Knights Take Win Without Bonus Point Against Ampthill

It was a relatively quiet performance from the Knights as they claimed a four point victory over Ampthill at Castle Park this afternoon.

Steve Boden’s men emerged the 19-13 victors, but their best performance seemed to elude them throughout the encounter.

Wind was most definitely a deciding factor in many facets of the game today as it whipped across the Doncaster field in the afternoon sunshine.

A relatively even opening quarter saw the two sides jockey for attacking possession before the Knights were the ones able to first convert ball in hand into points.

A classy phase of play saw Mark Best offloading to release Ben Murphy. Alex Dolly was then able to quickly get ball to Sam Olver who whipped in a long pass to Joe Margetts who cantered over for the opening score. Despite weather conditions, Olver found the posts to convert.

A feature of the day reared it’s head as the first of a number of Ampthill’s restarts went out on the full, bringing about the halfway-line scrum.

Five minutes shy of half time, the Knights were scoring again. Trick plays a-plenty off the back of a scrum allowed the Knights to confuse the Ampthill defensive line. Sam Graham broke down the wing before his hand-off out to back to Best awarded the centre a run-in. Unfortunately, Olver’s conversion attempt was a hairs-breadth short of the crossbar.

Ampthill also managed to squeeze in a try before the opening 40 minutes was up. After a scrum re-set, the Knights fumbled the ball and their butter fingers didn’t cease as they scrambled backwards in defence.

This moment of error allowed Joe Goodchild to take advantage of a relatively easy run-in. Josh Bragman’s kick went wide of the posts, however, so the sides ran in with Donny in a short 12-5 lead.

A big second half showing was needed to secure a home bonus point, but the Knights never truly looked to have their best foot forward as errors and penalties repeatedly thwarted their efforts.

Just following the hour mark, Ampthill closed the gap on the scoreboard. In what can honestly be described as ‘a bit of a mess’ it looked to be a dropped ball from Donny in the far corner that was dived upon by Ampthill with Jac Arthur emerging from a pile over the line to have the referee award him as scorer.

No conversion gave the Knights a shy two-point blanket to work from.

With five minutes left to play, they added to those points. The pack did the grunt work from the lineout, with Ampthill thinking the forwards had crashed over at the driving maul. However, in delaying his pass, Dolly allowed their confusion to continue to dull their reactions.

Having received the pass, Olver whipped out a ball to Kyle Evans on the wing, who had a clear run-in to cross for the third, and final, Knights score of the day. A perfectly struck conversion from Olver awarded the Knights the extra two points.

At the death, Ampthill still looked to want more. A penalty secured from Russell Bennett closed the gap. However, with nearly five minutes extra time played, the Knights were able to rip the ball from the visitors and Connor Edwards took no time in booting it into touch to end the contest.

Not their greatest day at the office, but the Knights will know that any win is valuable in this ferociously competitive Championship season.

 

Knights XV | 15 Sam Olver; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Harry Davey; 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Edgson, 17 Liam Usher, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Joe Green, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Maliq Holden.

Tries: Margetts, Best, Evans.

Conv: Olver 2.

 

Ampthill XV | 15 Joe Smith; 14 Joe Goodchild, 13 Ben Cambriani, 12 Thom Hudson, 11 Josh Gillespie; 10 Josh Bragman, 9 Kevin Barrett; 1 Sam Crean, 2 Jack Michael Dickinson, 3 Aleki Lutui, 4 Charlie Beckett, 5 Cai Devine, 6 Jac Arthur, 7 Josh Smart, 8 Patrick Ryan.

Replacements | 16 Will Harding, 17 James Jack, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Carl Burgess, 20 Matt Wilkinson, 21 Roan Frostwick, 22 Jack Bergin, 23 Russell Bennett.

Pens: Bennett.

Tries: Goodchild, Arthur.

 

Referee: Andrew Jackson

Knights Raffle Winners Chosen

The winners of the Doncaster Knights raffle to help raise money for Ospreys player Ifan Phillips have been chosen.

