Hartpury RFC 14/12/2019

37Hartpury RFC

24Doncaster Knights

2:00 pm · December 14, 2019

Doncaster are through to the knockout stages of the Championship Cup, despite a 24-37 defeat to Hartpury at the ALPAS Arena this afternoon.

Even though it was a positive second half display that saw three tries for the visitors, it was not enough to reverse a half time score of 22-5.

The final Cup Pool fixture started positively for the Knights, however they couldn’t make the most of their early pressure and were soon made to pay.

Josh Bragman scored two penalties in the opening 15 minutes against the run of play as the home side started to take control. That lead was further extended by the fly-half as he slotted away another penalty, a try and a conversion within a space of five minutes.

Doncaster looked for an instant reply as Fotu Lokotui made a good break into the opposition 22, but with nothing eventually coming from it; the home side went down the other end of the pitch and scored another penalty to make it 19-0.

The Knights finally rallied back as the first half drew to a close. Rory Pitman drove in the 22, before Olver’s superb vision saw an overload down the left wing with the fly-half playing a grubber kick perfectly into the hands of Tyson Lewis, who dotted down in the corner.

However, the opening 40 minutes ended with further points on the board from Bragman, as he put away another three points with a penalty.

The second half started with the home side on the front foot once more as Jack Preece barged over from a driving maul.

Doncaster responded well with a try from replacement Colin Quigley, the forward making a great impact as he got on the end of a driving maul.

However, the cup contest continued in a back and forth fashion as Hartpury began to prove a danger once more. After a couple of phases, an overload presented itself and allowed replacement Robbie Smith to add to the opposition’s tally down to make it 32-12.

The Knights replied with a try of their own on the 70-minute mark. Olver passed the ball wide to replacement Ben Hunter, who made a quick offload to Lewis to score his second of the game. Olver then converted to make it 32-19.

The renewed confidence and intensity soon shone through as Clive Griffiths’ side began to dominate the game. A quickfire fourth try was scored, Rory Pitman barging over from close range to make it 32-24 with five minutes left on the clock.

Unfortunately, the visitors’ fightback stopped there as Hartpury dotted down in the final stages after Will Nagle-Taylor intercepted a pass in the Doncaster 22.

The Knights battled until the final whistle and advance into the knockout stages of the Championship Cup after gaining one point, which was enough to end level with Ampthill on 11 points each. Fortunately, in the competition Donny have a better points difference than Ampthill and therefore progress to the next round.


Match Statistics

KNIGHTS XV: 15. Steve McColl(50’Cowell) 14. Howard Packman 13. Jack Roberts(41’Foley) 12. Lloyd Hayes 11. Tyson Lewis 10. Sam Olver 9. Tom James(71’Pocklington) 1. Marc Thomas(53’Hislop) 2. George Edgson(58’Hunter) 3. Dan Suter(50’Quigley) 4. Matt Challinor 5. Rory Pitman 6. Wian Conradie 7. Fotu Lokotui(71’Hudson) 8. Tom Calladine(72’Sproston)

Replacements: 16. Ben Hunter 17. Robin Hislop 18. Colin Quigley 19. Allan Hudson 20. Joe Sproston 21. Sam Pocklington 22. Charlie Foley 23. Cameron Cowell

Tries: Lewis 2, Quigley, Pitman Conversions: Olver 2

Hartpury XV: 15. Mike Wilcox 14. George Simpson 13. Dan Koster 12. Joe Margetts 11. Jake Henry 10. Josh Bragman 9. Luke Carter © 1. Dan Murphy 2. Will Crane 3. Alex Gibson 4. Joe Batley 5. Will Safe 6. Akapusi Qera 7. Jack Preece 8. Seb Nagle-Taylor

Replacements: 16. Tom Everard 17. Des Merrey 18. Ashley Challenger 19. Rob Fuller 20. Iain Grieve 21. Max Clementson 22. Harry Cochrane 23. Robbie Smith

Tries:  Bragman, Preece, Smith, Nagle-Taylor    Conversions: Bragman Penalties: Bragman 5


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