Kev Clifton

It is with regret that we have to advise that Kevin Clifton passed away suddenly yesterday.
Kev has been part of the rugby family at Castle Park for many years, initially as a player with Doncaster Phoenix but more so in recent years as a key member of the support team assisting on match days and at training sessions.
He gave up many weekends home and away – preparing changing rooms, kit and equipment ready for kick-off and then would stay behind to help clear-up after the final whistle.
He will be greatly missed and we send our best wishes and condolences to Keely & his family at this difficult time.

Jack Sheppard

One of our long time supporters Jack Sheppard has passed away after a short illness.

Jack was 85 and we offer our deepest sympathy to his daughter, family and friends.

Jack played his rugby for Chesterfield and moved to Doncaster in 1976 with his job. He quickly joined the club and has been a loyal supporter ever since. He served on the club committee for a number of years in the amateur days.

Championship Rounds 1 & 2 confirmed.

The dates and times for the Knights first two fixtures of the 2021 season have been confirmed. 

With the full fixture list released earlier in the month the Knights can now confirm the exact dates and times of the round one and round two fixtures.

The Knights kick off the campaign with a trip to Dillingham Park on Sunday, March 7th at 13:00. Steve Boden’s charges will look to avenge last season’s 30-26 defeat to Ampthill in the Club’s first competitive fixture in almost a year.

Competitive rugby returns to Castle Park a week later, in what promises to be a scintillating early test for the new-look Knights, as we face Coventry on Friday, March 12th KO 18:00.

Confirmation of the full fixture list will be released shortly along with information on streaming.

 

Tyson Lewis confirms playing retirement.

Doncaster Knights wing and long-time Club favourite Tyson Lewis has confirmed his playing retirement from professional rugby. 

Tyson joined the Club from Plymouth Albion in 2012 and has gone on to become the Club’s leading try-scorer of the professional age.

The former Blackheath man has been pivotal to many of the Knights successes in recent times and forever by synonymous with the club’s number eleven jersey.

We are delighted to confirm that Tyson’s involvement at Castle Park will continue in 2021 as Academy Director while honing his coaching skills with the first team. The 35-year-old will oversee DRFC’s best young talent and ensure the player pathway is clear and accessible for every rugby player at Castle Park.

Tyson, thank you for all the amazing memories!

 

Trailfinders too good for battling Knights.

The Knights ended pre-season with a third defeat but will take plenty of positives from their Trailfinders Challenge Cup campaign having produced three encouraging displays.

The Trailfinders were confirmed as the unbeaten champions and began the game at an impressive tempo with the early pressure telling after just seven minutes.

Following a deep line out, over eagerness in the Knights defensive line opened up a hole which full back David Johnston galloped through & Steven Shingler converted.

The Knights response was immediate as Sam Olver nudged a penalty moments later following good pressure at the restart.

It wasn’t enough to disrupt the Tralfinders early flow and from a solid lineout platform the Londoners were able to generate quick front foot ball which gave the hard-running back row and midfield opportunity to make their presence felt.

A short range lineout gave Ealing their second try on 18 minutes with Guy Thompson tumbling over at the back of the maul. Shingler added the extras and the signs were ominous with the Trailfinders really at the races.

The second quarter was much better and good pressure forced a series of penalties which eventually saw loose head Will Davis sin binned. From the resulting line out George Roberts crashed over at the back with Olver converting. Half time 14-10.

Ealing dropped back into gear quickly after the restart and registered their third, this time it was Steven Shingler breaking blind after a well-constructed driving line out.

A Sam Olver penalty reduced the arrears and when lock Bobby de Wee was sin binned for a no arm challenge it looked like it was game on.

Sadly, the Knights could not capitalize and hooker Alun Walker extended the home lead before James Cannon touched down to guarantee the win.

The home side looked as good as they have done so far this campaign but the Knights were able to prevent further scores despite plenty of pressure.

With all the replacements on the Knights scored arguably the try of the game. Off first phase Billy McBrdye found Kyle Evans on a lovely short line and the winger raced away to touch down & McBryde converted.

A final score of 33-20 would have been a fair reflection of the game overall but Donny were unable to see the fixture out. A messy restart preceded a penalty & from the resulting lineout the Trailfinders crossed again adding gloss to the score.

