Trailfinders too much for plucky Knights.

Doncaster Knights 26-46 Ealing Trailfinders 

An impressive second half showing saw Doncaster Knights record a four try Trailfinders Challenge Cup bonus point against Ealing Trailfinders in a display that showed plenty of potential.

Head Coach Steve Boden handed sixteen Knights their debut in what was the Knights first outing in over ten months. Bodescannot have been unhappy with what he saw against a side that have beaten Saracens, Newcastle Falcons & Bristol Bears teams since the 2019/20 season was ended prematurely.

Donny started perfect as Teenager Tom Bacon seized a bouncing ball in his own 22m and was able to outstrip the covering defence to raise away under the posts. Sam Olver slotted the extras to give the Knights an early seven-point lead.

This was as good as it got for the Knights who spent the remainder of the first half on the back foot.

No one could question the defensive effort of the home side but they fell foul of the referees whistle too often – even if some decisions seemed a touch harsh.

Ealing struck back through James Cordy-Redden when the wingers’ effort in the corner was rewarded despite a flag going up from the touch judge. A video replay may have shown that Kyle Evans did enough to force his opposite into touch but with no such technology the try stood & Craig Willis levelled the scores from the kicking tee.

The Trailfinders power was evident and they touched down twice more from close range after an impressive effort from prop Will Davis on 23 minutes. The frustration from a Knights perspective was that all Trailfinders field position came on the back of successive penalties.

On the stroke of half time man of the match Craig Hampson charged down a James Mitchell kick and the scrum half was able to retrieve the bouncing ball to dot down with Willis’ conversion making the half time score 7-33 in favour of the Londoners.

Donny were in danger of being on the wrong end of a cricket score in the second half but instead came out fighting and made a real fist of the contest.

Kyle Evans scored what was arguably the try of the game as he collected a perfectly weighted cross field kick from Sam Olver after Charlie Foley made a surging break from midfield.

Moments later the forwards found their groove to drive over from a deep lineout with hooker Will Holling emerging with the ball. Olver’s accurate conversions brought the Knights within 12 points with the at 21-33 after 48 minutes.

Ealing hit back through David Johnston after some miscommunication following the restart but the Knights got a fourth shortly after.

Smart phase play created some pace down the left flank and good link up play between Olver, Foley & Mark Best saw possession make it’s way to Aaron Reed & the youngster raced away to score.

A sign of how close things had become came moments later when the visitors elected to go at goal from a penalty in the Knights half which was dispatched by Steve Shingler.

Trailfinders got the final say when Dean Hammond was able to capitalize on a nice break from Pat Howard with a couple of minutes left on the clock.

Overall, plenty to work of the the Knights who look forward to a date with Saracens next but there were certainly plenty of positives to take into the rest of the competition.

Knights15 Tom Bacon 14 Kyle Evans 13 Charlie Foley 12 Mark Best 11 Aaron Reed 10 Sam Olver 9 James Mitchell 1 Conrad Cade 2 Will Holling 3 Joe Jones 4 Matt Challinor (c) 5 Matt Smith 6 Will Britton 7 Sam Graham 8 Guido Volpi

Replacements: 16 Josh Pieterse 17 George Roberts 18 Andrew Foster 19 John Kelly 20 Jack Davies 21 Gus Warr 22 Billy McBryde 23 Harry Strong (all used)

Tries: Tom Bacon (4 minutes) Kyle Evans (44 minutes) Will Holling (50 minutes) Aaron Reed (60 minutes)

Conversions:Sam Olver (4, 44. 50 minutes)

Ealing Trailfinders:  15 Luke Daniels 14 James Cordy Redden 13 David Johnston 12 Pat Howard 11 Dean Hammond 10 Craig Willis 9 Craig Hampson (replaced by Jordan Burns, 65 mins) 1 Will Davis (replaced by Elliot Chilvers, 70 mins) 2 Alun Walker 3 Elliot Millar Mills (replaced by George Davis, 15 mins) 4 Bobby de Wee 5 Ben West 6 Kieran Murphy 7 Guy Thompson 8 Rayn Smid (c) 

Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton 17 Elliot Chilvers 18 George Davis 19 Abongile Nonkontwana 20 Adam Korczyk 21 Jordan Burns 22 Steven Shingler 23 Fraser Strachan (all used)

Scorers:  

Tries:James Cordy Redden (15 minutes) Will Davis (20 minutes) Bobby de Wee (28 minutes) Guy Thompson (33 minutes) Craig Hampson (40 minutes) David Johnston (52 minutes) Dean Hammond (74 minutes)

Conversions:Craig Willis (15, 20, 33 minutes)

Penalties:Steven Shingler (65 minutes)

Referee:Hamish Smales

TEAM NEWS | Knights squad announced for Trailfinders test.

