DKTV | Tyson Lewis previews the opening 2019/20 fixtures

 

The 2019/20 Championship and Cup fixtures were released earlier this week and Tyson Lewis spoke to DKTV about the tough opening league fixtures for the Knights.

“We start with a tough one against Hartpury first off, then Pirates and Jersey to follow so the first three games (of the league) will be a test for us but equally it will show us where we are at and what we need to improve on and go from there.”

The league season starts later this year with the first game on the weekend of the 12th October, however the winger believes the delayed beginning to the Championship campaign will help the Knights.

“As much time as you can get to prepare is good, it’s not a bad thing, it just means we will be chomping at the bit to get playing some actual rugby certainly in the league campaign, but it is more time for us to prepare, we’ve been disappointed the last couple of seasons so a little bit more time to prepare isn’t going to hurt.”

The 34-year-old looked for the derby games when the fixtures first came out and is looking forward to facing Yorkshire Carnegie and Nottingham, as the Knights look to reverse last seasons results against both sides.

“The local derby games with Yorkshire and Nottingham are definitely the games you look forward to and want to be playing in, then you look further afield, but certainly the two local games will be ones we are looking at.”

In the opening five games, the Knights face Hartpury, Cornish Pirates, Jersey Reds, Bedford Blues and Coventry; three of which Clive Griffiths’ side defeated last season. However, Tyson believes Doncaster are better prepared then they were at this stage last season heading into the new season.

“We are stepping into the unknown, certainly compared to where we were last year I would like to think we are better than we were then, but all teams will go into the first three games thinking they are better than they were last year and want to put their best foot forward and we are going out to win, so will the other teams and whichever side executes the better on the day will win.”

Tyrolean Challenge discount for Knights supporters

Season ticket holders and supporters can redeem a discount on the Tyrolean Challenge at Castle Park!

Test your nerves of steel by trying the challenge and raise funds for the RSPCA Doncaster, Rotherham and District Branch on the 20th July from 10.30am to 4.30pm.

Two zip wires will be attached between two buildings to create an exciting parallel ride. Under the expert guidance of BOLD ADVENTURES staff, you will receive all the training and equipment you will need to complete the Tyrolean ride. All you need to bring along with you is a sense of adventure and a big smile for the photographer at the end of the line!

As the zip wires will be in parallel, this will make a fun and unique experience to share with a friend, colleague or family member. The minimum age is 12 years.

With fun sport challenges for the children from Fit2Play, stalls, Bouncy Castle Complex, refreshments and food this promises to be a great day for all the family and certainly one to remember

You can also donate to those doing the Tyrolean Challenge at this JustGiving page – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/tyrolean?success=true

Use the code Tyrol15 for your 15% discount and click below!   

Matt Smith aims to be a part of one the best forward packs in the league

Matt Smith is looking to add his work rate to the Knights squad and hopes to be a part of the forward pack ‘one of the best in the league.’

The second row signed in the summer from Yorkshire Carnegie after playing more than 150 games for the Leeds based side and Matt believes he can add his hard work ethic to the squad.

“One of my big things is work rate, I work hard around the pitch and try get through a lot of work and then obviously in the set-piece being a tall guy, I enjoy the line outs so hopefully we can make ourselves one of the best packs in the league through our set-piece.”

The 29-year-old has featured against Doncaster several times in his career, a factor that made the decision to sign a one-year-deal with the Knights even easier.

“I’ve played down here quite a few times and coming down to meet Clive and listening to the goals that he has for the club going forward it was quite an easy decision once he told me what we wanted to do for the club.”

I know the pitch and in my opinion is one of the best in the league, there are a great set of fans down here and knowing quite a few boys as well also makes it a bit easier to settle in.”

Looking to the campaign ahead, the lock is aware of the aims of the club and believes the new coaches and summer signings will help to improve on the Knights position in the table compared to last season.

“I think as everyone has said there is a bit of a change going around here with some new coaches and new signings coming in, some new philosophies, so we want to finish as high as possible this season as the boys weren’t happy with where they finished last season. As a squad this year we want to make that right and get looking up the table rather than down.”

Matt is signed on for this season! Are you? Purchase your 2019/20 Season Tickets here:

 https://drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk/201920seasontickets

Knights will begin both the 2019/20 league and cup campaigns against Hartpury

The Knights will begin their 2019/20 campaign with a home game on the 21st September against Hartpury RFC in the RFU Championship Cup, a side they beat home and away last season.

Doncaster will then travel south west in a reverse fixture to kick off the GK IPA Championship looking for a fourth victory in two years over their opponents. 

In the 2018/19 season, Clive Griffiths’ side claimed a 28-17 win over the Gloucestershire based side in early September to grasp their first win of the campaign. The Knights scored three tries without reply after the interval with two Kurt Morath penalties in the first half putting Doncaster’s first points on the board.

While the latest meeting again saw the Knights victorious with a 21-48 away win as a five-star performance was on show for the travelling fans with six tries scored. Ollie Stedman and Tom James scored a brace, while Nick Civetta and Mike Mayhew also dotted down.