A slightly frustrating outing for Donny but with two weeks to go until the start of the Championship the side have had three extremely testing fixtures and will feel ready to hit the ground running on March 6th.

Ealing XV | 15 David Johnston 14 Luke Daniels 13 Jack Tovey 12 Pat Howard 11 Angus Kernohan 10 Steven Shingler 9 Craig Hampson 1 Will Davis 2 Alun Walker 3 Elliot Millar Mills 4 Bobby de Wee 5 James Cannon 6 Adam Korczyk 7 Guy Thompson 8 Rayn Smid (c). 

Replacements| 16 Shaun Malton 17 George Davis 18 Harry Seward 19 Ben West 20 Kieran Murphy 21 Jordan Burns 22 Craig Willis 23 James Cordy Redden

Tries; Johnston 7’, Thompson 18’ 80’, Shingler 43’, Walker 61’, Cannon 70’

Conv; Shingler 7’, 18’, 43’, 61’, 80’

Pens;

Knights XV |15 Tom Bacon, 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Harry strong (Charlie Foley 36’), 12 Mark Best, 11 Howard Packman, 10 Sam Olver (Bily McBryde 63’), 9 James Mitchell (Sam Pocklington 63’), 1 Bomber Hislop (c) (Conrad Cade 70’), 2 George Roberts (Will Holling 60’), 3 Joe Jones (Gaz Denman 55’), 4 Matt Challinor, 5 Jerry Sexton (Matt Smith 60’), 6 Conor Joyce (John Kelly 60’), 7 Sam Graham, 8 Guido Volpi,

Replacements | 16 Conrad Cade, 17 Will Holling, 18 Gaz Denman, 19 Matt Smith, 20 John Kelly, 21 Sam Pocklington, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Charlie Foley.

Tries; Roberts 28’, Evans 78’

Conv; Olver 29’, McBryde 78’

Pens; Olver 9’, 49’

Referee: Sara Cox

Knights named for Trailfinders Cup finale.  

The Knights squad to face Ealing Trailfinders in the Trailfinders Challenge Cup finale has been named.

Steve Boden has mixed up his selection for the final pre-season hit out before the Championship season starts on March 6th.

First starts are handed to George Roberts and Conor Joyce, having featured from the bench so far in the tournament. Bomber Hislop and Joe Jones retain their spots from last weekend as does lock Jerry Sexton.

Sam Graham and Guido Volpi returning having missed last weekend and Matt Challinor is promoted from the bench having featured in all three games so far.

It’s all change at half back with James Mitchell and Sam Olver returning to the XV, Harry Strong and Howard Packman are the only two survivors from last weekend’s starting back line.

Wasps loanee Tom Bacon will hope to build on an impressive debut at home against the Trailfinders with Kyle Evans and Mark Best back in the mix also.

On the bench Joe Pietrse will want to make an impact against his parent club with further front row reinforcement provided by Gaz Denman and Will Holling.

Sam Pocklington is back fit and hoping to make his first appearance the new campaign. Charlie Foley is back in the squad having sat out last weekend and Billy McBryde switches to the bench. Matt Smith & John Kelly complete the twenty-three.

Kick off tomorrow is at 15:00 with coverage starting at 14:30, stream the game via – https://www.247.tv/gaa/trailfinderscc

Watch forwards coach Nathan Smtih preview tomorrow’s game.

 

Knights XV | 15 Bomber Hislop (c), 2 George Roberts, 3 Joe Jones, 4 Matt Challinor, 5 Jerry Sexton, 6 Conor Joyce, 7 Sam Graham, 8 Guido Volpi, 9 James Mitchell, 10 Sam Olver, 11 Howard Packman, 12 Mark Best, 13 Harry strong, 14 Kyle Evans, 15 Tom Bacon

Replacements | 16 Josh Pietrse, 17 Will Holling, 18 Gaz Denman, 19 Matt Smith, 20 John Kelly, 21 Sam Pocklington, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Charlie Foley

The Qube become Knights’ newest commercial partners.

Doncaster Knights are delighted to add The Qube to our growing network of commercial partners.

