Doncaster’s 33-0 win built on strong defensive display

The Knights ended pre-season with a battling 33-0 win that saw them put in a resilient defensive performance throughout.

Doncaster were clinical in the first half with two tries, despite being under pressure from the Rams for the majority of the opening 40 minutes. However, after the interval the Knights showed their Championship class and scored a further three tries and kept their opposition scoreless.

The game began in a fairly scrappy affair with the visitors looking the most likely to break the deadlock. It took a last-ditch Steve McColl tackle when faced one on one inside the 22 with Rams’ winger Andrew Denham to prevent the Knights from going behind.

Despite the early pressure from the National One side, it was Donny that scored first. New signing Pete Lucock found a gap inside the opposition 22 after a good pass from Academy & Phoenix star Sam Pocklington, the centre dotting with ease to hand the Knights a 7-0 lead after a Dougie Flockhart conversion.

Five minutes later, the home fans were cheering again when Morgan Eames barged over from close range after a patient build up from the Knights in the 22. Dougie Flockhart added the extras for a 14-0 lead that the Rams will have felt frustrated with after their early efforts.

The visitors ended the half the better side as they looked for their first points, but a resilient Doncaster defence meant it was the home side who went into the interval with a positive lead.

Half time brought four changes, including a return for Ollie Stedman as he made his way back from five months out injured.

The Rams again started the half in a positive fashion, but were unable to make their efforts count and were made to pay for failing to do so when Curtis Wilson barged over on the 50-minute mark.

The winger received a pass from Tom James, shrugged off a tackle in corner to stretch to make the scoreline 19-0.

Just five minutes later, Stedman made his return an even better one. The flanker found a gap in the Rams defence after a good Olver pass with the fly-half adding the extras for a 26-0 advantage after 55 minutes.

The two quickfire tries began to hand the Knights control of the game as the home side started to play the majority inside the National One outfit’s half. It was nearly a fifth try, when Hayes stretched away down the right, however his pass to Wilson meant the winger had to adjust his body and was soon tackled.

Another chance quickly arrived for the Knights when Morgan Eames and Robin Hislop broke away into the opposition 22, but were outnumbered as they were just metres from the try line.

The best try of the game came in closing stages though, with a superb fluent passing move from right to left involving Will Burden, Charlie Foley, Lucock and eventually Tyson Lewis. The winger on the end of the final pass as he burst away down the left to score in the corner. Olver added the extras as the Knights ended pre-season with a third consecutive victory and a 33-0 win after a battling defensive performance.

 

Knights XV: 15. Steve McColl 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Lloyd Hayes 12. Pete Lucock 11. Dougie Flockhart 10. Sam Olver 9. Sam Pocklington 1. Marc Thomas 2. George Edgson 3. Joe Sproston 4. Matt Challinor 5. Matt Smith 6. Morgan Eames 7. Sam Jones 8. Rory Pitman

Replacements: Backs | Reiss Cullen, Tom James, Tyson Lewis, Will Burden, Seth Adams, Charlie Foley

Forwards | Andrew Foster, Charlie Beech, Robin Hislop, Ben Hunter, Will Holling, Tom Hicks, Michael Hills, Ollie Stedman

All replacements used.

Tries: Lucock, Eames, Wilson, Stedman, Lewis

Conversions: Olver 2 Flockhart 2

Rams XV: 15. Bird 14. Corrigan 13. Ellis 12. Hayhow 11. Denham 10. Seers 9. Moates 1. Kidd 2. Henderson 3. McDonnell-Robert 4. Taylor 5. Etete 6. Guttridge 7. Vooght 8. Stapley

Replacements: 16. Mayhew 17. Zeiss 18. Marris 19. Collis 20. Cole 21. Sparkes 22. Humberstone 23. Crame 24. Stapley 25. Lewis 26. Humberstone

Attendance: 509

Knights aim for third straight pre-season win

 The Knights welcome National One side Rams to Castle Park tomorrow looking to end pre-season with three consecutive victories.

Clive Griffiths’ side have already scored over 40 points in their two previous friendlies, 42-12 against Sale and 47-7 in Bridgend.

