Knights secure 3rd spot with win in front of fans.

Doncaster Knights 29-24 Nottingham

Doncaster Knights secured 3rd spot in the Greene King IPA Championship with a 29-24 win over Nottingham Rugby as the side ran out in front of a home crowd for the first time in 440 days.

Against a Nottingham side resurgent in form the Knights drew first blood early as Howard Packman raced over from the 22m for a fine individual effort after a stray offload bounced his way, Sam Olver added the extras for a quickfire 7-0 lead, but the lead wasn’t held for long.

Nottingham levelled the scores when David Williams, who enjoyed a fine afternoon, touched down before after cutting a sharp line off Matt Riddlington.

Quick thinking from Knights scrum-half Gus Warr aided the Knights into a 14-7 half-time lead as the Sale man took a tap penalty with the visiting defences off guard.

The lead quick disappeared after the restart as Jake Farnworth intercepted a stray pass and showed a turn of foot an outside back would be proud of never mind a a front row.

The Green and Whites then went in front on the hour mark with Williams running in his second try and Alex Dolly’s third conversion put them 21-14 ahead. On what was supposed to be a celebratory occasion for the Knights, Notts looks in danger of stealing the show.

The hosts quickly dragged themselves back level as Will Holling crashed over at the back of a maul before Olver and Dolly traded penalties to make it 24-24 heading into the closing stages.

That still left time for the grandest of finishes as replacement Doncaster nine Sam Pocklington collected an audacious off load from Conor Joyce before fighting his way over for a last gasp winner and the bonus point try, much to the home crowd’s delight.

Knights XV | 15) Billy McBryde, 14) Kyle Evans, 13) Charlie Foley 12) Connor Edwards 11) Howard Packman, 10) Sam Olver, 9) Gus Warr, 1) Bomber Hislop, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Gaz Denman, 4) Matt Challinor (c), 5) Matt Smith, 6) Sam Graham, 7) Jack Davies, 8) Guido Volpi

Replacements | 16) Will Holling, 17) Conrad Cade, 18) Joe Jones, 19) Will Britton, 20) Conor Joyce, 21) Sam Pocklington, 22) James Newey 23) James Kane.

Nottingham XV | 15 Luke Hibberd 14 Jack Stapley 13 David Williams 12 Charlie Thacker 11 Joe Browning, 10 Matt Riddington 9 Alex Dolly 1 Toby Williams 2 Jake Farnsworth, 3 Ben Betts 4 Callum Allen
5 Luke Frost 6 Willie Ryan 7 Carl Kirwin, 8 Josh Poullet

Replacements: 16 Ben Sugars 17 Aniseko Sio 18 Harri O’Connor 19 Jack Ramshaw 20 George Cox 21 Michael Stronge 22 Theo Manihera
23 Harry Graham

 

FREE | Doncaster Knights digital programme.

Tomorrow we welcome fans back to Castle Park for the first time in 440 days. 

Doncaster Knights kick off against Nottingham Rugby in the final game of the Greene King IPA Championship tomorrow at 16:30.
Terrace tickets for the game are available from the stadium ticket office from noon tomorrow.
Check out Doncaster Knights FREE 12-page digital programme including:
  • Head Coach Boden’s programme notes
  • A 2021 squad update
  • Tomorrow’s match day protocol
  • Nottingham preview
  • Plus much more!

Click to read Doncaster Knights digital programme.

Knights vs Notts | Match day protocol.

Match day protocols | Doncaster Knights vs Nottingham.

After 440 days without fans we are delighted to welcome you all back to Castle Park for this weekend’s game with Nottingham Rugby.

To ensure everyone enjoys the day and stays safe we are asking that fans please read our match day protocols in relation to Covid19.

Ticket collection.

Match tickets can be collected & purchased on the day but please keep an appropriate social distance when queuing at the ticket window.