The Knights side to face Ealing Trailfinders tomorrow in the Trailfinders Challenge cup has been named.

In his first game in charge, Head Coach Steve Boden could hand out as many as sixteen debuts against the West-Londoners as the Knights take to the field for the first time in over 10 months.

The starting XV sees Wasps Teenager Tom Bacon start at fullback with Kyle Evans and Sale Sharks loanee Arron Reed out wide.

In midfield ex-Jersey centre Mark Best will hope to impress on debut, he partners last season’s Mr ever-present Charlie Foley.

Sam Olver gets the nod at fly-half with new arrival James Mitchell and number nine.

Upfront, Academy graduate Will Holling is the pick at hooker, he packs down alongside Falcons loanee Conrad Cade and former Shale Sharks tight head Joe Jones.

The second row has a familiar feel to it with Club Captain Matt Challinor partnering Matt Smith.

New signings Will Britton and Sam Graham are the choice on the flanks with the combative Guido Volpi named at number eight.

On the bench, new signings George Roberts, John Kelly, Jack Davies, Billy McBryde & Harry Strong will all hope to get the chance to impress on their first outings in Donny colours, as will Josh Pieterse who lines up against his parent Club. The Trailfinders loose head has been drafted in as injury cover with Robin Hislop missing this week with a knee injury.

Scrum half Gus Warr impressed on loan from Sale Sharks last season and is named on the bench with Sam Pocklington out injured.

Remember coverage begins tomorrow at 14:30 & you can watch tomorrow’s game live from the comfort of your living room.

Order Doncaster Knights vs Ealing Trailfinders.

Knights XV | 15 Tom Bacon, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Charlie Foley, 12 Mark Best, 11 Aaron Reed, 10 Sam Olver, 9 James Mitchell, 1 Conrad Cade, 2 Will Holling, 3 Joe Jones, 4 Matt Challinor ©, 5 Matt Smith, 6 Will Britton, 7 Sam Graham, 8 Guido Volpi.

Replacements | 16 Josh Pieterse, 17 George Roberts 18 Andrew Foster, 19 John Kelly, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Gus Warr, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Harry Strong.

 

Knights join forces with Albemarle Homes.

Doncaster Knights are delighted to announce a brand new signing as Albemarle Homes joins the Club’s commercial network.

Based in Kirk Sandall, Albemarle Homes is a family run house builder established to provide the communities of South Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire with quality homes built to the highest standard.

Albemarle has agreed a three-year partnership with the Club that will see the company’s branding showcased throughout Castle Park, on the Knights playing kit and included in all digitally broadcast home fixtures.

Commenting on the new partnership, Albemarle Homes Managing Director Darryl Barker said;

“As a local house builder with our roots firmly in Doncaster, we are delighted to be sponsoring the Doncaster Knights.  The work they do in the community for the game is commendable and we’re pleased to be playing our part in supporting the organization in their bid to bring all the benefits that Rugby encompasses, such as fitness and social engagement, to all.”   

The agreement lays the foundations for an exciting new partnership as Albemarle Homes has recently launched Westmoor Grange, its latest development on Hatfield Lane in Armthorpe – less than two miles from Castle Park.

The 400 home development will comprise two, three and four bedroom homes exceptionally designed with a high specification to accommodate modern living.  Albemarle also offer support for potential homebuyers through the Government Help to Buy scheme and a Key Worker discount.

Knights Commercial Manager Michael Casey says he is delighted with the deal and is really excited to work with Albemarle Homes in 2021.

“Speaking with Darryl his passion for building quality within the communities that Albemarle work was obvious as was his enthusiasm for Doncaster and local sport. I believe that there are some superb synergies between the Club and business and look forward to working with Albemarle on the launch of Westmoor Grange and beyond.”

