Team News | Knights Named for Last League Game of Season

Doncaster Knights will travel to Lady Bay to face Nottingham this Friday, April 1. 

Head Coach Steve Boden has made no changes to the starting XV who secured a pivotal bonus-point win against Cornish Pirates at Castle Park two weeks ago.

The pack will feature Conor Davidson, George Edgson and Andrew Foster in the front row. The second row is formed by John Kelly and Ben Murphy. And the back row is bolstered by Sam Hudson, captain Sam Graham and Thom Smith.

In the backs, Joe Green and Sam Olver are the half-back duo. Kyle Evans and Maliq Holden run the wings, Billy McBryde at full-back with Mark Best and Joe Margetts in the centre.

On the bench, Boden has made just one change to his 6-2 split. George Roberts, Joe Wrafter and Charlie Connolly are the front row replacements with Josh Peters, Jack Davies and Guido Volpi the second and back row replacements.

And for the backline, Lloyd Wheeldon comes onto the bench with Connor Edwards also providing cover.

Kick off is at 19:45 at Lady Bay and live updates will be available on our Twitter throughout the match.

 

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Joe Green; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Joe Wrafter, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Lloyd Wheeldon, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

VOTE: Supporters’ Player and Try of the Season 2021/22

Voting for your Supporters’ Player and Try of the Season for 2021/22 CLOSES TODAY AT 5PM.

With just one league game left in what has been an impressive Championship season for the Knights, it is time for you to decide which player outshone the rest in your eyes. There is a squad of 33 players to choose from.

Some of the tries scored this season have been stunning solo efforts while others have been brilliantly worked team efforts, but we have managed to whittle it down to nine nominees! You can watch them all below before making your vote.

Vote for Supporters’ Player of the Seasonhttps://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JDNM3Y7

Vote for Try of the Seasonhttps://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/T6CNLPJ

Easter Holiday Activity Camp at Castle Park

Doncaster Knights are delighted to be a part of Doncaster’s Staycation programme this spring.

We have teamed up with other local providers to bring you Camp Doncaster at Castle Park.

We will be delivering fun and engaging activities throughout the Easter holidays, ranging from rugby, boxing, cricket, dance and football to healthy eating and nutrition sessions.

The programme will run from April 4 to April 14 from Monday to Thursday at 10am – 3pm.

In addition to all the fun activities, children will also receive lunch every day and be able to learn lifelong skills.

This programme is free to children who are in receipt of free school meals.

You can book your child’s place HERE.

U20s: Yorkshire v Leicestershire at Castle Park

We are delighted to be the hosts of Yorkshire v Leicestershire at U20s level this weekend.

On Sunday, March 20, the sides will run out at Castle Park for a 3pm kick-off time.

Tickets will be £5 with Under 16s entering for free.

Please join us to cheer on two talented young sides.

The Yorkshire team will include five Doncaster Knights Academy players: Calvin Mitchell, Sai Tobeyweni, Julien Leszczynski, David Moores and William Metcalfe.

Team news can be found here: http://yorkshirerfu.pitchero.com/news/yorkshire-u20s-vs-leicestershire-u20s-33323/

A Plan to Help the Ukrainian Relief Effort

Doncaster Knights, through the Doncaster in Union Foundation, is looking to aid efforts to respond to the terrible atrocities being carried out against the Ukrainian people.

The full details of the current plan to help can be found here.

It is hoped the initiative will gain widespread support. As we move forward, we will develop more infrastructure to ensure delivery of ideals.

We would like to gather as many interested parties as possible to a meeting at 11am on Friday (March 18) at Castle Park.

Gutsy Knights Performance Sees Off Cornish Pirates at Castle Park

Doncaster Knights secured a 22-15 bonus-point win against tough competition in the form of Cornish Pirates at Castle Park today.

It was a gutsy performance from the home side as they scored all four tries in the first half and despite a comeback from the visitors, the hosts were able to see them off.

