Coventry 4/2/23


12Doncaster Knights

2:30 pm · February 4, 2023

Disappointing Day at Butts Park Arena Ends in Heavy Defeat for Knights

Following a disappointing performance at Butts Park Arena in the league earlier in the season, Round 4 of the Championship Cup didn’t produce much better for the Knights squad.

Despite being the first scorers on the board, the Doncaster men seemed to be on the back-foot for the majority of the encounter as Coventry’s attack continually eluded them.

A solid lineout provided platform for the Knights first score as the driving maul edged nearer the line before a Robbie Smith carry found space on the wing. Recycled ball in short phases from that carry enabled the Knights to crash over the line with tighthead prop, and birthday boy, Karl Garside named as the scorer. With McBryde’s conversion, the Knights had the full 7 points.

Coventry immediately responded. Will Lane broke from the halfway line with Tobi Wilson running a nice supporting line on the wing. The full-back took the feed to run the score in by the posts. Evan Mitchell’s conversion made things all square in scores.

Coventry’s second score came from repeated pressure on the Knights line. The hosts spotted daylight at the feet of the Knights defenders and crashed over through Lane before Mitchell again converted.

A penalty try the way of the hosts sucked momentum further in the closing minutes of the half. Repeated infringements at the maul saw Martin Sigren sin-binned and the referee run in underneath the posts to signify the penalty score.

The bonus point score then came their way minutes later. Not competing in the air, the Knights would have hoped to stall the Coventry play but repeated miss-tackles allowed Lucas Titherington to snipe through a gap and run in by the side of the posts. Mitchell’s conversion made the half-time score 28-7.

A second try for the Knights came just shy of an hour played. Momentum with the set piece on the Coventry line, and a couple of backs filing in to the driving maul for good measure, the Knights drove over the whitewash with Will Holling in charge of dotting the ball down.

Any jubilation was short-lived as the opposition pulled further away. Repeated phases on the Knights line wore away at the defence enough to allow Jake Bridges through on 65 minutes – a phase of play which saw James Wayland yellow-carded for repeated infringements – before the final nail in the coffin came with the clock in the red as Toby Trinder thumped over at the bottom of the posts for a final score which Mitchell quickly converted to end the encounter.

Another disappointing trip to Coventry which will put more pressure on the two remaining cup fixtures – against London Scottish at home and Bedford Blues away – in the coming weeks for the Knights.

The squad will have some tough questions to ask in their analysis of today’s performance before they will undoubtably look to re-group and re-focus in preparation of Round 5 of the Cup.

Match Statistics

Coventry XV | 1. Jamie Jack 2.Suva Ma’asi 3.Ollie Andrews 4.George Smith 5.Senitiki Nayalo 6.Josh Bainbridge 7.Tom Ball (c) 8.Fred Betteridge 9.Will Lane 10.Evan Mitchell 11.Louis James 12.Ollie Betteridge 13.Lucas Titherington 14.Shea Cornish 15.Tobi Wilson

Replacements | 16.Will Biggs 17.Toby Trinder 18.Jake Bridges 19.Jordon Poole 20. James Martin 21.Joe Snow 22.Fin Ogden 23.Will Wand

Tries: Wilson, Lane, Penalty try, Titherington, Bridges, Trinder

Cons: Mitchell 5


Starting XV | 15 Maliq Holden; 14 Robbie Smith, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 11 Tyson Lewis; 10 Billy McBryde, 9 Joe Green; 1 Kai Owen, 2 Will Holling, 3 Karl Garside, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 John Kelly, 6 Sam Daly, 7 Jared Cardew, 8 Martin Sigren.

Replacements | 16 Jake Pope, 17 James Wayland, 18 Bobby Bratton, 19 Adam Hopkinson, 20 Sam Hudson, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Alex Dolly, 23 Sam Olver.

Tries: Garside, Holling

Cons: McBryde

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