Based in Northamptonshire, The Qube are a design and build construction company specializing in modular construction. The Qube offer bespoke modular buildings, eco tiny homes and small housing developments creating flexible, modern building solutions constructed to the highest standards.

For the 2021 campaign The Qube will sponsor Doncaster Knights trio Mark Best, Harry Strong and Gaz Denman as well as taking digital advertising within the Knights streamed fixtures.

Speaking on the new partnership, The Qube Associate Director Jordan Spittle said ‘We are proud to sponsor Mark, Harry and Gaz and partner with Doncaster Knights for the upcoming season. The team has a fantastic set up, a great relationship with players, fans and sponsors and we cannot wait to get up to Castle Park to support the lads when it is safe to do so.”

The Qube are one of six brand new partners for 2021, something Commercial Manager Michael Casey is very pleased about. “We are delighted to add The Qube to our commercial network, they are a fantastic business creating innovative, forward-thinking building designs and I would urge fans to check out their work on Instagram and see it first hand.

“In what is an extremely difficult period for professional sport our commercial network becomes even more important and I look forward to working closely with Jordan and the team going forward.”

Find out more about the Knights latest partner at https://www.theqube.group

Instagram: @thequbemodularbuildings and @thequbeecotinyhomes

We still have a couple of players available to sponsor for the 2021 campaign, email mcasey@castle-park.co.uk for more details.

WATCH | Ealing Trailfinders vs Doncaster Knights live.

Don’t miss the final game of the Trailfinders Challenge Cup versus Ealing Trailfinders this Saturday. 

The Knights lock horns with the unbeaten Trailfinders this weekend as they look to spoil the party before the Londoners are crowned champions having accrued an unassailable tournament lead.

Coverage of Saturday’s game will begin at 14:30 with Knights back-row Jack Davies & Trailfinders wing Charlie Walker joining host Jack Zorab for all the build up and previews.

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)

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

Note as this is an away game there are no free passes for Knights Season Ticket holders.

Sarries force past Knights despite solid showing.

Saracens 29-10 Knights.

Doncaster Knights were unable to bring any points home to Castle Park despite keeping pace with the former European champs for long periods of this Trailfinders Challenge Cup contest.

In a spirited display, the Knights held their illustrious opponents to just twelve points in the opening forty and certainly put the Londoners to test in the opening exchanges.

Sustained attacking pressure from the Knights forced penalties out of hosts and Billy Mcbryde was able to kick the Knights into the lead after fifteen minutes with two further penalty attempts dropping wide.

Saracens hit back just before the half hour mark when wing Rotimi Segun profited out wide after the home pack had drawn the Donny defence in with patient pick and go carries.

The Knights stuck to their task but were occasionally guilty of trying to play a little bit too much in the middle third and inviting unnecessary pressure upon themselves.

On the stroke of half time Sarries went over again, with hooker Tom Woolstencroft powering over from short range after a line out deep in Donny territory – 12-3.

The second half continued in a similar vein to the first, with the Knights showing plenty of ambition and limiting the Saracens attacking threats.

The Donny set piece performed impressively for much of the afternoon with the Knights holding the upper hand at scrum time and repelling the home attempts to drive their line out.

Eager defending from back row Andy Christie forced a knock on in midfield and Manu Vunipola hacked the bouncing ball forward. Duncan Taylor set off and was able to win the footrace with James Kane to dot down close to the posts.

Unperturbed the Knights continued to cause issues for the home side and with the injection of some fresh legs from the bench set about the Sarries line after kicking a penalty to the corner. Patient pick and go play from the forwards moved Donny to within one metre of scoring when tight head Vincent Koch cynically killed the ball and was sin binned.

From the resulting scrum the Knights were able to reverse their opposites back over the line to force a penalty try and it was game on.

Unfortunately, Donny lost touch in the final ten minutes, conceding twice in the closing stages and adding late gloss to the score line for the hosts.

Overall, an encouraging display from the Doncaster side with many of the squad making their first appearance for the Club.

Steve Boden and his coaching team have now seen the vast majority of their new charges in action and will look to end pre-season with more improvement against Ealing next weekend.