It was a contentious first half as Pirates were ravaged by penalties and two yellow cards in as many minutes.

The Knights struck first after 12 minutes as a determined driving maul had them crashing over the whitewash. George Edgson emerged from the bottom of the pile to be heralded as the opening try scorer. Unusual bad luck at the kicking tee struck Sam Olver as his conversion drifted wide.

Pirates took their own points a few minutes later when they moved the ball quickly off their rolling maul to send Matt Bolwell over, with the score converted by Arwell Robson.

Just shy of half an hour played, the Knights scored their second. This time it was lock John Kelly who rose from the rubble at the try line but Olver’s kicking misfortune continued.

At 33 minutes, Pirates back row Antonio Kiri Kiri was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements as the opposition looked to defend their line. Not two minutes later, he was joined by Jack Andrew as the prop was shown a yellow card, again for repeated infringements.

It didn’t take the Knights long to utilise their man advantage. In what looked to be their habit of the day, they crashed over in a pile having worked the short repeated phases. Thom Smith was announced the try scorer but it was just the five points to be taken.

Tempers flared on the half time marker as players had to be separated from one another. The Knights cooled their heads quickly though and scored a fourth. Edgson claimed his second of the day and sent the Knights 13 points ahead.

Following his first successful kick of the day, Olver good-naturedly turned to the main stand to give them a cheeky laugh and a shrug, acknowledging his earlier misfortune at the tee.

Pirates emerged for the second half looking determined to better their penalty-affected first half performance. They added three points to their tally five minutes into the half when the Knights were called offside and Robson went for the posts.

Just after an hour played, Pirates scored their second try of the day. The Knights looked to have expected a driving maul off the lineout, so Pirates popped ball out quickly to Josh Caulfield, allowing the forward to scamper over. With no conversion, it was a seven-point gap on the scoreboard.

The last 20 minutes of the game were hectic. Maliq Holden had an ankle tap put in on him which sent him crashing to the ground, forcing him off for a HIA. The sides had to be separated for a second time in the encounter which caused the referee to consult his line judge and overturn a penalty which would have gone to Pirates had they not had a good hand in the fracas.

A prolonged break in play occurred just two minutes shy of the end of regulation 80 minutes when Thom Cowan-Dickie looked to have put in a no-arms tackle of John Kelly – sending both himself and the Donny lock to the floor and in need of treatment. Both players left the field of their own accord following some attention from their respective medial teams.

And finally, it was heart-in-mouth stuff as the Knights were forced to defend on their line in extra-time as Pirates went to the short, sharp phases. As had been a marker of the game however, penalties got the better of the visitors. Having secured the deciding one, McBryde stepped up to tap the ball into touch to end the encounter.

It wasn’t an easy day at the office by any means, but perhaps was a true marker of the unity of this Knights squad that they were able to emerge victorious over such tough opposition in an extremely important fixture.

The Knights crowd will definitely have left Castle Park today happy with their result, and delighted to have seen great rugby whilst bathing in the spring sunshine.

 

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Joe Green; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Joe Wrafter, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Harry Davey, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

Tries: Edgson 2, Kelly, Smith.

Conv: Olver.

 

Cornish Pirates XV | 15 Carwyn Penny; 14 Callum Sirker, 13 Tommy Wyatt, 12 Shae Tucker, 11 AJ Cant; 10 Arwell Robson, 9 Tom Kessell; 1 Jack Andrew, 2 Tom Channon, 3 Alfie Petch, 4 Josh Caulfield, 5 Danny Cutmore, 6 Matt Bolwell, 7 Antonio Kiri Kiri, 8 Tom Duncan (c).

Replacements | 16 Thomas Cowan Dickie, 17 Marlen Walker, 18 Samuel Rodman, 19 Cory Teague, 20 William Gibson, 21 Alexander Schwarz, 22 Joseph Elderkin, 23 Robin Wedlake.

Pens: Robson

Tries: Bolwell, Caulfield.

