two away days, where the KORT members will be going to the match dressed in their armour.

The pre-match crusade lunch will start at 12.30pm and be a 2 course meal for £16.

In order to book your place and enjoy a pre-match banquet before the Knights do battle against Jersey Reds, call 01302 831388 or email reception@castle-park.co.uk

 The other KORT Lunches are:

16th February v Nottingham

20th April v Coventry

The away crusades dates are:

16th November v Nottingham

12th January v Coventry

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