Coventry – 20/04/2019

33Doncaster Knights


2:30 pm · April 20, 2019

Doncaster’s second half fightback not enough to win

The Knights scored three tries in a spirited second half display, but were left to rue their mediocre first 40 minutes with a number of mistakes handing Coventry the initiative and ultimately the 33-41 victory.

Three replacements dotted down as the home side roared back after the interval, but eventually came up short with two tries from the visitors sealing the result.

Doncaster started the game with an intensity and tempo to their play and were camped in the Coventry 22, however conceded the first try of the afternoon in bizarre fashion. The away side entered the Knights’ 22 for the first time and with the ball seemingly in the ruck and Polataivao about to kick clear, James Gibbons stretched out and dotted down with Doncaster too slow to react.

Dougie Flockhart replied instantly for the home side with a penalty, which seemed to boost the Knights momentum and it looked evitable that after several pick and goes near the Cov try line that a try would come, however Olver choose to kick wide to Paul Jarvis and the bounce of the ball favoured the visitors and they cleared their lines.

However, that try did eventually arrive on 21 minutes. After another period of pressure, Morgan Eames found space and offloaded to Paul Jarvis, who twisted and turned before dotting down. Unfortunately, Flockhart missed the conversion and the Doncaster lead remained a slender one at 8-7.

Just five minutes after, it was a former player that caused the damage. Will Owen barged over after another ex-Knight Jack Ram found space and drove into the Doncaster 22, a couple of phases later and the centre scored against his former club. Will Maisey converted to make it 8-14 to the visitors.

The balance of the game continued to swing back and forth but it was Cov that extended their lead with a well taken penalty. Then only three minutes later Maisey was handed a try when Ryan Burrows misplaced a pass allowing the fly-half to easily intercept, score and then convert as well.

Doncaster fought back but couldn’t manage to score when Charlie Beech broke through two tackles against his former club, however he only had Nick Civetta in support and the prop was eventually tackled.

After the interval, it got worse for the Knights when Robin Hislop was shown a yellow card. Although that didn’t halt the determination the home side were showing to try and get back into the game.

On 47 minutes, Flockhart scored another penalty to decrease Coventry’s lead to only 10 points. However, that respite did not last long as the visitors replied with a catch and drive which was again converted and the ninth placed Championship side had a 14-31 lead.

The chances continued to come for the Knights with Dwayne Polataivao, on his second start for the club, burst away to corner only to be halted by a heavy tackle from David Halaifonua.

Another Doncaster try was soon added to the scoreboard though from a catch and drive. This time Colin Quigley, who had only been substituted on minutes earlier, was the scorer with Flockhart converting again to make the score 21-31 with 58 minutes on the clock.

The fightback ramped on as the Clive Griffiths’ side earned a penalty on the Coventry 10m line, however this time the ever-reliable Flockhart hit the post.

That did not stop Doncaster from adding to the score line though as James Malcolm, another replacement, was on the end of the catch and drive with Flockhart converting well to make it 28-31 to the visitors.

Just as the home side looked to have the game in their hands and the momentum fully swinging towards Doncaster, it was a sucker blow when Halaifonua found space in the Knights’ 22 and dotted down to confirm the result in the favour of the visitors.

Tom James, the third replacement to score, had the final say as Doncaster scored a consolation and earned a try bonus point for the fourth score for the those in blue.

Match Statistics

Knights XV: 15. Cowell 14. Flockhart 13. Roberts 12. Foley 11. Jarvis 10. Olver(19’Wilson) 9. Polataivao(55’James) 1. Hislop(78’List) 2. Hunter(62’Malcolm) 3. Beech(54’Quigley) 4. Eames(52’Challinor) 5. Civetta 6. Burrows 7. Calladine ©(52’Hills) 8. Pitman(43’List(52’Pitman)

Replacements: 16. Malcolm 17. List 18. Quigley 19. Challinor 20. Hills 21. James 22. Wilson

Tries: Jarvis, Quigley, Malcolm, James Conversions: Flockhart 2 Penalties: Flockhart 2

Yellow Card: Hislop

Coventry XV: 15. Halaifonua 14. Bulumakau13. Stevens © 12. Owen11. Trimble 10. Maisey9. White1. Elis2. Dawidiuk3. Brighouse4. Russell5. Woolford6. Nutley7. Ram8. Adams

Replacements: Replacements: 16. Tolmie 17. Gibbons 18. Boulton 19. Voss 20. Oram 21. Kessell 22. Bulumakau

Tries: Gibbons, Owen, Maisey, Dawidiuk, Halaifonua Conversions: Maisey 5 Penalties: 2

Attendance: 1073

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