Jersey Reds 05/10/2019

32Doncaster Knights

26Jersey Reds

2:30 pm · October 5, 2019


The Knights earned a deserved 32-26 victory over Jersey in the final RFU Championship cup fixture, before the league begins next week.

Jersey scored an early try, but the Knights produced a hard-fought performance in the first half to dot down twice for a half-time lead of 12-7. After the interval, Doncaster were pegged back three times, yet shaped a firm and strong fightback to claim the victory.

The game started in the worst possible fashion for the Knights with the first real attack from the visitors producing a try after just two minutes. Quick feet from Leeroy Van Dam, allowed him space to offload to Conor Joyce, who in turn found a supporting Will Homer to dot down. Greg Dyer converting for an early lead for the Channel Islanders.

Doncaster were straight back on the attack though and opened their account in the 12th minute. A good kick from Olver didn’t look a danger until Van Dam dropped the ball as he brought it down, allowing new loan signing Johnny McPhillips the chance to gratefully pick the ball up to score on his debut. Olver added the extras to even the scoreline.

The Knights took the lead after a powerful break from Rory Pitman, the Welshman offloaded to Sam Olver in the Jersey 22; the fly-half then passed to Charlie Foley to stretch over in the corner with Olver adding the extras to even the scoreline in the 19th minute.

The remainder of the half was an even contest with the Knights holding firm in the defence against a fluent and fast-paced Jersey attack. Although the away side didn’t have it all their own way with Doncaster nearly extending their lead as the interval drew closer. Matt Smith passed to Ben Hunter inside the 22, who offload quickly to Tom James, with the scrum-half seemingly bound to score in the corner. Only for play to be brought back for a forward pass from the second row after a scrum.

After the restart, Clive Griffiths’ side in a positive fashion and soon extended the lead to 15-7 with an Olver penalty just a minute into the second half.

Jersey hit back through Van Dam after a quick, flowing move with Dyer missing the conversion to keep the score to 15-12 after 47 minutes.

The away side then took the lead when Kyle Hatherell scored in the corner after pushing away a tackle from Tyson Lewis.

Doncaster fought back though and were roared on by a loud Castle Park crowd. After a yellow card to the Reds’ replacement TJ Harris, the Knights drove over from close range through Matt Challinor. Olver converting for a 22-17 lead in the 64th minute.

The home side stayed the most likely to score and nearly extended the lead in entertaining fashion. A quick pass from Tom James allowed replacement Joe Sproston to break away into the Jersey 22, he exchanged passes with Charlie Foley, before the prop attempted an extravagant offload to an supporting James; only for the ball to drop short and allowed the away side to halt the attack.

However, the Knights kept up the pressure and dotted down again in the 71st minute. James darted away from the opposition defence from a scrum with Olver converting to earn a deserved 29-19 lead.

The game continued in an entertaining back and forth fashion with a try late on from Jersey in the 76th minute from a driving maul.

Yet the Knights put the last points of the game on the board, as Olver rounded off an impressive performance for both himself and the rest of the Knights with a penalty late on to earn the home side a deserved 32-26 victory.

Match Statistics

Knights XV: 15. Johnny McPhillips 14. Kyle Evans 13. Charlie Foley 12. Lloyd Hayes 11. Tyson Lewis(73’Wilson) 10. Sam Olver 9. Tom James 1. Robin Hislop(81’Beech) 2. Ben Hunter(74’Holling) 3. Colin Quigley(67’Foster) 4. Tom Hicks(46’Sproston) 5. Matt Smith 6. Matt Challinor 7. George Edgson(81’Hudson) 8. Rory Pitman

Replacements: 16. Will Holling 17. Andrew Foster 18. Charlie Beech 19. Allan Hudson 20. Joe Sproston 21. Sam Pocklington 22. Steve McColl 23. Curtis Wilson

Tries: McPhillips, Foley, Challinor, James

Conversions: Olver 3 Penalties: Olver 2

Jersey Reds XV: 15. Auguy Slowik 14. Tom Williams13. George Spencer 12. Mark Best11. Leroy Van Dam10. Greg Dyer9. Will Homer1. Roy Godfrey2. Nic Dolly3. Alec Clarey 4. Kyle Hatherell5. Rory Bartle6. Conor Joyce 7. Josh Bainbridge 8. Max Argyle ©

Replacements: 16. TJ Harris 17. Harry Morley 18. Zei Alexis 19. Charlie Beckett 20. Jake Upfield 21. Luc Jones 22. Brendan Cope 23. Jack Stapley

Tries: Homer , Van Dam, Hatherell, Harris

Conversions: Dyer 2, Cope

Yellow card: Harris, Best

Our Partners