Spectators with disabilities please contact the ticket office ahead of the day so we can safely accommodate in line with Covid-protocols

Refreshments & spectator services

Fans spectating from the East Terrace must note that there will be no food and beverage kiosks open as per the Government and RFU guidance.

Toilets and first aid facilities will be open. The toilet block will be clearly signposted and monitored by stewards with cleaning protocols in place.

Spectators, especially those standing on the East Terrace, may bring A4 sized bags with food and drink which must not included any glass containers.

Food and beverage kiosks are open in the concourse but we kindly ask that spectators return to your allocated seat prior to consuming any purchased food or drink as per Government and RFU guidance.

Face masks

Face covering are mandatory indoors and in covered communal areas. We also encourage face coverings to be worn outdoors due to the higher risk of transmission associated with crowds and singing or shouting.

Journey to the stadium

We advise all spectators to avoid public transport where possible. Where unavoidable spectators should ensure they are complaint with Government guidance, comply with the operators’ instructions and allow plenty of time.

Where spectators travel by car, please note Castle Park has only limited car parking and extra parking is available at the Outwood Academy Danum.

Where spectators travel by foot or bicycle, we have limited cycle parking available.

Day of the Match

Spectators should not attend the match if they, or any member of their household, are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or have been requested to isolate by NHS Track and Trace.

Arriving and Exiting the Ground

Entrance and exit times will be controlled so that everyone can enter and exit in a controlled and safe manner.

The Club is using both entrance gates to enter and exit – Those standing on the East Terrace must use Gate 3 at the Woodside Paddock and those seated in the DML Stand use Gate 6 at the Ticket office.

Thank you & Stay Safe

Neil Holmes General Manager.

Hookers Holling & Roberts locked in for 2021.

Hookers Will Holling and George Roberts have agreed new two-year contracts at Castle Park for the 2021 campaign.

Academy graduate Holling has enjoyed a breakout 2021 campaign which has seen him make six appearances, including two starts and scoring against Bedford Blues and Ealing Trailfinders.

The 23-year-old has jostled with Club legend Ben Hunter for starting berth in the number two jersey and impressed all with the development shown under Steve Boden this campaign.

Born in Doncaster, Holling was the third Academy student to sign a senior deal and says that playing for his hometown Club is the realization of a life time ambition. “As a Donny boy I’m very happy to be extending my time at the club. Personally I’m looking forward to building on the last two years here. We’ve had a good season this year and hoping we can kick on again and see what we can achieve as a team next season.”

Head Coach Steve Boden added, “Will Holling is growing game by game, he’s had a decent apprenticeship and now it’s his time to kick on and become a leader. With still plenty of development to go we’re really excited to see how far Will can go”

George Roberts is another young front row who has impressed at every opportunity this season having arrived from RGC 1404 in the summer after being a standout performer in the Welsh Premiership last season.

The 23-year-old got the nod in the #2 jersey for the first Championship game of the season following a solid Trailfinders Challenge Cup campaign. Roberts has gone on to feature sporadically, showing his versatility to cover back-row when called upon.

The 2021 campaign has been Roberts’ first in a full time environment and Bodes has been delighted with the development he has shown to date. “George has been a great discovery, coming in pretty unknown from semi pro rugby, we believe George has the drive a determined mindset to push on to a higher level.

“Similar to Will, he has served his apprenticeship and it is time for him to push on and grow more through game time. I am looking forward to watching these to push each other on next season.”

George is another player to have agreed a two-year deal at the Club and believes that Castle Park is the best place for his development. “I’m happy to have re-signed with the Knights and to have the opportunity to grow further as a player.

“The environment around the Club has been great so far with the coaching staff and the players all really buying into what we’re trying to achieve.

“It is sad to see a few of the lads move on this season but I am really excited for what next two-years could bring both personally and for the Club”

Watch George & Will finish off this 2021 campaign tomorrow at Castle Park with tickets for the game available from the Castle Park ticket office from 12 noon.