The Rams are based near the small village of Sonning on the outskirts of Reading in the county of Berkshire, the club has risen through the rugby union system in recent years. In the space of seven years, they earned promoted to the National League 3 South West and eventually became champions of that league during the 2014/15 campaign.

Last season under the stewardship of Director of Rugby Seb Reynolds, the club claimed another promotion, this time to the National One after winning 28 out of 30 league matches and finishing 18 points clear of second placed Canterbury. 

Another demonstration of the quality contained in the Rams’ side is the recognition a number of players received in the National League 2 South Dream XV. With Jak Rossiter (Wing), Andrew Humberstone (Inside Centre), Tom Vooght (Captain & Flanker), Ben Henderson (Hooker), Alex Seers (Fly Half), James Baker (Tighthead Prop) all featuring.

Doncaster’s starting side has shuffled again with several changes, as the Knights look to get valuable game time ahead of the opening RFU Championship Cup game against Hartpury.

George Edgson scored a try on his debut at Sale last weekend and has been rewarded with a starting spot. While Marc Thomas will be another to make his first appearance in Donny colours at Castle Park. In addition, Joe Sproston, Dougie Flockhart, Sam Pocklington and Morgan Eames make their way into the XV.

Amongst the replacements, Ollie Stedman returns from injury and Academy & Phoenix star Seth Adams may feature, as he did last year in August for the Knights.

 Knights XV: 15. Steve McColl 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Lloyd Hayes 12. Pete Lucock 11. Dougie Flockhart 10. Sam Olver 9. Sam Pocklington 1. Marc Thomas 2. George Edgson 3. Joe Sproston 4. Matt Challinor 5. Matt Smith 6. Morgan Eames 7. Sam Jones 8. Rory Pitman

Replacements: Backs | Reiss Cullen, Tom James, Tyson Lewis, Will Burden, Seth Adams, Charlie Foley 

Forwards | Colin Quigley, Andrew Foster, Charlie Beech, Robin Hislop, Ben Hunter, Will Holling, Tom Hicks, Rouban Birch, Ollie Stedman, Michael Hills 

George Edgson is aiming to build on try scoring debut

George Edgson is looking forward to his first game in Donny colours at Castle Park, as the Knights welcome the Rams in the final pre-season fixture tomorrow. 

“I am really looking forward to Saturday, they have just been promoted to National One so they’ll bring a decent challenge, but I think with this training week we will be ready to step up another level compared to last week.”

The Hooker came on as a replacement in the Knights’ 42-12 win at Sale, but didn’t take long to make an impact scoring a try three minutes before the final whistle.

George foung a gap in the home side’s defence after collecting a Reiss Cullen pass, who had side-stepped his way into making a break just outside the Sale 22. 

“I was very happy with the performance, I think we built on the display at Bridgend and it is nice to get on the scoresheet, it is always is, as a team I think we have definitely moved up a level after playing Sale.”

The 23-year-old felt fine after the game and is now feeling fully recovered from his ankle injury, sustained late last season.

“There was no setback, the ankle felt really good and the rehab team have done a great job the past nine weeks, so it is nice to be feeling fairly fresh ahead of the season and final friendly game.”

The Knights face the Rams on Saturday at Castle Park, 2.30pm kick off with tickets priced at £10 for adults & £5 for concessions.

 

2019/20 Matchday Ticket Prices

Matchday prices for games due to be played at Doncaster Knights’ games at Castle Park during the 2019/20 season can be found below. We offer concessionary rates to Students and Over 60s, and free tickets to Juniors (Under 16s) with a paying adult.

Fans can take advantage of buying their tickets before a matchday with the ‘Early Bird’ discount seen below as the lower figure.

Prices across the stadium have been reduced to reward your support ahead of an exciting 2019/20 Championship season.

DE MULDER LLOYD STAND

Adult: £20 (online early bird) | £22

Concession: £17 (online early bird) | £19

Junior: Free with a paying adult or £10

TERRACE & REJUS SOUTH STAND

Adult: £15 (online early bird) | £17

Concession £11 (online early bird) | £13

Junior: Free with a paying adult or £5

Doncaster College Student Card holders | £10 (all areas) valid College ID card to be presented. Available only on match day or from student ambassadors.

