New additions and returning Internationals in Knights’ squad for Carnegie clash

The Knights welcome rivals Yorkshire Carnegie tomorrow as Doncaster look to get back to winning ways in the Championship Cup.

Carnegie got the better of the Knights last weekend at Hull Ionians winning 33-20.

Tomorrow’s opposition have recruited 11 players since their last Championship victory and have shown an upturn in performances and results.

The Knights have made several changes to the starting line up with International Kurt Morath and Josh Tyrell returning, whereas Henry Seniloli makes the bench.

New signing Oliver Stedman comes straight into the starting 15 as makes his return to Castle Park. While, Mike Mayhew could make his debut as he is named amongst the replacements.

Top try scorers this season Tom James and Curtis Wilson, with 11 tries between them, keep their place, as the Knights look to make it a fourth win in five matches.

New recruit Rory Pitman misses out with bruised ribs sustained in last weekend’s match with Carnegie. 

Starting XV: 15. Jarvis 14. Wilson 13. Creed 12. Owen 11. Lewis 10. Morath 9. James 1. Williams 2. Hunter 3. Sproston 4. Challinor 5. Eames 6. Tyrell 7. Hills 8. Stedman

Replacements: 16. Hislop 17. Mayhew 18. Quigley 19. Ryan 20. Jones 21. Seniloli 22. Foley

 

 

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DKTV | Rory Pitman really enjoying his time with the Knights

 

New addition Rory Pitman is enjoying his time with the Knights so far and is looking to continue his fine form this week.

The back row has started in the last three matches and scored his first try of the season in last weekend against Yorkshire Carnegie.

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DKTV | Josh Tyrell returns to Castle Park from International duty

 

Samoan International Josh Tyrell has returned to Castle Park following his autumn tour with the Pacific Island country.

Josh faced fellow Knights Nick Civetta and Paul Mullen, of the USA, while on tour in a match that ended in the American’s favour. 

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Ollie Stedman re-joins the Knights

Back row Ollie Stedman has re-joined the Knights, two years after leaving Castle Park.

Ollie signs on a deal until the end of the season from Ealing Trailfinders.

The 27 year-old has featured for Newcastle Falcons, London Welsh as well as Saturday’s opponents Yorkshire Carnegie and brings a wealth of experience to Castle Park.

Earlier in his career, Ollie picked up representative honours throughout the England age group set ups, sporting the red rose at Under 16, 18 and 20 level. 

The number 8 was a part of the Knights side that made it to the Championship play-off final against Bristol. 

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths is pleased Ollie has returned to Doncaster. “I welcome back Ollie from Ealing, we’re thankful to Ben Ward for letting him join a competitor in the Championship. Ollie played some of his best rugby in his last spell here and anticipate he will again now he is more experienced.

We have been very short on numbers lately as we went into the Nottingham game with three hookers in the 22. So it is a much welcome addition that Ollie has joined us.”

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‘Bring it on next week’ says Ben Hunter after improved second half in Carnegie defeat

The Knights suffered their first defeat in the Championship cup at the weekend, but Ben Hunter is hopeful the momentum is with Doncaster after an impressive second half to take into next week’s match with Yorkshire Carnegie again.

“Any game against Leeds is a big game it doesn’t matter where we play, so next week we get to play them again so bring it on and hopefully we are on the front foot now with the way with finished that second half scoring three tries.”

“We want to get the victory at home in front of the home supporters and get back to winning ways.”

The hooker believed the opening 40 minutes was a disappointing half from the Knights, “It was a poor first half from us, there wasn’t much rugby played because of the discipline from us in that first half and we just gave them easy exits and then they took the points and the score kept building and that was in the end our downfall.”

Ben did score his second try of the season though and was pleased in the manner it came about.

“It was nice to get a try from a driving maul and hopefully take that into next week and score from it again. We’ve been trying to build towards that so it was nice to score like that.”

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Knights suffer first cup defeat

The Knights were on the end of a clinical Carnegie display this afternoon, suffering a first defeat in the Championship Cup. 

Carnegie put the first points on board through Jacob Umaga, the full-back scoring a penalty from inside the Knights’ 10m line. The on loan Wasps player then doubled the score line moments later with another penalty to make it 6-0.