In the 2017/18 campaign, it was another high scoring game but a similar result as Doncaster claimed a 48-38 win at Castle Park. However, it was a different story at the Gillman’s Ground as they earned their first victory over Doncaster since promotion to the GK IPA Championship.

Fans can still purchase their 2019/20 season tickets by calling 01302 831388 or visiting the Castle Park reception during office hours(9am-5pm)

Pete Lucock impressed with the ambition of the club

New signing Pete Lucock was impressed with the ambition of the club and praised the playing style of the Knights as the reasons he signed a two-year-deal at Castle Park.

“I met Clive (Griffiths) two months before I signed and had a look around the facilities, I was obviously familiar having played down here a few times over the years, I have been very impressed with everything, impressed with the ambition of the club so all those factors as well as having a good inside knowledge of playing them over the years made me sign.”

Pete arrived from Yorkshire Carnegie after the number 12 had spent his whole career in Leeds making an impressive 163 appearances for the club. Therefore, the 26-year-old has played against the Knights on many occasions, a factor that made it easier to make the switch to South Yorkshire.

“It definitely made the decision easier to sign having played against Doncaster before, I love the brand of rugby they play and they’re a big physical outfit so that was partly behind my decision as I like to play behind a big pack.”

The centre is hoping to impress in a Knights’ shirt and believes the club can aim towards a Championship top four finish once again.

“I like to carry I like to be pretty physical in defence and attack, I would like to think I am quite good at linking the forwards and backs so I like to give the outside backs quite a bit of ball and space to work with but I can also do the hard stuff.

Personally I want to play as much as I can and I think all the boys weren’t happy with how they finished last season so any improvement on that and looking towards top four and to get the club where it should be and to the club at the top of the Championship is my aim.”

Pete is signed up for this season! Are you? Purchase your 2019/20 season tickets by calling 01302 831388 or visit our Castle Park reception! 

Head Coach Tom Smith attracted by benefactors’ vision when joining the Knights

Head Coach Tom Smith is two weeks into his tenure as part of the coaching staff and has spoken of the vision for the future from benefactors Steve Lloyd & Tony De Mulder when joining the Knights.

“I sat down with Steve and Tony, their vision for the club sold it to me, last season was a tough one, hopefully there is room for improvement.”

The Scotsman had a vastly experienced playing career as he played 191 games for Northampton Saints. An ex Prop, Tom was also on the 1997 and 2001 British and Lions Tour and made 61 appearances for Scotland as well as captaining his national side on several occasions.

Tom remembers playing at Castle Park during his playing days.

“I am delighted to be Head Coach, it is a great club with great history, I played here with Northampton and I remember what a tough team it was to play against but coming here now is a new experience for me coaching in England.”

The 47-year-old is aiming for bring the best out of the Knights and is ready to get hands-on with the Head Coach role.

“Being Head Coach is a hands-on role, but also an overseeing one, we have a great team involved so hopefully I’ll be coordinating some things and hands on in other areas but generally just pushing the club in the right direction.

To succeed and win, to maximize the potential of the group and working in a happy, motivated, committed environment and to bring success to the club.”

Photo Credit: Marie Caley

Tom is signed on for this season! Are you? Purchase your 2019/20 Season Tickets by calling 01302 831388 or coming down to the Castle Park reception today.

2019/20 GK IPA Championship Fixtures

For the fourth season in a row, the Knights will begin the season with an away fixture, as they visit Hartpury RFC in October to start the 2019/20 GK IPA Championship campaign.

Doncaster will then welcome Cornish Pirates to Castle Park on Saturday 19th October with a 2.30pm kick off.

Next up will be the furthest trip of the 2019/20 campaign to Jersey Reds, who beat the Knights home & away last season.

Over Christmas, it will again be a derby day clash as the Knights face Yorkshire Carnegie. However, this time it will be a visit to the Headingley Stadium to secure the bragging rights.

Also for the third consecutive campaign, Doncaster will end their Championship season at Castle Park as we welcome Hartpury in a reverse fixture to the opening day.

The 2019/20 season will also start for the first time with three rounds of the RFU Championship Cup. Once again, the Knights will face Hartpury, this time at home before a trip north to relegated Premiership side Newcastle Falcons; followed by the first of two trips to Jersey in October for Clive Griffiths’ side.  

Fans can buy their season tickets for the 2019/20 campaign by calling 01302 831388 or come down to the Castle Park reception during office hours (9am-5pm).  