The winning tickets were drawn by five of our players – Connor Edwards, Guido Volpi, Billy McBryde, Kyle Evans and Ben Murphy – this afternoon, and all of the winners are listed below.

WINNERS: 

  • a Knights home shirt signed by the whole squad – Rob Carville (ticket 795)
  • a Knights away shirt signed by the whole squad – John Allen (ticket 558)
  • a ball signed by the whole squad – Michael Leng (ticket 912)
  • 4 tickets to a Knights home game this season – Liz Walmsley (ticket 273)
  • a table of 6 in hospitality at Castle Park – Martin T Clarke (ticket 374)

A sincere thank you to all who entered our raffle – all funds raised will help ensure Ifan receives the best medical care available to make his transition as quick and smooth as possible. This money will help take care of the needs of Ifan and his family.

All winners – please collect your prizes from the Operations Office in the DML Stand before kick-off of Saturday’s Ampthill game OR contact our reception to organise a date to collect your prize.

Team News | Knights Named for First Home Game of 2022

Doncaster Knights look to put in a strong performance against Ampthill at Castle Park this Saturday, Jan 29, in their first home game of the New Year. 

Head Coach Steve Boden has made four changes to the starting XV who last played against Jersey Reds at the Stade Santander International earlier in the month.

In the pack, the front row features a change as loanee Ben Carlile comes in for Conor Davidson. He will join George Roberts at hooker and Andrew Foster at tighthead. Danny Drake then makes way for Josh Peters to join Ben Murphy in the second row.

Sam Hudson drops out of the side, replaced by Guido Volpi in the back row – joining captain Sam Graham and Thom Smith at eight.

In the backs, there is some rearranging. Alex Dolly still starts at scrum half, but Billy McBryde and Sam Olver make a straight switch – Olver to fullback, McBryde to stand off. 

In the centre, Mark Best and Joe Margetts remain in place. Meanwhile, on the wings, Kyle Evans will be joined by Harry Davey as Maliq Holden moves to the bench.

For front row replacements, Boden will have the returning George Edgson, along with new signings Liam Usher and Charlie Connolly. Danny Drake and Jack Davies then provide cover for the second and back row.

For the backs, Joe Green, Connor Edwards and Maliq Holden will provide the cover.

Kick off is at 14:30 at Castle Park and live updates will be available on our Twitter throughout the match. Tickets are also still on sale on our website, or can be bought at the gate.

 

Starting XV | 15 Sam Olver; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Harry Davey; 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Ben Carlile, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Edgson, 17 Liam Usher, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Danny Drake, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Joe Green, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Maliq Holden.

Knights Sign Prop Liam Usher

The club are happy to announce the signing of prop, Liam Usher, until the end of the season. 

The front row arrives from Australia having signed from the Western District Bulldogs in the Queensland Cup.

Discussing Liam’s signing, Head Coach Steve Boden said: “Liam’s come over as a young man who wants an opportunity on this side of the world and we see potential in him. He’s mobile for a loosehead prop.

“Getting used to northern hemisphere scrummaging will likely be his biggest challenge, but we’re looking forward to working with him and seeing him in a Doncaster Knights shirt.”

The front row forward joins the Knights as a vital signing due to the injury issues ongoing in the prop position for Boden’s team this season. And he is ready to make the most of his opportunity.

“As a prop, I have always been interested in testing my abilities in English rugby conditions, so when the Knights called, I knew I had to jump at the chance.

“I’m joining a successful group, so I’m just hoping to jump into it, add to the squad and hopefully help to maintain the positive trend for Doncaster.”

Liam’s first outing in a Donny shirt may happen this weekend, should he be chosen to face Ampthill at Castle Park on Saturday, Jan 29. We look forward to seeing him in a Knights shirt in the remainder of this season.

One Week Left to Buy Tickets for Knights Raffle

There is one week left to get your tickets for the Doncaster Knights raffle to help raise money for Ospreys player Ifan Phillips.

