The Knights exited the Championship cup after a 14-19 defeat, despite a spirited second half display.
Nottingham strode into a 7-19 half time lead after Doncaster were pinned back for much of the 40 minutes. The Knights came out after the interval with an increased intensity in their play, however could only manage one try as the visitors held firm for much of the second half.
The match began with the away side in the ascendancy as they capitalised on the Knights’ slow start, McConnell scored a try in the corner after making a break from a scrum. Gearoid Lyons converted to make it 0-7 to Nottingham in the early encounters.
Doncaster fought back though, as they have done many times this season. A penalty try was awarded to the Knights after a great driving scrum.
Soon after Nottingham were given an on-field advantage as both Rory Pitman and Michael Hills were shown a yellow card within five minutes of each other. The Green and Whites capitalised with Oisin Heffernan dotting down.
Nottingham then extended their lead further with a converted try from Alex Goble.
Doncaster started the second half with a renewed intensity, both Charlie Foley & Tom James made good breaks that gained the Knights momentum as we looked to make a comeback.
That dominant display was rewarded as Joe Sproston powered over after a number of pick and goes for his first try of the season. Foley superbly converted to make the score 14-19 after 63 minutes.
The Knights pushed further on in the late stages and nearly scored the all-important try, however the referee judged the ball to have been held up.
Doncaster battled on in the final encounters, but couldn’t find a breakthrough as Nottingham claimed the four-point victory and with it a place into the last eight of the Championship Cup. As both sides ended on 12 points, it was the visitors that progress with more tries scored over the last six weeks.
Knights XV: 15. Cowell 14. Wilson 13. Hayes 12. Owen 11. Jarvis 10. Foley 9. James 1. Hislop 2. Hunter (50’ Malcolm) 3. Quigley (48’ Sproston) 4. Challinor 5. Eames 6. Tyrell (54’ Ryan) 7. Hills © (61’ Jones) 8. Pitman (66’ List)
Replacements: 16. Malcolm 17. List 18. Sproston 19. Ryan 20. Jones 21. Seniloli 22. Creed
Tries: Penalty Try, Sproston
Nottingham XV: 15. David Williams 14. Caetano Branco 13. Alex Goble 12. Luke Peters 11. Harry Graham 10. Gearoid Lyons 9. Murray McConnell (C) 1. Jamie Jack 2. Joe Roe 3. Oisin Heffernan 4. Llewelyn Jones 5. Seb Cecil 6. George Cox 7. Will Owen 8. Josh Poullet
Replacements: 16. Jake Farnworth 17. Aniseko Sio 18. Mike Daniels 19. Shane Buckley 20. Jordan Coghlan 21. Will Sutton 22. Max Craven
Tries: McConnell, Heffernan, Goble Conversions: Lyons