Doncaster defeated 29-5 by Bedford Blues

Doncaster continued their struggling away form this year as Bedford Blues earned a 29-5 home win this afternoon.

Two first half tries in a game fairly even in terms on territory saw the Blues take a deserved lead in the first half. After the interval, the Knights showed their spirit, but couldn’t create enough to take any points back north with them.

The first points on the board came from a Sam Leeming penalty after the visitors had the better going in the first five minutes. However that early lead swayed the balance in favour of Bedford and they dotted down the opening try on the 13 minute mark. Despite a superb tackle from Tyson Lewis two metres from his own try line to halt Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas, the centre offloaded to Joe Atkinson, who barged over. Leeming added the extras with ease.

Doncaster rallied back and enjoyed plenty of possession, but could not create a clear cut chance in the Bedford 22, with their attacks either breaking down or handing the Blues penalties to clear the danger.

The home side doubled their try count for the afternoon from an impressive driving maul that started just inside the Doncaster 22. Robbie Smith the scorer, with Leeming scoring the conversion.

Clive Griffiths’ outfit fought back and spent plenty of time in the Bedford half as they played down the slope, but could not drive over with the first half ending 17-0 to Bedford.

The second half got off to the worst possible start with another try for the home side within the opening three minutes. After a good passing move, Ryan Hutler dotted down in the corner to extend their lead to 22-0.

Doncaster’s misery was compounded with Grayson Hart tapping a penalty and bursting over. Leeming adding the extras to give the home crowd a 29-0 scoreline to cheer about.

The Knights began to increase the tempo to their play after the 55th minute. Good breaks from Guido Volpi, Tom James and Tyson Lewis drove the side into the Bedford half, but failed to capitalise on it.

Although, the visiting supporters did have something to shout about when Charlie Foley barged over in the 57th minute, after Hunter made a strong carry inside the 22. Sam Olver missed the conversion in strong winds and from a tight angle.

The away side then sparked into life, James made another good break into the Blues half, but lacked support and the danger was soon squashed.

The last 10 minutes saw both sides battling on with the Knights unable to add to their single try with Bedford deservedly earning the 29-5 victory.


Bedford Blues XV: 15. Rich Lane 14. Ryan Hutler 13. Oskar Hirskyj-Douglas 12. Lewis Robling 11. Matt Worley 10. Sam Leeming 9. Grayson Hart 1. Sean McCarthy (C) 2. Robbie Smith 3. Alex Penny 4. Jordan Onojaife 5. Oli Curry 6. Dan Temm 7. Joe Atkinson 8. Alafoti Fa’osiliva

Replacements: 16. Jacob Fields 17. Joe Wrafter 18. Henry Paul 19. Will Carrick Smith 20. Devante Onojaife 21. Huw Worthington 22. Fraser Strachan 23. Ed Coulson

Tries: Atkinson, Smith, Hutler, Hart

Conversions: Leeming 2

Penalties: Leeming


Knights XV: 15. Cameron Cowell(66’Roberts) 14. Kyle Evans 13. Charlie Foley 12. Penikolo Latu 11. Tyson Lewis 10. Sam Olver(66’Hayes) 9.Tom James(75’Pocklington 1. Marc Thomas(72’Suter) 2. Ben Hunter(63’Hunter) 3. Colin Quigley(48’Foster) 4. Cian Romaine  5. Morgan Eames 6. Fotu Lokotui(60’Hills) 7. Wian Conradie(75’Calladine) 8. Guido Volpi

Replacements: 16. Will Holling 17. Andrew Foster 18. Dan Suter 19. Tom Calladine 20. Michael Hills 21. Sam Pocklington 22. Lloyd Hayes 23. Jack Roberts

Tries: Foley


Team News | Knights name side for Bedford trip

The Knights make the trip to Bedford Blues tomorrow looking for consecutive league wins for the first time this year.

Last time out in the league, Doncaster defeated Jersey Reds producing their best performance of the season and will look to replicate that once again.

While Bedford were defeated by Ealing Trailfinders on their travels, although the Blues have won their last three games at Goldington Road.