Homes on the brand new Westmoor Grange site are currently available and priced from £152,950. More information can be found at www.albemarlehomes.co.uk.

 

WATCH | Knights vs Ealing Trailfinders live.

Don’t miss the Knights Trailfinders Challenge Cup opener versus Ealing Trailfinders this Saturday. 

The Knights welcome last year’s Championship runners up to Castle Park in what will be a top of the table clash after the Knights were awarded four points as a Covid outbreak in the Saracens camp forced them to withdraw last Saturday.

Coverage of Saturday’s game will begin at 14:30 with Knights wing Jack Spittle & Trailfinders centre Max Bodilly joining host Jack Zorab for all the build up which will also feature exclusive interviews with Steve Boden & Dougie Flockhart.

The broadcast will cost £8.99, and can be ordered in advance by clicking here.

For more information on how to purchase Saturday’s stream click the link – Trailfinders Challenge Cup_How to watch and purchase a Live Stream (1)

If you are current Doncaster Knights Season Ticket holder you should have received information already on how to access the stream for free.

For any issues regarding purchasing the match, please email livesupport@247.tv should you need assistance.

Watch Robin Hislop preview Saturday’s match. 

 

Knights land lock Sexton.

The Knights have strengthened their second row options ahead of next Saturday’s Trailfinders Challenge cup fixture with Ealing Trailfinders at Castle Park.

The 28-year-old arrives with an impressive CV having played most recently with South African PRO14 outfit Southern Kings.

The former Ireland Under 20 signed with the Port Elizabeth side in April 2019 on a three-year deal in April 2019 but flew home in March last year ahead of South Africa’s Covid lockdown.

The Kings have since gone into voluntary liquidation and Jerry says that after a testing year he is delighted to finally get his boots back on. “I’m very excited to sign with the Knights, the situation over the last year has been really tough but a lot of people are going through much worse.

“I had been talking to Bodes for a few months about joining and grabbed the opportunity when it was offered.”

“I’ve enjoyed some great battles with Doncaster over the years and always respected the Club and the facilities. I know a few guys here already and know they are the type of players that drive good standards”

Brother to Ireland’s fly-half & Captain Johnny, Jerry enjoyed two seasons in the Championship with Jersey Reds before moving to South Africa. Sexton played 53 times for The Reds, scoring 8 tries and skippering the side.

After progressing through Leinster age grade set up, Jerry spent time with Exeter Chiefs before joining London Irish and helping the Exiles win promotion from the Championship in 2017.

The Dubliner cuts an imposing figure at 6 ft. 5 and 120KG and Head Coach Boden is delighted to have him on board.  “I am really happy to have been able to bring Jerry in. The global situation around Covid has meant that he became available at short notice in a position that we need more depth.

“Jerry has a great pedigree, he knows the league well, having been one of Jersey’s standout performers & will bring us some new options, particularly with our set piece.”

We’d like to say a big thank you to Derek & Helen Thomas for sponsoring Jerry this season, if you are interested in player sponsorship please contact mcasey@castle-park.co.uk.

Remember you can watch the Knights in action live this weekend against Ealing, purchase the stream today – https://www.247.tv/gaa/trailfinderscc

Knights vs Saracens cancelled due to Covid-19.

Doncaster Knights match against Saracens in the Trailfinders Challenge Cup this weekend has been cancelled. 

Following Saracens’ weekly PCR Covid-19 testing programme, two players returned positive results with a further 16 members of the Saracens squad having to isolate due to contact tracing.

It means Sarries are without 34 players for the match at Castle Park on Saturday because of injury, suspension and isolation and are therefore unable to field a side despite every effort.

As a result of the cancellation, the Knights will be awarded four points while Saracens will receive two.

Refunds for those who purchased the live stream will be processed in the next couple of days.

Stream for next Saturday’s game can now be purchased via – https://www.247.tv/gaa/trailfinderscc

 

James Newey | Saracens Preview

Centre James Newey previews the Knights Trailfinders Challenge Cup opener against Saracens at Castle Park this weekend.

The former Jersey man looks ahead to what promises to be a huge test for the new squad as they face the former European Champions in what is the Knights first game in 10 months.

Having been back in training since November, James describes the mood in the camp as excited as they look to show off everything they’ve been practising so far.

How to watch the Trailfinders Challenge Cup.

