Hartpury RFC 19/2/22

11Doncaster Knights

10Hartpury RFC

2:30 pm · February 19, 2022

Knights Secure Home Win With Olver Penalty at the Death

Doncaster Knights secured another win in a competitive Championship as they defeated Hartpury 11-10 at a muddy and rain-soaked Castle Park.

We believe it would be a fair assessment to deem the game ‘a bit of a slog’. Of course, conditions were far from appealing as Castle Park had been battered by rain downpours in the hours prior to kick-off.

Both sides seemed to stumble to get their attack moving as possession was passed back and forth about as much as the ball was. The Knights were the first on the board, however, as their backs combined for a try.

With the first quarter of the match gone, the Knights were in the Hartpury 22 having benefited from a beast of a driving maul shove. Having received ball out the back of the set, Sam Olver delayed just long enough the draw in the defenders before chipping a kick to Kyle Evans. 

The winger collected the ball over the try line and a simple bend of the knees allowed him to dot the ball down. It was never going to be an easy kick for Olver, but the stand-off gave it a try though it unfortunately failed to split the posts, so the hosts had to settle for the five points.

Hartpury got themselves on the board shortly after the half-hour mark as the Knights were penalised for not releasing at the breakdown. James Williams stepped up and cleanly split the uprights to secure the visitors three points.

The half culminated with a game of kick-tennis, though neither side seemed to be able to get on the front foot, so with the clock in the red, Hartpury put the ball into touch to send some tired and muddy bodies into the changing rooms.

Just short of an hour played, the Knights were awarded a penalty for playing the ball on the floor. Olver stepped up and cleanly split the uprights to widen the gap on the scoreboard.

Tense times arrived for Donny with 10 minutes left to play as Hartpury went ahead in the scores. Olver chipped a kick over the defence but the ball fell into Hartpury hands and with a grubber kick through, Ben Foley was able to just out-pace Billy McBryde to get a hand to the ball over the line. 

With Williams’ conversion secure, the Knights were two points behind with nine minutes left of the fixture to close the gap.

The scrappiness of the fixture continued though – not aiding the heart-rates of Knights fans by any means. However, if there is one thing which has become evident the longer this season has gone on, it is to never count out the gritty determination of this Knights side.

On the last minute, the ref raised his arm to indicate a penalty advantage to the home side for tackler not rolling away at the breakdown. When the decision needed to be made – corner or posts – Olver did not shy away from deeming the posts the Knights’ best option.

And so, with the clock in the red and the Castle Park faithful collectively holding their breath, the stand-off cooly stepped up and sent the ball soaring through the posts for the win at the death.

Whilst a win is a win, and every win is important in this ultra competitive Championship season, the Knights will know they need to improve before they travel to Ealing Trailfinders next weekend.

Match Statistics

Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Joe Green; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Jack Davies, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Liam Usher, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Ben Murphy, 21 Alex Dolly, 22 Fraser Strachan, 23 Harry Davey.

Pens: Olver 2.

Tries: Evans.


Hartpury XV | 15 Tommy Mathews; 14 Ben Foley, 13 Charlie Foley, 12 Jack Tovey, 11 Sam Smith; 10 James Williams, 9 Oscar Lennon; 1 Lewis Holsey, 2 Ethan Hunt, 3 Shaun Knight, 4 Dale Lemon, 5 Cameron Jordan, 6 Josh Gray, 7 Xavier Hastings, 8 Mitch Eadie.

Replacements | 16 Will Capon, 17 Ben Murphy, 18 Conran Gleeson, 19 James Dun, 20 Aled Ward, 21 Oli Robinson, 22 Ollie Wynn, 23 Mat McNab.

Pens: Williams.

Tries: B Foley.

Conv: Williams.

Yellow card: Shaun Knight.


Referee: Joe James.

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