Mike Rayer’s side have beaten Hartpury, Jersey Reds and Coventry to push themselves into ninth position in the league table. Although they have only picked up 14 points at home this season after a rocky start to the 2019/20 campaign.

Doncaster enter the game aiming to grasp their first away win of 2020, with their last coming against Yorkshire Carnegie in December.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths’ last winning visit to Bedfordshire was in 2017 after a fantastic 22-40 triumph. However, his outfit boast an impressive overall record against Bedford, having won nine of their last 13 meetings.

A further confidence boost will be that the Knights will be aiming to do the double over tomorrows opposition after claiming a 22-18 win at Castle Park earlier in the campaign.

There are several changes to the side that exited the Championship Cup against Nottingham with Kyle Evans recovering from injury to make the starting side. New additions Guido Volpi and Penikolo Latu also make the XV. Colin Quigley and Ben Hunter make their return along with Sam Olver, who were all rested for the Cup game.

Matt Challinor has a problem with his knee and is unable to play. Therefore Cornish Pirates second row Cian Romaine joins the Knights on loan for the rest of the season. The Ireland U20 has previously played for Yorkshire Carnegie, North Harbour as well as the Connacht Academy.

While Robin Hislop (back), Rory Pitman (hamstring), Howard Packman (calf), Tom Hicks (HIA), Steve McColl (ribs), Pete Lucock (knee), Sam Jones (HIA) and Matt Smith (foot) remain sidelined.


Knights XV: 15. Cameron Cowell 14. Kyle Evans 13. Charlie Foley 12. Penikolo Latu 11. Tyson Lewis 10. Sam Olver 9.Tom James 1. Marc Thomas 2. Ben Hunter 3. Colin Quigley 4. Cian Romaine  5. Morgan Eames 6. Fotu Lokotui 7. Wian Conradie 8. Guido Volpi

Replacements: 16. Will Holling 17. Andrew Foster 18. Dan Suter 19. George Edgson 20. Michael Hills 21. Sam Pocklington 22. Lloyd Hayes 23. Jack Roberts

DKTV | Charlie Foley ready for the tough conditions at Goldington Road


The Knights make the trip south to face Bedford Blues looking to push up the Championship table on Saturday.

Doncaster exited the Championship Cup last Friday in a manner Charlie Foley was frustrated with.

” Frustration is probably the key word. It was a difficult night to play, but i thought we managed the conditions well in the first half and put ourselves in a good position to go on and win the game. But we came out and didn’t really perform in the second half.”

The 28-year-old knows what to expect from facing Bedford at home and enjoys playing in the games with more riding on them in terms of the league table.

“They’re a good side, they had a difficult start to the season but seemed to have turned the corner. They’re always tough to play, especially at their own ground. Everyone knows about the slope and the conditions.

The good thing about the league this season is that every game is massive. Newcastle, Ealing and Cornish are way out at the top , but everyone else is competing week in and week out. You can move three places up or down the league depending on a result.”

The Knights have beaten every side currently 6th and below in the league this season. Last gaps wins over Nottingham and London Scottish have given Charlie confidence that the side can get the result once again against a club just two points below them.

“The fact that we’ve won some close games particularly when we haven’t performed too well and we’ve snatched the win, when maybe on another day we would’ve lost. So we can take confidence from that, but our performance is going to be main thing going down to Bedford on Saturday.”

Book on our Past Players Lunch on the 25th April

A chance to chat about memories and victories gone by, the Past Players Lunch is the perfect chance to catch up with your former teammates.

The pre-match meal will be before Doncaster face Ampthill in the penultimate home game of the 2019/20 season.

The Knights have won their last three home games in entertaining and nail biting games with London Scottish, Nottingham and Jersey Reds and will aim to continue their good form on home soil as the season edges towards the closing stages.

The menu will be the famous Castle Park Cow Pie, followed by a cheeseboard.

If you’re interested in booking your place and what is always a great event then call reception on 01302 831388.


British and Irish Lions Legend Dean Richards will be hosting a sportsman’s dinner at Castle Park

Dean Richards, the England and British and Irish Lions legend, will be speaking at a sportsman’s dinner hosted by Doncaster Phoenix in three months time.

The former Leicester Tigers back row is currently Director of Rugby at Newcastle Falcons, who sit top of the Championship table, and have won every game this season.