Conv: Robson.

Yellow card: Kiri Kiri, Andrew.

 

Referee: Mike Hudson.

Team News | Knights Named for Pirates’ Visit to Castle Park

Doncaster Knights prepare to welcome Cornish Pirates to Castle Park this Saturday, March 12. 

Head Coach Steve Boden has made one lone change to the starting XV who secured an important win on the road against Ealing Trailfinders two weeks ago.

The pack remains completely intact. Conor Davidson, George Edgson and Andrew Foster will form the front row. The second row features John Kelly and Ben Murphy. And the back row is manned by Sam Hudson, captain Sam Graham and Thom Smith.

In the backs, the lone change sees an injured Alex Dolly replaced by Joe Green who will partner Sam Olver at fly-half. Kyle Evans and Maliq Holden run the wings, Billy McBryde at full-back with Mark Best and Joe Margetts combining in the centre.

On the bench, Boden has gone for another 6-2 split. George Roberts, Joe Wrafter and Charlie Connolly provide cover for the front row whilst Josh Peters, Jack Davies and Guido Volpi are the second and back row replacements.

And for the backline, Harry Davey and Connor Edwards could come off the bench.

Kick off is at 14:30 at Castle Park and live updates will be available on our Twitter throughout the match.

 

Starting XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Joe Green; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Joe Wrafter, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Harry Davey, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

Doncaster Knights Statement on RFU Minimum Standards Findings

Please see below the statement from Doncaster Knights on yesterday’s announcement of the RFU’s Minimum Standards Criteria findings:

 

Doncaster RFC are disappointed, dismayed and disheartened by the decision of the Rugby Football Union Board to disallow the club’s application to play in the Premiership league should the Doncaster Knights win the current season’s Championship league contest. The Club will be appealing the decision.

Within the audit process, the only failure by the Club is to, currently, not be able to demonstrate a capacity crowd of 10,001 at the Club’s ground, Castle Park. All other aspects of the audit, it seems are in order and Castle Park has, on a number of occasions, demonstrated its proficiency in hosting significant events via both Women’s and Under 20’s international matches.

At this stage, it can only be stated that the DRFC Board have every confidence that the required capacity could be delivered for season 2022/23 with a stand-by ground now being available should unexpected delays occur.

There has been significant debate about the Premiership being open to promotion and relegation, which can only be good for the aspirational nature of clubs, players and fans alike. The current Championship contest is approaching its climax with at least three teams statistically able to take the winner’s title. By the beginning of April the victor will be known.

Excitement in the camps and amongst rugby supporters in general is high but that has now been dashed at a stroke via yesterday’s untimely RFU statement, producing a resurgence of subsequent outpourings of angry feelings towards the governing body at a time when harmony should prevail.

Sensibility and fairness dictate that a delay to a decision being made could have been better for all concerned. Now, the teams play the final matches of the season in an atmosphere of despondence, albeit an administrative box has been ticked.

RFU Championship Clubs Minimum Standards Criteria Findings

The RFU have today announced that Doncaster Knights and Ealing Trailfinders have not met the minimum standards criteria for promotion to the Premiership.

The RFU and PRL have stated they will work with both clubs to support the development of plans to meet the necessary criteria for future promotion.

The full RFU statement can be found here.

Doncaster Knights will make a statement on this decision in due course.

Doncaster Knights failed to meet the criteria that a stadium must hold a minimum of 10,001 fans – the Knights currently have a capacity of 5,183 with 1,926 seats. Both clubs proposed to seek planning permission to expand the facilities however, the permission is not yet in place for this to happen.

The RFU have stated both clubs are entitled to appeal the decision through an independent arbitration process.

Minimum standards criteria are in place to ensure Premiership Rugby clubs and promoted clubs have suitable facilities to protect player safety and welfare and to provide a good quality, safe environment for spectators. Each club and its nominated ground undergo an annual independent audit to assess compliance with the criteria.