DKTV | Rory Pitman is optimistic of ending pre-season unbeaten

The Knights face Rams RFC at Castle Park on Saturday and Rory Pitman is optimistic that they can reward the fans with a victory in their final pre-season game.

The back row started off the scoring for Donny last weekend in Sale as he found a gap from the back of a ruck, before he doubled his tries for the game early in the second half as the Welshman again barged over from close range. The Knights went on to claim a 42-12 win to leave Manchester with another positive performance and result as they continue preparations for the 2019/20 season.

Rory is now looking forward to returning to Doncaster’s home stadium.

“Last game of pre-season at home it would be good to get a decent crowd down at Castle Park.

We have been working extremely hard and having been away twice already that has been difficult, so hopefully the weather will be good and we will have a good crowd and we can put on a good performance and get everyone excited for the season ahead.”

You can watch the Knights in action this Saturday at Castle Park, 2.30pm kick off, for just £10! Tickets are available at https://bit.ly/30FtA1Q

HIGHLIGHTS | Knights set Sale adrift with 42-12 pre-season win

Doncaster Knights secured their second win of pre-season in fine fashion on Saturday scoring six tries on a scorching afternoon in Sale.

The visitors began the game with purposeful intent and scored after just five minutes when Rory Pitman burst through a gap deep into the Sale 22. Sam Olver scored his first conversion of the pre-season game to make the score 7-0.  

The National One side were straight back on the attack as they looked for a quick reply and nearly had a score when Jeremy Toa broke away from inside his own half, however the centre was eventually tackled inside the Knights’ 22 by full-back Steve McColl.

Doncaster soon fired back and an Olver pass found Lewis down the left, the winger was left with plenty to do, but the 34-year-old used his pace to power past two tackles and dot down.

The control of the game was firmly in the Championship outfit hands and they rightly extended their lead as the clock hit the 30-minute mark. Lloyd Hayes palmed off a tackle and offloaded to a supporting Tom James, who dotted down with ease. Olver added the extras to give a 21-0 lead to the Knights. 

James soon scored again as he dummied off the back off a driving maul, with Olver converting for a 28-0 advantage at half-time.

The first try of the second half came from Pitman again, who drove over from close range after an impressive driving maul.

Sale did eventually score after 69 minutes, a driving maul deep in the Knights’ half allowed Johnny Leota the space to barge over; with Emiliano Calle Rivas converting well.

Doncaster continued to attack though and debutant George Edgson collected a Reiss Cullen offload just outside the Sale 22, before dotting down to again extend the lead for the Championship side.

The home side battled throughout and doubled their points on the scoreboard with Tom Brady the scorer from a driving maul; Johnson converted to end the game 42-14 to the Knights after an imposing performance from the away side.

Doncaster DoR Clive Griffiths was delighted with the performance from the Knights. “It was very clinical; we were strong until the end and it was great signs for the future.

Our cohesion and intent in the first half was good, we have one more game left to take stock before the first cup game and I am well content with the way things are going at the moment.”

Doncaster Knights try scorers: Pitman 5,58, Lewis 12, James 30, 37, Edgson 77

Doncaster Knights conversions Olver 5, Flockhart 1

Sale RFC try scorers: Leota 69, Brady 80

Sale RFC Conversions: Calle Rivas, Johnson

Attendance: 498

Referee: James O’Brien

Phoenix earn first win of pre-season

Doncaster Phoenix secured their first pre-season victory with a 38-33 win over Scunthorpe on Saturday.

Playing at home on the AGP Pitch, Phoenix lead throughout against last season’s Midlands Premier champions.

Director of Rugby Development Glen Kenworthy was delighted with the win, but saw improvements to made from the second half display.

“It was a very hot day on the AGP pitch the boys in the first half were quite dominate, at half-time we made a few changes and we didn’t carry out the game plan as efficiently as I would have liked in the second half and we gave away some soft tries meaning the score line sort of flattered Scunthorpe.