The winning tickets will be drawn by five of our players and announced next Friday, January 28 and prizes will be available for collection before our home game against Ampthill on Saturday, January 29.

Ifan Phillips was involved in a serious motorbike accident which has left him with life changing injuries. 

At Doncaster Knights, a number of our players know Ifan well, having played in Wales before Donny, so we would like to do everything we can to help Ifan’s fundraising.

For every £1 donated to the JustGiving page in Ifan’s name, one raffle ticket will be assigned to your name – there is no limit on how many tickets you may purchase.

Please simply donate to Ifan’s page putting your name along with DRFC, for example, ‘Joe Smith – DRFC’ and we will assign the correct amount of raffle tickets to you name.

Enter here – https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ifan-phillips

You will then be in with a chance of winning one of the following:

  • a Knights home shirt signed by the whole squad
  • a Knights away shirt signed by the whole squad
  • a ball signed by the whole squad
  • 4 tickets to a Knights home game this season
  • a table of 6 in hospitality at Castle Park

All funds raised by this raffle will help ensure Ifan receives the best medical care available to make his transition as quick and smooth as possible. This money will help take care of the needs of Ifan and his family after this devastating event.

T.O.S.S.E.R.S Lunch on January 29, 2022

The Knights welcome Ampthill to Castle Park on January 29th and on the same day the first T.O.S.S.E.R.S lunch of the New Year will take place.

Doncaster have won all six of their home games so far this season and will look to maintain that record in the New Year. With an exciting second half of the season already underway, it is sure to be another fantastic occasion at Castle Park.

There will be a delicious two course lunch to enjoy with the price of £16 per person (not including match day ticket or programme) and will start at 12.30pm in the Armspark Suite.

Tickets are now on sale for this Knights tradition and can be purchased from reception or by calling 01302 831388. Match day tickets for our clash with Ampthill can be purchased via https://www.drfc.co.uk/tickets/

Knights Take a Valuable Bonus-Point Victory Home from Jersey

Doncaster Knights claimed an important bonus-point victory at the Stade in Jersey this afternoon, defeating the hosts 35-19.

It was a competitive first half but the Knights were the ones able to convert play into points,  scoring two tries and a penalty in the first 40 minutes. 

Not rolling away seemed to be a theme of the half for Jersey as they were repeatedly penalised for it. That very call gave Sam Olver his first chance at going for the posts – a kick he duly slotted to put the Knights on the board.

The scrum suffered during the first half as both sides took their turn in struggling to find their feet to remain steady. The first Knights try of the day came off the back of the set-piece, however.

Thom Smith fed the ball from his feet to Alex Dolly who popped a kick over the approaching defensive line. Mark Best broke through the line to collect a perfectly-timed bounce of the ball and dot down, despite being tackled on the line. Olver converted and the Knights were 10-0 ahead.

In the closing minutes of the half, the Knights were scoring again. A rolling maul from a lineout in the Jersey 22 allowed George Roberts to break off. Having been brought down just short of the line, the forwards went into their short, sharp phases before Smith crashed over.

Without a conversion from Olver, it was just the five points. The Knights didn’t have long to worry about that, however, as Jersey went hard on the offensive in the dying minute. Some harsh defensive tackles, a fumbled ball and being penalised for crossing brought the hosts’ hopes, and the half, to an end though.

Emerging for the second half, Jersey appeared more hungry than their first half showing but the Knights still did not relent to pressure – scoring a further two tries to claim the bonus point.

A familiar penalty for Jersey not rolling away reared its head and provided Olver with his first opportunity to kick as he added another penalty to the Knights tally.

Jersey scored their first points just shy of the hour mark as their driving maul cause slight chaos, but it was profitable for the home side as Eoghan Clarke crashed over, though it went without conversion.

The Knights responded with another penalty before Jersey added more of their own. The hosts found a small gap in the Knights defence out on the wide channels and were able to sneak James Elliott through it to score their second.

