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