Dean will also be joined by comedian and entertainer Steve Womack and promises to be a fantastic evening of food, drinks and laughter.

The dinner will take place on Friday 3rd April in the main club house. Tickets cost £39.50 per person.

For more information or to book tickets please contact;

Paul Curzon – / 07455627382

Scott Plevey – / 07770 985231

Academy Focus | ‘It is a big game’ Tyson Lewis previews Northumbria fixture

The Academy travel north today to face Northumbria University in an important game in the BUCS Northern 1A league title race.

The opposition currently sit in second place with 36 points having played 10 games. While Head Coach Tyson Lewis’ side are fourth on 33 points after eight games, with a five point win increasing the pressure on top of the table Durham, who have 39 points, but have played 12 matches.

Tyson was delighted with the last victory over Durham as the side took the spoils back home.

“It was a very good performance, in the attack we looked the best we have done all season. The forwards do what they always do and gave us a good platform to play off.”

The Academy outfit defeated Northumbria in the reverse fixture at Castle Park, but the Knights’ winger aware of the important of the game if the side are to win the league.

“It is a big game, it is a pivotal point in the league. If we go there and win we put ourselves very much in pole position for becoming champions.”

Six of the Academy side, Matthew Drennan, Allan Hudson, Elliot Webb, George Tankard, James Boyd-bell and Josh Cox featured for the Yorkshire U20s side last weekend. A feat the Head Coach is pleased with to show the progress of the players’ hard work while in the Academy set up.

“The boys are going from strength to strength. If we can carry on putting boys in the representation leagues it will be great.

Hopefully now we can get some boys in the U17s and U18s through the AOC. Hats off to the boys they played well for the Yorkshire U20s at the weekend.”

The Red Roses secure another win at Castle Park!

England Women defeated Ireland 27-0 in front of a sold out crowd at Castle Park on Sunday.

Four first half tries saw the Red Roses take a commanding lead at the interval. Captain Sarah Hunter opened the scoring with Abby Dow, Jess Breach and Vicky Fleetwood all following suit.

After the interval, the game became a much closer affair with full-back Sarah McKenna the only player to score during the second half and secure the bonus-point win that put England three points ahead of France in the 2020 Six Nations table.

For all those fans that enjoyed their day in Doncaster, tickets can be purchased for the Knights next fixture at Castle Park and for the Ladies Day event being held on the same date – 



Post Match Reaction | Clive disappointed with second half display

The Knights exited the cup after a 15-0 defeat to Nottingham after a poor second half from the visitors.

Despite, a positive and strong defensive first half performance, it was a disappointing second 40 that lost Doncaster the cup tie.

Director of Rugby Clive Griffiths reviewed the match.

“It was a game of two halves really. It was a good first half from us, just our ill discipline let us down and stopped us getting a try. We had a go and tried hard, but we unraveled in the second half.

We made wholesale changes to the Jersey win and we had to do that to rest people that have played a lot of rugby along with numerous injuries. I am very disappointed the second half was poor for us.

We weren’t as cohesive as last week with the changes. Our line out delivery and breakdown work was too slow.”

In extremely windy conditions at the Lady Bay, the Knights failed to capitalise on playing with the wind in their favour.

“The conditions definitely played a part, but it didn’t stop them running through. We can’t use that excuse. We defended really well in the first half, but we gave them two soft tries.”

With several changes to the side that defeated Jersey Reds in a fantastic display last weekend, Griff was frustrated not to produce a similar attacking performance.

“I am disappointed with not scoring any points. Despite us digging in, we have been beaten and not scored. It has answered questions for us as a coaching staff and it is a chance missed for some players. We will have the chance to come here again and turn this result around with a stronger 23 man squad.”

The Knights face Bedford next week, looking to improve their fortunes on the road.

“Bedford away is our next challenge, we had momentum going into tonight’s game but we lost that. We will aim to start building that again, we played well for 40 minutes against Nottingham. Now we need to do it for 80 against Bedford.”

Match Report | Knights exit the cup after 15-0 defeat

The Knights exited the cup after a 15-0 defeat to Nottingham this evening.