 

2019/20 GK IPA Championship

11-13 October Hartpury RFC (A)

18-20 October Cornish Pirates (H)

25-27 October Jersey Reds (A)

1-3 November Bedford Blues (H)

8-10 November Coventry (A)

15-17 November Ealing Trailfinders (H)

20-29 December Yorkshire Carnegie (A)

10-12 January Newcastle Falcons (A)

17-19January Nottingham (H)

24-26 January Ampthill (A)

31 Jan-2 Feb London Scottish (H)

7-9 February Cornish Pirates (A)

14-16 February Jersey Reds (H)

28 Feb-1 March Bedford Blues (A)

13-15 March Coventry (H)

20-22 March Ealing Trailfinders (A)

27-29 March Yorkshire Carnegie (H)

3-5 April Newcastle Falcons (H)

10-12 April Nottingham (A)

24-26 April Ampthill (H)

1-3 May London Scottish (A)

8-9 May Hartpury RFC (H)

 

RFU Championship Cup

Round 1 20-22nd September Hartpury RFC (H)

Round 2 27-29 September Newcastle Falcons (A)

Round 3 4-6th October Jersey Reds (H)

Round 4 29th  Nov- 1st Dec Jersey Reds (A)

Round 5 6-8TH December Newcastle Falcons (H)

Round 6 13-15th December Hartpury RFC (A)

Castle Park AGP Pitch available to hire

The AGP Pitch at Castle Park is now available to hire on evenings and weekends to play rugby or football on the first-class surface.

Opened on the 20th October last year by club benefactor Steve Lloyd, the pitch can take an unlimited amount of play each week and cost an estimated £600,000 to create.

The pitch is sectioned into thirds, each third is suitable for a game of seven a side football with appropriate goals and nets. It is also possible to play 9-a-side football as well as can be used for rugby.

The price below also includes floodlights, while changing rooms can be made available, subject to availability. 

Footwear for the artificial surface are screw in and moulded studded boots , while Astro trainers are not ideal to be worn.

Prices (per hour): 

£50 – One pitch (1/3)

£90 – Two pitches (2/3)

£125 – Full pitch (3/3) 

If you’re interested in booking the AGP pitch then call the Castle Park reception on 01302 831388 or email reception@castle-park.co.uk.

Knights add Fisher German to their commercial network

We are delighted to announce that property firm Fisher German will be a part of the club’s commercial network this season.

The leading property consultants and estate agents have sponsored the Knights with a pitch side banner in the dugout across the De Mulder Lloyd stand and will feature on the match day interactive screen.

In addition, the firm will also sponsor the club’s ever popular Farmers’ Day – an annual agricultural event held around a game where rural companies join for an afternoon of networking and sport.

Michael Casey, Commercial Manager of the Knights, first spoke to Fisher German after they took a table at a previous Farmers’ Day and was delighted the firm were the latest addition to the club’s commercial network.

“As an ambitious Championship Club the support of our sponsors and commercial network is invaluable and we are very happy to have developed tied with another fantastic business with strong roots in Doncaster. 

Sponsoring the Farmer’s Day, in addition to the stadium advertising, show the company’s desire for a partnership that works for both parties and we are looking forward to working together for seasons to come.

Fisher German’s support adds to the strong network of commercial sponsors that the Knights already have, and we are really looking forward to what we hope will be a successful season both for the club and company.”

Fisher German moved to Doncaster from Retford in Nottinghamshire and have sought to build links with many businesses in the town and further into Yorkshire since then.

Tim Shuldham, Regional Managing Partner at Fisher German for Yorkshire & North Midlands, said: “We established our Doncaster office around two years ago, attracted by the town’s thriving business community and the way the Council has embraced business and development to make Doncaster an excellent place to do business.

It is a great way for us to celebrate two years in Doncaster and South Yorkshire by announcing our support of the Doncaster Knights.

It’s an exciting time for the club and we look forward to cheering the team on from the sidelines and getting involved in their business events throughout the year.”

Fisher German were established in late 2000 and have grown at an impressive rate with 16 offices across the UK. The firm’s strength is demonstrated by unprecedented growth after achieving an annual turnover of over £30 million (2018).

For more information about our new partners and their services visit https://www.fishergerman.co.uk/

Kyle Evans believes he joins the Knights on the back of his best ever season

New signing Kyle Evans believes he joins the Knights after playing his best ever season in the 2018/19 campaign.

The 28-year-old arrives from Methyr after winning the Principality Premiership for the third consecutive season.

“The last three years of my career have been the best at Methyr, but I would say last season was the very best though.

I won a number of awards, the league, the cup, top try scorer, Prem(Principality Premiership) player last year and Writers’ Player of the season, those are awards that will stay with me forever during my career.”

Kyle has a wealth of talent to add to the Doncaster squad after being top try scorer last season and being chosen as the Welsh Premier Division’s Player of the Year for the 2017/18 campaign.

The winger also spent three seasons in the Welsh top division with Llanelli where he scored 27 tries in 57 games and earned a call up to regional duty with Scarlets in the LV = Cup.

In addition the Welshman has previous experience in the GK IPA Championship with Birmingham based Moseley before moving to Merthyr in 2016.

The winger believes that he has what he takes to grasp the opportunity of full-time professional rugby and is looking forward to the season ahead.

“To be in full time rugby and to be able to actually dedicate myself in the gym and be able to reach your full potential is great for me.

I am aggressive on the pitch, I have a bit of speed and like scoring tries and I am pleaser really I like to give it my best on the pitch.

My ambitions and aims for this season are to be able to express myself in this environment of playing at a high level and hopefully winning games.”