The Trailfinders Challenge Cup kicks off this Saturday with every game of the competition live streamed & available to watch.

The exciting brand new tournament, sponsored by Trailfinders, kicks off this weekend with the Knights, Ealing Trailfinders & Saracens going head to head to be crowned the inaugural Trailfinders Challenge Cup Champions.

All those who purchased 2020/21 Doncaster Knights Season Tickets during our Crowdfunder campaign, or made a donation of equal or greater value, will be able to watch the Knights home games for free.

For non Season Ticket holders you can purchase the Knights games at Castle Park and the Trailfinders Sports Ground for £8.99:

PURCHASE DONCASTER VS SARACENS MATCH| JAN 23RD

PURCHASE DONCASTER VS EALING TRAILFINDERS MATCH | JAN 30TH

PURCHASE EALING TRAILFINDERS VS DONCASTER MATCH| FEB 20TH

Saracens home games at the Stonex Stadium will be available to all fans free of charge by registering and signing in at Saracens.com.

Season ticket holders will receive an email about how to access the Castle Park streams shortly, if you have any queries about your access then please email Michael on mcasey@castle-park.co.uk

For any issues regarding purchasing the match, please email livesupport@247.tv should you need support

Trailfinders Challenge Cup to be live streamed.

All Trailfinders Challenge Cup games between the Knights, Ealing Trailfinders & Saracens will be live streamed.

We are delighted to announce that every game of the Trailfinders Challenge Cup competition will be available to watch via live stream.

To ensure supporters of all three clubs can enjoy access to these important fixtures the games will be streamed through the same company than have been supplying England Rugby for a number of years, ensuring consistency throughout the tournament.

The tournament kicks off this Saturday as Ealing Trailfinders host Saracens at Vallis Way.

Full details on how to access the stream will be made available this week, so please stay tuned.

Trailfinders Challenge Cup Fixtures: 

Saturday, 16th January – 3.00pm KO – Ealing Trailfinders v Saracens

Saturday, 23rd January – 3.00pm KO – Doncaster Knights v Saracens

Saturday, 30th January – 3.00pm KO – Doncaster Knights v Ealing Trailfinders

Saturday, 6th February – 1.00pm KO – Saracens v Ealing Trailfinders

Saturday, 13th February – 4.15pm KO – Saracens v Doncaster Knights

Saturday, 20th February – 3.00pm KO – Ealing Trailfinders v Doncaster Knights 

Match day rewind | Knights vs Rotherham 2011

Enjoy this derby British & Irish Cup Tie from February 2011

Knights | 15 Dougie Flockhart, 14 Oliver Denton, 13 Ollie Goss, 12 Chris Briers, 11 Paul Devlin, 10 Christian Lewis Pratt, 9 Craig Hampson, 1 Stuart Corsair, 2 Tom Doughty, 3 Lewis Thiede, 4 Matt Challinor, 5 Dom Parsons, 6 Zack Farivarz, 7 Chris Walker, 8 Latu Makaafi.
Replacements | 16 Andy Brown, 17 Neil Cochrane, 18 Michael Cusack, 19 PJ Gidlow, 20 Stevie McColl, 21 Nathan Jones, 22 Andy Gates
Titans | 15 Will Durandt,14 Brad Hunt, 13 Simeon James, 12 Byron Godfrey, 11 Richard Welding, 10 Matt James, 9 Matthew Rhodes, 1 John Aikman, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Mark George, 4 Matthew Jackson, 5 Louis McGowan, 6 James Sandford, 7 Ross Doneghan, 8 Ben Wade.
Replacements16 Colin Quigley, 17 Rob O’Donnell, 18 Sean Dougall, 19 Ross White, 20 Jon McMahon, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Peter Swatkins
Ref Andrew Taylorson
Crowd 864

 

Up for the Cup | Chall looking forward to Ealing & Sarries Challenge

Lock Matt Challinor reacts to yesterday’s announcement that the Knights will play Ealing Trailfinders & Saracens in a pre-season tournament beginning January 16th.

The Knights will begin their campaign against the former European Champions at Castle Park and Chall says that the squad are delighted at the prospect of being back playing rugby.

Having been in training since November the newly formed competition gives the squad an opportunity to put their hard work into action before the league commences in March.

Chall also gives an update on the squad’s progress and say that the new bunch look fit and sharp so far.