Team News | Knights vs Nottingham

For the final time this season the Knights squad has been named!

The Knights look to cement a third place finish in the Greene King IPA Championship, their best since 2016, against a resurgent Nottingham Rugby.

A win will do the trick with Cornish Pirates a single point behind but having won less games so the task is clear as the side run out in front of a home crowd for the first time in 440 days.

For the game Steve Boden welcomes Bomber Hislop and Ben Hunter back into the front row in place of Conrad Cade and Will Holling. Gaz Denman retains his place and the forward pack is otherwise unchanged.

In the backs Charlie Foley & Connor Edwards have passed late fitness tests to retain their places in midfield and will line up outside Sam Olver and Gus Warr. Fit again, Howard Packman returns to the left wing in place of James Kane with Kyle Evans continuing on the right hand side and Billy McBryde at fifteen.

Joe Jones, Will Britton and Conor Joyce all continue as forward replacements and Sam Pocklington is recalled to the squad having missed out for much of this season.

James Newey completes the twenty-three offering cover across the outside backs.

Kick off tomorrow is at 16:30, tickets are still on sale via drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk you can also stream the fixture via https://www.championshiprugby.co.uk/live-streams

Watch Steve Boden preview tomorrow’s clash.

Knights XV | 15) Billy McBryde, 14) Kyle Evans, 13) Charlie Foley 12) Connor Edwards 11) Howard Packman, 10) Sam Olver, 9) Gus Warr, 1) Bomber Hislop, 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Gaz Denman, 4) Matt Challinor (c), 5) Matt Smith, 6) Sam Graham, 7) Jack Davies,

8) Guido Volpi

Replacements | 16) Will Holling, 17) Conrad Cade, 18) Joe Jones, 19) Will Britton, 20) Conor Joyce, 21) Sam Pocklington, 22) James Newey 23) James Kane.

Graham & Edwards on board for 2021/22.

The good news keeps coming as Doncaster Knights confirm Sam Graham and Connor Edwards have both agreed new contracts that will keep them at Castle Park for another two seasons.  

Back-row Sam Graham signed for the Knights from Bristol last summer last year having made eight first team appearances for the Bears as well as making twelve appearances for Bristol A in the Premiership Rugby shield.

Since signing at Castle Park the 23-year-old has made himself a key member of the Knights squad and has featured in each of the Knights nine league games this season and earned many plaudits for his performances.

Following what could be the Knights most successful campaign in five years, Sam believes this is just the start and states he is excited to be part of the Knights future. “The decision to re-sign was an easy one to make.

“In what’s been a tough year for everyone, the community that has been built here has offered support to me and my family during the toughest times and I plan on repaying the club with my efforts on the pitch.

“To be a part of this club’s ‘rebuild’ was what attracted me here in the first place and I think we’ve taken some major steps in the right direction. What excites me most is how we grow and improve again from this season into the 21/22 campaign. In particular playing in front of a loud castle park crowd.”

Despite being just 23, Head Coach Steve Boden believes that Sam has the leadership qualities to drive the team forward again next season and is delighted to have secured his services. “I am delighted Sam Graham has re-signed, his performances this year have been outstanding and he’s becoming a great leader within our environment. We still feel Sam is nowhere near his full potential which is really, really exciting.”

Centre Connor Edwards arrived at Castle Park in March on loan from Dragons Rugby and made his presence felt in the Knights 20-19 win over Coventry.  The former Wales U20 midfielder made 19 appearances and scored three tries for the Dragons between loan spells at Jersey Reds and Hartpury University.

Edwards has gone on to feature in all the Knights fixtures since his debut and touched down for crucial tries against Cornish Pirates and Jersey Reds forming a smart partnership alongside Charlie Foley in midfield.

Having made himself a regular in the squad Connor says he is really enjoying his time in Yorkshire and ready to kick on next term. “I am really happy to have signed for Donny and am grateful to the club for giving me an opportunity to play after a really frustrating period of not playing.

