Doncaster Knights secured a final win of 2021 with a five-try outing against London Scottish at the Richmond Athletic Ground this afternoon.
Steve Boden’s squad travelled to London having secured two bonus-point wins back-to-back at Castle Park against Nottingham and Coventry. And so, the head coach will surely be pleased to see out the year with a third consecutive bonus-point.
The Knights were the first on the board when Alex Dolly elected to go for goal from a penalty in midfield. Finding the posts easily, the first three points were secured and the Knights didn’t look to let-up on the scoring for the remainder of the encounter.
From defending in their own 22, the Knights went immediately on the offensive when back row Sam Hudson put in a grubber kick on a fumbled ball. Dolly chased it down to dart over for the first try of the day, before going on to convert his own score.
Having been vital to the first try, Hudson then secured one of his own. From a pick and go on the Scottish line, he dotted the ball down over the line and watched on happy as Dolly added the extras.
Scottish got themselves on the board five minutes shy of half-time when, having taken advantage of their attacking phases in the Knights 22, wing Sam Baker crossed for the hosts, before Harry Sheppard added the conversion.
Unfortunately, in the process of the try referee Adam Leal felt Billy McBryde had made a high tackle, so the Welshman was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
Being reduced to 14-men didn’t seem to rattle the Donny boys however, as shortly after the yellow card John Kelly made a break before offloading to Maliq Holden who cantered over for the Knights third score. The conversion was added by Dolly to take the Knights points tally to 24.
In the death of the half, Scottish were able to secure a second try as their driving maul proved powerful enough to send Nick Selway battering over for an unconverted score.
Running out for the second half, the Knights knew the opportunity for a bonus point was on the table – and on 56 minutes it was secured. Following a prolonged period of recycling ball on the Scottish line, Andrew Foster found a break in the defensive line and crashed over. Dolly dutifully kicked the conversion to lengthen the lead.
On the hour mark, there was a break in play as Gaz Denman received treatment for a neck injury. The replacement prop was ultimately removed from the field of play for what we hope was only a precaution and not a serious injury.
The restart allowed Scottish to gather themselves in attack as they scored a try through Tom Georgiou before Sheppard once more added the extras for what proved to be the hosts’ last points of the match.
In the last ten minutes, the Knights still did not relent. Having missed one minutes before, Dolly kept his cool to kick a penalty which cleanly split the uprights. And then, on the death, replacement hooker Will Holling secured a final try from the bottom of a Knights rolling maul.
A 19-39 away game winning scoreline is a positive note to end the year on as the Knights squad will look to push on from this win to start 2022 on the front foot when Bedford Blues visit Castle Park on New Years’ Day.
London Scottish XV | 15 Tom Georgiou; 14 Sam Baker, 13 Leo Fielding, 12 Javiah Pohe, 11 David Halaifonua; 10 Harry Sheppard, 9 Ed Hoadley; 1 Maurice Nwakor, 2 Nick Selway, 3 Jimmy Roots, 4 James Tyas, 5 Ehize Ehizode, 6 Harry Wilson, 7 Jack Ingall, 8 Cameron King.
Replacements | 16 Tom Petty, 17 Joe Rees, 18 Alex Gibson, 19 Tom Baldwin, 20 Brian Tuilagi, 21 Morgan Dawes, 22 Laurence May, 23 Sam Hanks.
Tries: Baker, Selway, Georgiou.
Conv: Sheppard 2.
Knights XV | 15 Harry Davey; 14 Jack Spittle, 13 Fraser Strachan, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Danny Drake, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Hudson, 8 Thom Smith.
Replacements | 16 Will Holling, 17 Ben Carlile, 18 Gaz Denman, 19 Josh Peters, 20 George Oram, 21 Joe Green, 22 Sam Olver, 23 Sam Graham.
Pens: Dolly 2.
Tries: Dolly, Hudson, Holden, Foster, Holling.
Conv: Dolly 4.
Yellow card: McBryde.
Referee: Adam Leal.