Saracens XV| 15 Elliott Obatoyinbo, 14 Ali Crossdale, 13 Dom Morris, 12 Duncan Taylor, 11 Rotimi Segun, 10 Manu Vunipola 9 Aled Davies, 1 Richard Barrington 2 Tom Woolstencroft ©3 Vincent Koch, 4 Joel Kpoku5 Tim Swinson, 6 Callum Hunter-Hill, 7 Mike Rhodes, 8 Andy Christie

 

Replacements| 16 Kapeli Pifeleti 17 Eroni Mawi 18 Josh Ibuanokpe 19 Ollie Stonham 20 Toby Knight 21 Tom Whiteley 22 Harry Sloan 23 Will Hooley (all used)

Tries; Segun 26’, Woolstencroft 38’,Taylor 55’, Swinson 71’, Kapeli Pifeleti 78’

Conv; Vunipola 38’, 55’

Pens;

Knights XV| 15) James Kane, 14) Aaron Reed, 13) James Newey, 12) Harry Strong, 11) Howard Packman, 10) Billy McBryde, 9) Gus Warr, 1) Bomber Hislop ©, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Joe Jones, 4) Will Britton, 5) Jerry Sexton, 6) John Kelly, 7) Jack Rouse, 8) Jack Davies.

Replacements | 16) Conrad Cade, 17) George Roberts, 18) Andrew Foster, 19) Matt Challinor, 20) Conor Joyce, 21) Reiss Cullen, 22) Mark Best, 23) Sam Olver (all used)

Tries; Penalty Try 63’

Conv;

Pens; McBryde 15’

Knights named for Sarries trip.  

The Doncaster Knights side to face Saracens in tomorrow’s Trailfinders Challenge Cup clash has been announced.  

There are just three survivors from the starting XV that faced Ealing Trailfinders a fortnight ago with Joe Jones and Will Britton retaining their places as well as Sale Sharks loanee Aaron Reed.

Head Coach Steve Boden hands debuts to fullback James Kane, centre James Newey and new arrival Jerry Sexton with many more getting their first Knights start.

Bomber Hislop returns from a knee injury to captain the side and will be keen to impress against a side he featured for on loan last season. Ben Hunter gets his eighth campaign underway after sitting out the Ealing game last month and will pack down alongside tight head Joe Jones for the first time.

John Kelly will get the chance to build on an impressive showing from the bench last time out at blindside as will Ealing loanee Jack Rouse and number eight Jack Davies.

In half backs Billy McBryde is the pick at stand off, he lines up outside Sharks youngster Gus Warr.

Howard Packman has recovered from an illness that sidelined him against the Trailfinders to start on the left wing and Harry Strong will wear the twelve jersey in place of Mark Best who is named among the replacements.

On the bench Conrad Cade, George Roberts and Andrew Foster provide the front row cover with the evergreen Matt Challinor at lock. Back row Conor Joyce will be hopeful of making his Knights debut from the bench with Reiss Cullen & Sam Olver providing further options in the backs.

Kick off tomorrow is at 16:15 with the full game plus build up available to watch for FREE on the Saracens website. Follow the link below & register to access the stream.

https://www.saracens.com/account/register/

Knights XV | 15) James Kane, 14) Aaron Reed, 13) James Newey, 12) Harry Strong, 11) Howard Packman, 10) Billy McBryde, 9) Gus Warr, 1) Bomber Hislop ©, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Joe Jones, 4) Will Britton, 5) Jerry Sexton, 6) John Kelly, 7) Jack Rouse, 8) Jack Davies.

Replacements | 16) Conrad Cade, 17) George Roberts, 18) Andrew Foster, 19) Matt Challinor, 20) Conor Joyce, 21) Reiss Cullen, 22) Mark Best, 23) Sam Olver.

Watch Knights vs Sarries for FREE!

The Knights continue their Trailfinders Challenge Cup campaign this Saturday with trip to the StoneX Stadium to face Saracens & you can watch for FREE! 

Steve Boden’s charges will look to build on their 26-46 defeat to Ealing as they go toe to toe with the former European Champs this weekend, kick off 4:15pm.

As with all Trailfinders Challenge Cup games, the match will be streamed live and is available to all for free by signing up on the Saracens website via the link – https://www.saracens.com/account/register/.

Team news for Saturday will be available 12:30 tomorrow.