“Hopefully I can repay the faith in me by putting in some good performances and helping the club with where we want to go especially back in front of fans next season.”

Connor’s combative style of play has cause opposing midfields head aches time and time against this season and Bodes is hoping for more of the same next season “Connor has been a great addition this year, he’s a great character within our group which is very important and brings a physical edge to our back line.”

Tickets for Doncaster Knights vs Nottingham are still available on line via drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk

 

 

 

 

PHIL MILLS FUNERAL

Phil’s funeral will take place on Thursday June 3rd. 

A family service will be held at St.Michael’s Church , Rossington , where sadly numbers are limited by current restrictions.

This will be followed by a short service at Rose Hill Crematorium at 1pm , where there will also be loudspeakers outside so that anyone who wishes to can pay their respects with the family.

Family flowers only please , but donations would be welcomed to the Head & Neck Cancer Charity Foundation.

Trailfinders too much for battling Knights.

Ealing 38-15 Knights Doncaster Knights arrived in West London needing a bonus point win to keep their post season hopes alive.

Against a Trailfinders side sat top of the league it was always going to be a very tall order and it proved to be a challenge too far but the Knights produced a performance to to be proud of – despite the defeat.

Donny started the game like a train and raced into a 10-0 lead with just ten minutes on the clock.

Guido Volpi opened the scoring after back-to-back penalties moved the Knights in range following a fine catch and carry from Billy McBryde. With a well-formed lineout the forwards rattled over and Guido dotted the ball down with Sam Olver converting.

Olver extended the lead moment later with a successful penalty to move the Knights into double figures.

The Trailfinders hit back with two scores before the interval to go in ahead at the change of ends as the Knights failed to convert some stonewall chances

A mix up in the Donny line saw Guy Thompson burst through a gap in midfield before finding David Johnston in support who galloped over to score before converting his own effort.

Will Holling, who was superb throughout, almost hit back immediately as the hooker collected the restart and carried deep into the Trailfinders 22m. Quick carrying from the breakdown got the Knights in touching distance but they gave away a penalty with the line beckoning.

The Knights then lost Charlie Foley to an ankle injury and Kyle Evans was sin binned for playing the nine at a ruck. Ealing got their second shortly after when Kieran Murphy broke off the back of a driving line out. Johnston’s conversion made it 14-15.

The Knights forced more opportunities before the half but could not improve on their score.

Donny came out for the second forty on the front foot and quickly reestablished their lead. A scrum penalty was kicked to touch by Olver and good line out ball provided a platform to play from. Having worked in field, possession was switched to the short side and Olver delayed a pass perfectly for Holling to score.

Once again, the Trailfinders reaction to going behind was immediate, Max Bodilly was able to work his way through a congested field and then hand onto Dean Hammond who ran home. Johnston’s conversation made it 21-15 and from this point Ealing would not be stopped.

Ealing ran in further tries through Michael Van Vuuren, David Johnston and Dean Hammond in the final quarter to make the full time score 38-15 which was probably not a fair reflection of the contest.

The Knights now go into the final game of the season looking to secure third place and make a winning finish to an excellent season.

Order your tickets today – https://drfc.cloudvenue.co.uk/home

Guido & Kyle commit to Knights future.

Doncaster Knights are delighted to announce that two key performers from the 2020/21 campaign will return for next season as Kyle Evans & Guido Volpi agree new deals.

Welshman Kyle Evans arrived in Doncaster in the summer of 2019, having won three successive Welsh Premiership titles with Merthyr RFC. The winger was named the Welsh Principality Premiership Player of the Year in 2017/18 and has enjoyed a standout 2021 in South Yorkshire.

The winger made a flying start to the campaign, scoring four tries in his first four appearances across the Trailfinders Challenge Cup and Championship. The 29-year-old’s fine form has continued since, starting every league game and impressing equally in both attack and defence.

