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Dominant Knights Secure Bonus Point Win and Maintain Home Record

A changed Doncaster Knights team were dogged in their determination to beat Richmond at Castle Park today in a 37-5 winning performance.

After a disappointing showing, despite taking the win at Ampthill last week, Steve Boden’s men looked to have a point to prove in today’s clash. And so, a five-point win was a very welcome improvement to the Dillingham Park affair.

It was a day for forwards and backs alike as both excelled in their defensive structure, with the backs taking their turns to dance around – and through – the Richmond line.

Just two minutes into the encounter a nice line break from back-row Sam Hudson was enough to feed Maliq Holden in space who, on debut, crossed the line for his and the day’s first points.

The rain fleetingly made an appearance in the skies over Castle Park but even that wasn’t enough to dampen the Knights ambition. Connection and communication between the backs seemed to be the calling card of the day as Joe Margetts and Billy McBryde combined well, the latter tipping on to Jack Spittle who ran in on the wing for another five points.

Richmond were reduced to ten men as Cameron Mitchell was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on – a penalty was given to Knights which Olver duly kicked over. The visitors bounced back through their main-man Mark Bright as he powered over at the base of a rolling maul for Richmond’s only points.

Knights responded well, however, with a fantastic phase of play that ended in Hudson cantering around the defence to release Joe Margetts – the second debutant try of the day – to run in with a smile on his face. Olver’s conversion saw the scoreline read 20-5.

The closing 10 minutes of the first half was a back-and-forth battle with possession granted and stolen in equal measure. The Knights never looked like a team on the back foot though, and so they ran in for half time still comfortably in the lead. 

Five minutes into the second 40 and the Knights were forging forward once more. Fantastic counter-rucking at the breakdown secured possession before a quick-tap from Dolly took the Knights within inches of the line. Eventually it was Mark Best who crashed over with Olver’s conversion rounding out the points.

Richmond got some good ball in attack but their line never looked to truly threaten the Knights defence as they were repeatedly repelled from the home side’s 22.

And so, the sight of a fifth Knights try being scored was none too shocking. This time it was Dolly who finished, collecting quick ball from the lineout drive and nipping over to widen the scoreboard divide.

A yellow card for replacement Guido Volpi with just three minutes left on the clock didn’t drain any intensity from the Knights attack. The closing statement in the match undeniably went to Doncaster as, on 80 minutes, streamlined work in Richmond’s 22 allowed McBryde to put in one final pass to replacement Kyle Evans who ran across for the final points of the day.

An improved performance from that staged against Ampthill it definitely was, however, the Knights now face a week off before heading into the heart of the season and a tough run of games against Hartpury, Ealing Trailfinders and Cornish Pirates. 

 

Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Jack Spittle, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conrad Cade, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Danny Drake, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 John Kelly.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Gaz Denman, 19 Jack Davies, 20 Guido Volpi, 21 Joe Green, 22 Fraser Strachan, 23 Kyle Evans.

Tries; Holden, Spittle, Margetts, Best, Dolly, Evans.

Conv; Olver 2

Pens; Olver

Richmond XV | 15 Will Homer; 14 Hamish Graham, 13 Cameron Mitchell, 12 Ronald McLean-Dents, 11 Owain James; 10 Ed Landray, 9 Callum Watson; 1 Jonathan Harris, 2 James Hadfield, 3 Noting Mpiko, 4 Fred Hosking, 5 Sam Collingridge, 6 Huw Worthington, 7 Jack Allcock, 8 Mark Bright.

Replacements | 16 Michael Perks, 17 Kurt Schonert, 18 Luke Green, 19 Henri Williams, 20 David Massey, 21 Charles Gowling, 22 Craig Duncan, 23 Lewis Dennett.

Tries; Bright

Referee: Neil Chivers

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