Overall though it was a positive step forward going into the final pre-season game this weekend.”

Kendo remained with his feet firmly on the ground despite the result and saw plenty of encouraging displays from Phoenix players.

“You can’t read much into the result of a pre-season match, I was just happy to get through it without any injuries.

Yet again I tried to give everyone some game time to try and give players a chance to get into the Phoenix first team.

We will be working again to improve, a bit more dominance up front is needed and try to get incomplete pass completion numbers to go down not up.”

Phoenix end their pre-season on Saturday with an away trip to Driffield, 3pm kick off.

Marc Thomas joins the Knights for the next two seasons

The club can today announce that prop Marc Thomas has signed a two-year-deal with the Knights.

The forward has joined after a two-year stint at Yorkshire Carnegie, where he helped the side finish in sixth place in consecutive campaigns.

Marc has previously featured for Cardiff Blues, Ospreys and Jersey Reds and will bring a wealth of experience to the Knights’ squad.

The 29-year-old made 14 appearances for the Leeds based outfit last season and is now looking forward to another year in the Championship.

The Welshman was pleased to join the club for the next two seasons.

“I have always enjoyed playing against Donny over the years with Carnegie, it is a great club to be at and I am ready for an exciting season ahead with the boys, some I know already from my time in Leeds so it should be good.

I enjoy the set-piece, the pack is always good so hopefully I add something to that and create more competition with the boys.

Another reason for joining was I like it up north as well so when the chance came to sign for a good club like Doncaster, where everyone speaks highly of the place it made it an easy decision and I am happy to be here.” 

DoR Clive Griffiths spoke of the ‘experience’ that the loose-head prop will add to the Knights.

“Marc is a hugely experienced prop and knows the Championship instead out, he will add competition to the left-hand side of the scrum together with Robin Hislop and Charlie Beech, who can play both sides.

He is a welcome addition to what is going to be an arm wrestle of a season in the front row.”

Griff happy with ‘clinical’ display at Sale

The Knights clinched a second victory of pre-season on Saturday after a convincing 42-12 win over Sale RFC.

Four first half tries, two from Tom James, set the visitors on their way before Rory Pitman and George Edgson extended their lead late on after the interval.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths made 14 changes throughout the game and was delighted with the performance from his side on Saturday.

“We were very pleased with the result, it got a bit disjointed in the second half with 14 changes, we had basically two teams playing, but we were very clinical and as always at this time of year there is lots to consider and work on.

The players have had a tough week, conditioning wise, and to come out and be very strong at the end I thought was great signs for the future.

You have to remember Sale have the likes of Tom Brady on one wing with a heap of experience as does Jarrad Williams, so they have recruited well and have some really good individual players.”

Griff praised the defensive work of his Championship outfit, as the Knights did not concede until nearly the 70th minute.

“The defence was overall good, in the first half at 7-0 up we were defending for ages in our 22, so there are massive positives in defence, our two-man shots were very good and that was up a level from last week.

All credit to everybody, the coaches and all concerned for this week’s work, we will take it up another level this week and expect another 90% score against Rams in terms of performance.”

Looking ahead to the final pre-season game against Rams RFC at Castle Park, Clive saw plenty of positives to take into Saturday’s friendly.

“I thought our cohesiveness was good, with a 28-0 score at half time then going 35-0 ahead. Some of the individual errors will get better as they keep playing as will the maul and teamwork.

We have one more game left to round off these friendlies and then we will take stock and build up to the Championship cup game against Hartpury.

We should be able to get another win, but the Rams have just come up from National 2 and are recruiting well they obviously have a good budget and players, but so did Sale. I am sure we will see a bigger forward effort on Saturday and look forward to playing at Castle Park again.”

Doncaster secure six try victory at Sale

Doncaster impressed in a comfortable and assured performance to earn a 42-12 pre-season win over Sale RFC today.

Four first half tries set the away side up for an attacking display that proved too much for the National One opposition.

The Knights began the game with a purposeful intent and were camped inside the Sale half for the early encounters. That pressure soon paid dividend within the first five minutes as Rory Pitman found a gap from close range, after several pick and goes the Welshman dotted down to deservedly earn the visitors the lead. Sam Olver scored his first conversion of the afternoon to make the score 7-0.