Paul Jarvis looked to have got the Knights’ first try when he found a gap and sailed through, but play was brought back for obstruction after 10 minutes.

The Knights did reply though with a Dougie Flockhart penalty on 14 minutes to half the opposition’s lead to 6-3 after 15 minutes. Umaga soon extended that lead with another penalty.  

Carnegie scored the first try of the afternoon, when Dan Temm found a gap from 30m out and sprinted to the corner to dot down. Umaga converted to give the home side a 16-3 lead after half an hour.

It was our rivals that extended their lead again, when Harry Davey intercepted a pass about 40m out and sprinted clear to make it 26-3 going into the break after an Umaga conversion. 

The second half started with a much improved performance from the Knights as the visitors began to play with intensity.

However, it was Carnegie that got the next try. Elder driving over with Te Rure converting.

The Knights did reply with a driving maul, new addition Rory Pitman the scorer to make the scoreline 33-10 after 69 minutes.

Moments later, academy and Doncaster Phoenix players Sam Pocklington and Seth Adams entered the field as the youngsters made their senior debuts.

The Knights kept fighting and Curtis Wilson reduced the score line further with an excellent try as he sprinted away down the right to make it 33-15.

Doncaster kept attacking into the latter stages and scored another through hooker Ben Hunter after an impressive driving maul, but it was too late to turn the result into a victory as the Knights left with 33-20 defeat, despite an encouraging second half performance.

 Knights Starting XV: 15. Jarvis 14. Wilson 13. Hayes 12. Clark 11. Flockhart 10. Cowell (69’ Pocklington) 9. James(69’ Adams) 1. Williams 2. Malcolm (56’ Hunter) 3. Talaese (41’ Sproston) 4. Challinor 5. Eames 6.Ryan (55’ Jones) 7. Booth (61’ Hills) 8. Pitman

Replacements: 16. Hunter 17. Sproston 18. Hills 19. Jones 20. Creed 21. Pocklington 22. Adams

Tries: Pitman, Hunter, Wilson Penalties: Flockhart Conversions: Flockhart

Yorkshire Carnegie XV: 15. Umaga 14. Davey 13. Forsyth 12. Lucock 11. Elder 10. Te Rure 9. Bruzulier 1. Thomas 2. Buckle 3. Foster 4. Lemalu 5. Smith 6. Romaine 7. Temm 8. Kiri Kiki

Replacements: 16. Donnellan 17. Hill 18. Nixon 19. Britton 20. Bainbridge 21. Fox 22. Hamilton

Tries: Temm, Davey, Elder Penalties: Umaga 4 Conversions: Umaga 2, Te Rure

Yellow Card: Temm, Britton 

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Head Coach Tyson Lewis proud of academy players making the Knights’ squad

Doncaster Knights academy head coach Tyson Lewis feels immensely proud as academy players Sam Pocklington, Seth Adams and Sam Jones are all named as replacements for the Knights trip to Hull for the Championship cup meeting with Yorkshire Carnegie.

“I liken it to a proud dad watching the boys run out onto the field with the Knights, Sam Jones was the first one down at Bristol in the cup victory. To see how far Sam Pocklington has come along is great and Seth’s improvement in pre-season playing against Sale Sharks. That’s an unbelievable feat and I am immensely of these boys and not just them, there are a few more behind them that are also working hard to get an opportunity and I am proud of how far they’ve come and the academy as well.”

The academy has only been running four years, but Tyson believes this feat shows its success. “ We’ve already had Sam Jones graduate to a first team contract and having Seth and Sam on the bench this weekend it’s a testament to what we’re doing and the success of the rugby pathway and our development links with Doncaster Phoenix, but there is still scope for the academy to grow and I guess a long term vision would be to look at the first team and see a great number of players that have been a part of the academy.”

Sam Jones was the first academy player to earn a full-time professional contract with the Knights and Tyson believes Sam and Seth are on the right route to follow in his footsteps.

“This call up is a testament to Sam and Seth’s hard work and graft. Seth has just finished school and Pocks has been working hard the last couple of seasons and has really been making massive strides towards a first team contract.

Those boys will find out this weekend there’s parts of their game they need to work on and as an academy we give these boys the opportunity that when called upon they’re ready to step up.”