Doncaster produced an encouraging first half performance as they battled against the wind, but couldn’t find a way past a strong Notts defence. After the interval, two tries from the home side were enough to put any hopes of silverware to the sword.

The first half get off to an positive start as Curtis Wilson broke away after avoiding a tackle, before offloading to Tom James, who made it into the opposition 22 before being halted.

However, three penalties in quick succession allowed the home side push the Knights back into their own half.

Doncaster rallied back with a decent break from Charlie Foley, followed by a good pen towards the corner from the fly-half as the visitors began to build some sustained pressure.

Midway though the first half, yellow cards were shown to both Marc Thomas and Anseko Sio as both sides had to battle on with 14 men.

On the 30 minute mark, Nottingham scored a penalty at their third attempt as Shane O’Leary added three points from a central position in the Doncaster 22.

The half ended with the Knights gaining more territory, but could not find a way past a resilient home side.

After the interval, it was Neil Fowkes’ side that started the brighter when Will Simonds darted away from just outside the 22 to dot down. Canadian International O’leary added the extras to make it 10-0 just one minute into the second half.

The game was then made a tougher task as Steve McColl was shown a yellow card. Although, the away side then enjoyed their best spell of the second half as they began to push towards the Notts 22. Their best chance of the half came in the form of a line out 10 metres out, but the ball missed everyone and Foley’s kick from the bouncing ball went over the try line with the home side quickest to the ball.

Just five minutes later, the Knights were made to pay for their missed chance as Will Owen broke away down the left to score in the corner. O’leary kicked his conversion short to make it 15-0 after 64 minutes.

As the game clicked past the 70 minute mark, Nottingham took control and played most of their rugby in the Doncaster half and squashed any signs of a threat from the visitors to round off a disappointing second half from the South Yorkshire outfit.

Knights XV: 15. Cameron Cowell 14. Curtis Wilson(41’McColl) 13. Jack Roberts 12. Lloyd Hayes 11. Tyson Lewis 10. Charlie Foley 9. Tom James(61’Cullen) 1. Marc Thomas 2. Will Holling(59’Edgson) 3. Andrew Foster(65’Suter) 4. Matt Challinor (c)(61’Birch) 5. Morgan Eames 6. Fotu Lokotui(26’Quigley(33’Lokotui)(59’Hills) 7. Wian Conradie 8. Tom Calladine

Replacements: 16. George Edgson 17. Colin Quigley 18. Dan Suter 19. Rouban Birch 20. Michael Hills 21. Reiss Cullen 22. Sam Olver 23. Steve McColl

Nottingham XV: 15. Sean Scanlon (c) 14. David Williams 13. Luke Peters 12. Will Simonds 11. Jack Spittle 10. Shane O’leary 9. Alex Dolly 1. Aniseko Sio 2. Luke Cole 3. Oisin Heffernan 4. Llewelyn Jones 5. Danny Qualter 6. Seb Cicil 7. Will Owen 8. Josh Poulett

Replacements: 16. Jake Farnworth 17. Tom Hill 18. Jamie Jack 19. Ollie Chessum 20. Tui Uru 21. Alex Crocker 22. Harry Strong 23. Ben Foley

Tries: Simmonds, Owen

Conversions: O’leary

Penalties: O’leary

DKTV | Charlie Foley aiming to keep silverware hopes alive tonight

Doncaster face Nottingham tonight in the Championship Cup quarter finals hoping to progress into the last four of the competition.

The Knights defeated Jersey Reds with their best performance of the season securing a 38-10 win at Castle Park last Saturday.

Although, the side have struggled on the road and last earned an away victory back in December with a convincing five point win over Yorkshire Carnegie.

Doncaster’s record at the Lady Bay is reasonable with three victories out of their last five meetings in Nottinghamshire.

Tomorrow’s opposition are in impressive form entering the cup with three straight victories coming against Hartpury, London Scottish and Yorkshire Carnegie.

Neil Fowkes’ side have also won three out of their last five games at home, only losing to Newcastle Falcons and Ealing Trailfinders.

Charlie Foley is aiming to keep his hopes of silverware alive tonight as he previewed tonight’s game and looked back at the league win last weekend.