Ten minutes until full-time, and having been on the field approximately a minute, Connor Edwards was soaring over for the Knights. A dominant driving maul got the Knights in position for Edwards to collect the pop ball for the points, which Olver added the extras to.

Jersey ran their third and final score in a couple of minutes later, but it did little to quell the determination of the Knights who were set to cross one final time before the conclusive whistle.

Having made their way steadily further into the Jersey half, the Knights found themselves claiming a penalty deep into the away 22, and there was absolutely no chance of stopping the driving maul created off the back of the lineout. George Roberts seemed to be at the base of the pile for the score.

With the final say on points for the game, Olver struck the conversion confidently and sealed the scoreline at 35-19 to the travelling Donny side.

In an ultra-competitive Championship, bonus-point away wins like these can be extremely valuable come the end of the season.

 

Jersey XV | 15 Harry Simmons; 14 Ryan Hutler, 13 Ryan Olowofela, 12 Jordan Holgate, 11 Will Brown; 10 Brendan Owen, 9 James Mitchell; 1 James Flynn, 2 Eoghan Clarke, 3 Steve Longwell, 4 Sean O’Connor, 5 Macauley Cook, 6 Max Argyle, 7 Lewis Wynne, 8 Wes White.

Replacements | 16 Harry Doolan, 17 Huw Owen, 18 Jack Higgins, 19 Tom Everard, 20 Alex Humfrey, 21 Tim Grey; 22 James Elliott, 23 Scott Van Breda.

Tries: Clarke, Elliott 2.

Conv: Owen 2.

 

Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Danny Drake, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham, 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 Ben Hunter, 17 Ben Carlile, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 George Oram, 20 Josh Peters, 21 Joe Green, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

Pens: Olver 3.

Tries: Best, Smith, Edwards, Olver.

Conv: Olver 3.

Referee: Sara Cox.

Team News | Knights Named for Jersey Reds Away Challenge

Doncaster Knights look to claim a valuable away win as we travel to face Jersey Reds this Saturday, Jan 15. 

Head Coach Steve Boden has made seven changes to the starting XV who last played against London Scottish at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Boxing Day.

In the pack, the front row remains intact as Conor Davidson, George Roberts and Andrew Foster all start. Danny Drake will this weekend be joined by Ben Murphy at lock as John Kelly is out injured.

That leaves returning club captain Sam Graham to take Guido Volpi’s place in the starting line-up with Sam Hudson on the opposite flank and Thom Smith rounding out the Knights back row.

In the backs, there are a further five changes with only Alex Dolly’s place secure. Billy McBryde takes back his fullback shirt from Harry Davey as Sam Olver returns at stand off. Kyle Evans and Maliq Holden will operate the wings as Jack Spittle faces an injury spell. Then, in the centres, Mark Best and Joe Margetts will start.

On the bench, Ben Carlile, Knights Academy’s David Moores and Charlie Connolly – freshly signed from Chinnor RFC as cover for Gaz Denman who is currently out with a neck injury – are the front row replacement options. 

Steve Boden has gone for a six-two split, meaning George Oram, Josh Peters and Guido Volpi are all named. Joe Green and Connor Edwards provide the cover for the backline.

Kick off is at 15:00 at the Stade Santander International and live updates will be available on our Twitter throughout the match or, for live commentary, tune in to BBC Jersey.

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Danny Drake, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham, 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 David Moores, 17 Ben Carlile, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 George Oram, 20 Josh Peters, 21 Joe Green, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

Bedford Blues Game Rescheduled

We can confirm that our Championship Rugby Round 14 fixture against Bedford Blues has been rescheduled for Saturday, 5 February with a 14:30 KO.

The game was originally due to be played on New Years’ Day but was postponed due to COVID cases in the Bedford camp.

We are pleased to now have a date announced and are looking forward to welcoming everyone to Castle Park for the fixture.

Please note: all tickets purchased for the original January 1 fixture date will be honoured for the rescheduled fixture.

Tickets are still on sale at: https://www.drfc.co.uk/tickets/