Coventry 5/11/22

22Doncaster Knights


2:30 pm · November 5, 2022

Knights Charge Back From Scoreless First Half to Defeat Coventry In Cup Opener

Doncaster Knights and Coventry looked to be two frustrated sides as they headed into the changing rooms at half-time scoreless before the home side rallied themselves to secure a bonus-point win in the second half.

There were opportunities aplenty for both sides in the opening 40 minutes but it was a continual cycle of handling errors, ill-discipline in execution and confusion on calls which caused a 0-0 half-time scoreboard.

Resolved following their half-time talk, Coventry were the first on the board on 44 minutes played. With a lineout on the Knights’ 5m line, the opposition pack drove their maul steadily towards the line before crashing over in a pile on the far side. With lock Rhys Thomas confirmed as the try-scorer, fly-half Evan Mitchell sealed the extra points.

The Knights made their first strike 4 minutes later. A lineout close-in on the Coventry line, the throw went to the front for Evan Mintern. The backs charged in, ready to join the maul, but they weren’t needed on this occasion as the rolling piece powered over the line with newly signed debutant Theo Vukasinovic standing up to pats on the back as the try scorer.

Just 10 minutes later, the Knights crossed the whitewash for their second score. Nice interplay from Sale Sharks loanee Joe Bedlow and Jared Cardew in the far corner saw the back-rower brought down just short of the line. Recycling from the breakdown, the Knights struck fast through Sam Daly who barged over for the score.

Castle Park gave a rousing ovation the next minute as Tom Parkin stepped onto the field to replace Alec Lloyd-Seed – the Academy fly-half making his professional debut for the Knights.

On 70 minutes played, a third try materialised for the Knights. Throwing safely to John Kelly at the front of the set-piece, The Knights drove their maul towards the line, shepherded well by replacement Will Yarnell at the rear. Doggedness in large amount got them over the line and it was George Roberts who was the man to have dotted down.

Five minutes later the bonus point was secured. Again, a lineout played a starring rol as the throw this time went to Mintern but the maul came on just as fast and strong. Daly emerged from the mass of bodies to ensure he was noted as the try-scorer – a brace for the back-rower.

As Parkin stood up to successfully kick the conversion – his first points as a Knight – his Academy teammate Calvin Mitchell was introduced to the crowd to just as loud of an ovation as the fly-half had earlier received.

Despite a last-gasp attempt for a fifth try with the clock in the red, Parkin’s conversion proved to be the last points of the day as the Knights lodge a bonus-point win to their name in the Championship Cup.

Noteworthy in the game also was Tyson Lewis, out of playing retirement for Knights appearance 197, rolling back the years with his hard-hitting and pacy style.

The Knights now prepare to travel to the Richmond Athletic Ground to face London Scottish in the second round of the Cup competition next Friday night.

Match Statistics

Knights XV | 15 Jack Spittle; 14 Chidera Obonna, 13 Vereimi Qorowale, 12 Joe Bedlow, 11 Tyson Lewis; 10 Alec Lloyd-Seed, 9 Joe Green; 1 Kai Owen, 2 Will Holling, 3 Karl Garside, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Theo Vukasinovic, 6 Evan Mintern, 7 Jared Cardew, 8 Sam Daly.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Mak Wilson, 19 Calvin Mitchell, 20 John Kelly, 21 Will Yarnell, 22 Tom Parkin, 23 Maliq Holden.

Tries: Vukasinovic, Daly 2, Roberts.

Cons: Parkin


Coventry XV | 15 Will Talbot-Davies; 14 James Martin, 13 Will Wand, 12 Lucas Titherington, 11 Louis James; 10 Evan Mitchell, 9 Will Lane; 1 Danny Southworth, 2 Suva Ma’asi, 3 Harry Seward, 4 George Smith, 5 Rhys Thomas, 6 Adam Peters, 7 Tom Ball, 8 Tom Dodd.

Replacements | 16 Callum Burns, 17 Toby Trinder, 18 Ollie Andrews, 19 Fred Betteridge, 20 Josh Bainbridge, 21 Fin Ogden, 22 Pat Pellegrini, 23 Ollie Betteridge.

Tries: Thomas

Cons: Mitchell


Referee: Charlie Gayther

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