Kyle has agreed a one season extension and says he excited to build on good work done so far this campaign.  “I am really pleased to have signed at Doncaster for another season, we’ve had a great year so far, demonstrating what we are capable of.

“It has been a pleasure playing under Bodes, Joe and Nathan. I feel that I have strengthened as a player and that we have strengthened as a team also and I am excited to see the progress we can make next season.”

Argentinean back-row Guido Volpi first appeared at Castle Park on loan from the Osprey in January 2020 and quickly established himself as a starter; featuring in wins over London Scottish and Jersey Reds.

Guido’s loan was extended with us for the 2021 campaign and the athletic 25-year-old has continued to impress, featuring in all but one of the Knights Championship games this season and scoring twice.

Volpi’s bally carrying and defense have become a feature of the Knights back-row this season. Guido has signed a new one-year deal, another statement of intent from the Club and he says he is delighted to be continuing as a Knight. “I am really happy to have signed at Doncaster Knights, we’ve had a really good year & it is a fantastic working environment that has been created.

“We have a few games left of this season to really finish on a high but I am excited to see what we can do next year under Bodes, Nathan & Joe.”

Having already announced that Billy McBryde and Sam Olver will be staying at Castle Park into 2022 Head Coach Steve Boden believes that securing Kyle & Guido’s services is another significant piece of recruitment.

“Kyle has been fantastic for us this year and we’re lucky to retain him for another season. He’s a natural finisher and sets training standards very high through his competitive nature and strong work ethic making him very good for our environment.

“I am really happy to have signed Guido on a permanent basis from Ospreys. He is a big character within the squad and his game has developed leaps and bounds this season but what’s really exciting is that we feel there is a huge amount of growth in his game to unlock.”

Don’t miss Kyle, Guido & the rest of the squad in action IN THE FLESH on May 29that Castle Park versus Nottingham Rugby. Tickets on sale now.

Team News | Knights vs Ealing.

Following a three week break the Knights return to action tomorrow afternoon with a mouth-watering clash in the Capital against Ealing Trailfinders. 

With two games to play the Knights play-off hopes are slim but very much alive.

The requirements to make the post-season are likely to be a 10-point return from the final two rounds while denying Ealing a bonus point tomorrow.

For the contest Steve Boden recalls James Kane to the starting line up with both Jack Spittle and Howard Packman missing the game through injury.

It is a familiar looking back division otherwise. Gus Warr is the only change to the backline that started in the win over Bedford Blues earlier in the month. The Sale Youngster comes in for James Mitchell who is named on the bench.

In the pack Conrad Cade, Will Holling and Gaz Denman are the front row starters, Matt Smith is back in the starting XV to accompany Matt Challinor at lock with Jerry Sexton missing.

Jack Davies will hope to build on some impressive form off the bench and is named at open side with Sam Graham and Guido Volpi continuing at six and eight respectively.

Bomber Hislop and Ben Hunter return to squad having missed the last couple, along with Joe Jones they will provide plenty of fire power from the bench up front. George Roberts shows his versatility to offer back-row cover along with Conor Joyce and James Newey who completes the twenty-three.

Kick off tomorrow is at 15:00.

Tickets are on sale via –ET vs DK Tickets. 

Or you can watch the stream via – ET vs DK Stream

Knights XV | 15) Billy McBryde, 14) Kyle Evans, 13) Charlie Foley 12) Connor Edwards 11) James Kane, 10) Sam Olver, 9) Gus Warr, 1) Conrad Cade, 2) Will Holling, 3) Gaz Denman, 4) Matt Challinor (c), 5) Matt Smith, 6) Sam Graham, 7) Jack Davies, 8) Guido Volpi

Replacements | 16) Bomber Hislop, 17) Ben Hunter, 18) Joe Jones, 19) Will Britton, 20) Conor Joyce, 21) George Roberts, 22) James Mitchell, 23) James Newey.