They have an opportunity against Carnegie to impress and I wish them luck and hope that they perform.”

Mat Clark set for 100th Doncaster appearance as he faces his former club

Knights’ stalwart Mat Clark is set to make his 100th appearance in a Doncaster shirt as the Knights face Yorkshire Carnegie tomorrow. 

The 29-year-old is pleased to have reached to milestone. “I am proud and it’s been a long time coming, I’m just looking forward to getting out there and playing on Saturday.”

Mat first joined in the summer of 2013, scoring 20 tries in his first season and rattled off a number of players that have impressed him during his time at Castle Park.

“There have been a few players that have stuck out for me in my time here, I always rated Bevon Armitage, he was my centre partner in the first couple of years and you knew what you were getting as he was consistent all the time.

Will Hurrell was another fine player, he carried the ball over the gain line and was a big physical specimen. Tom Davies was a very good prop back in the early days of my time here. Paul Jarvis is another quality player and Matt Challinor is an old school enforcer and not the sort of person that you’d want to be doing too much tackling practice with. I’ll have missed one or two, but there has been plenty of good players at Castle Park.”

The former Carnegie player has been with the Knights during the most successful time in it’s era, with Mat being involved in A National League 1 title, a B&I cup final and Championship play-off final.

“I have to say the two finals stand out as great memories, and the B&I cup, we’d just come back up into the Championship and nobody really gave us a chance, we had some poor form in the league but we put some performances together in the cup and made it all the way to the final, the Worcester Warriors team were really good that year though.”

Winning the second leg of the final against Bristol was great. When we finally managed to secure promotion back into the Championship, we could have thrown the league away a week before playing Blackheath, so to finally get over the line even if we made hard work of it was a big success and great memory.”

In the five years, Mat has been at Castle Park much has changed and he believes the club is heading in the right direction for further success.

“Full credit to Tony and Steve they’re investing in the club and the community, you just have to look at the state of the art AGP pitch and the relaying of the main pitch. The stand is great and it’s attracting players to come and it is a family friendly club and be a focal point of the area.

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Three academy players make Knights’ squad to face Carnegie

The Knights travel to Hull tomorrow to face rivals Yorkshire Carnegie in the Championship Cup.

Carnegie have produced a recent upturn in results and performances of late, but remain bottom of the GK IPA Championship and third in Group 1 of the Championship Cup.

The Leeds based side have added a number of additions in recent weeks and will be a tough test for the Knights.

The likes of Sam Nixon and Jacob Umaga have Premiership experience with Bath and Wasps respectively, while Myles Thoroughgood and Tom Hill have joined from New Zealand clubs.

Carnegie’s last match ended in a 51-32 defeat to Coventry, however managed their first victory in the competition against Nottingham, winning 38-19.

The Knights are undefeated in their last three matches and sit top of the group.

DoR Clive Griffiths and his coaching staff have made six changes to the side that left the Lady Bay on Friday night with a victory.

Two academy players, Seth Adams and Sam Pocklington, have been called up to the bench on loan from Doncaster Phoenix and could make their first appearance in a competitive fixture for the Knights after both featured during pre-season.

Another academy player Sam Jones and captain Michael Hills also return from injury to be amongst the replacements.

There will also be a 100th appearance for Mat Clark, as the centre faces up against his former club. While Matt Talaese, who joined in October, will feature for the first time in a Knights shirt.

Starting XV: 15. Jarvis 14. Wilson 13. Hayes 12. Clark 11. Flockhart 10. Cowell 9. James 1. Williams 2. Malcolm 3. Talaese 4. Challinor © 5. Eames 6. Ryan 7. Booth 8. Pitman

Replacements: 16. Hunter 17. Sproston 18. Hills 19. Jones 20. Creed 21. Pocklington 22. Adams

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Castle Park highlights from England Women’s fixture

 

On Sunday the Red Roses played their first ever International match in Yorkshire in front of a crowd of 3,876.

England Women shone on the day winning as the great day out at Castle Park showcased the venue to thousands of new visitors to Doncaster.

Castle Park plays host to another England Women’s fixture in February, as they take on France in the Six Nations. Tickets are available at: https://drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk/EnglandvFrance101 

Watch more interviews, highlights and post match reaction by subscribing to our DKTV YouTube Channel now!