Sale had a chance of their own for a quick reply when Jeremy Toa broke away from inside his own half, however the centre was eventually halted inside the Doncaster 22 after a superb Steve McColl tackle.

The home side were spurred on by that though and soon looked a danger again, however the Knights’ defence held firm and kept the National One side scoreless for the opening 15 minutes.

Clive Griffiths’ side quickly fired back and an Olver pass found Lewis down the left, the winger was left with plenty to do but the 34-year-old broke through two tackles inside the Sale 22 before dotting down.

The control of the game was firmly in the Championship outfit hands and they extended their lead once again as the clock ticked past 30 minutes. Lloyd Hayes bounced off a tackle after striding past the Sale 10m line before offloading to Tom James for his first try of the afternoon. Olver added the extras to give a 21-0 lead.

Donny dotted down their fourth try of the game with a superb double dummy from James off the back of a driving maul deep in the home side’s 22. Olver converted to earn the visitors a 28-0 advantage at the interval.

After half-time and with numerous changes to the side in opening 15 minutes, the Knights were still in command of the game. The training groundwork from the coaches showed as the away side won three consecutive line outs to push them up the pitch and force Sale under further pressure.

The first try of the second half came from Pitman, who drove over from close range once again after an impressive driving maul. Olver continued his fine kicking form for a 35-0 lead.

Sale did eventually score after 69 minutes, a driving maul pushed the Knights deep into their own 22 and allowed Johnny Leota to barge over; with Emiliano Calle Rivas converting well.

Doncaster did not let up though and debutant George Edgson on his return from injury collected a Reiss Cullen offload just outside the Sale 22, before dotting down to again extend the lead for the Championship outfit.

The home side battled throughout and doubled their points on the scoreboard with Tom Brady the scorer from a driving maul, Johnson converting to end the game 42-14 to the Knights after an imposing performance from the away side.

 

Knights XV: 15. McColl 14. Wilson 13. Hayes 12. Lucock 11. Lewis 10. Olver 9. James 1. Hislop 2. Hunter 3. Quigley 4. Challinor 5. Smith 6. Jones 7. Hills 8. Pitman

Replacements: 16. Sproston 17. Holling 18. Eames 19. Birch 20. Foster 21. Edgson 22. Hicks 23. Beech 24. Cullen 25. Flockhart 26. Pocklington 27. Burden 28. Carleton

Tries: Pitman 2, Lewis, James 2, Edgson

Conversions: Olver 5, Flockhart 1

Sale XV: 15. Rawcliffe 14. Brady 13. Moorhouse 12. Toa 11. Bingham 10. Calle Rivas 9. Bradley 1. Birchall 2. Dolly 3. Matthews 4. Davies 5. Gray 6. Priestley-Nangle 7. Hughes © 8. Williams

Replacements: 16. Pope 17.Longmore 18. Leatherbarrow 19. Ford 20. Norton 21. Blanchard 22. Parkinson 23. Johnson 24. Leota

Tries: Leota, Brady

Conversions: Calle Rivas, Johnson

DKTV | Francis Cummins ready for stern test at Sale

 

Francis Cummins is looking forward to carrying on the positive display from the backs against Sale tomorrow.

The Knights coach was pleased with the display from the squad and is now ready to improve again against a tougher opposition.

“We weren’t the final article last week, we will look to focus on some more components against Sale to take along with what we did last week, they will provide a sterner test as well as they like to play but it is more about us.

We aren’t worrying too much about Sale, the lads on the field have got their reads and have to make sure they command the game again.”

In the opening pre-season fixture Doncaster left Wales with a convincing 47-7 win against Bridgend Ravens, a result that Francis believes they had to work for more than the scoreline suggested.

“I think you could see our players were physically better and had a bit more skill but they made it tough, we had to scramble, in the first half they had the majority  of the field position and we just took our opportunities and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

They made us work hard and it was a really good test and was far from an easy game, we had to work for the win, they tested us on our edge as well.”