Jersey Reds – 17/01/2015

19Doncaster Knights

26Jersey Reds

2:00 pm · January 17, 2015

Doncaster Knights 19 v Jersey 26

The Knights entered this round 12 GK IPA Championship tie with Jersey hoping to end a seven game losing streak and do the double over the Islanders following an away win at St Peter back in September.

Buoyed by some fresh faces from Welford Road, the Knights made a bright enough start to proceedings and when the pack won a penalty at scrum time Dougie Flockhart happily opened the Donny account. Unfortunately this was about as good as it got for the Knights, certainly in the opening forty minutes.

Pressure from Jersey came quickly via a fierce driving maul, a weapon that would test the Knights all afternoon, having worked their way deep in to the home 22m and with penalty advantage Jers looked to play. No breakthrough was made but play was brought back for the infringement and Jonny Bentley leveled the scores.

Moment later the visitors were on the front foot once more, courtesy of their powerful driving maul, moving up field from a line out on the half way line. The Knights pack eventually halted the surging maul but gave away a penalty in doing so, which Bentley put to the corner. Having secured possession at the line out the Jersey pack rumbled forward again and fought their way over the Knights line, prop forward Harry Williams was awarded the score and Bentley added the extras.

Indiscipline at the breakdown for the Knights allowed Bentley an opportunity to extend his side’s lead with a penalty but it was quickly cancelled out as Flockhart slotted his second of the day following a high tackle on Harry Thacker.

In recent weeks Knights have been guilty of errors that have gifted opponents seven point scores and unfortunately this unenviable trend continued for a third week. A pass from debutant Harry Thacker fell behind it’s intended recipient and quick reactions from Drew Locke saw the centre hack the ball forward before collecting and touching down. Again Bentley was on the money, meaning the Knights trailed by 20-6 with less than half an hour on the clock.

There was further cause for concern before the interval as yet another powerful maul put the Knights on the back foot then an audacious cross field to Mark McCrea saw the winger held up in goal. Play was brought back for an offense at the maul resulted in Matt Challinor being sin binned and Bentley added another three points.

The Knights rallied before the half and a nice attack resulted in a break forward from Flockhart, the winger chipped forward and forced a hurried clearance out of full back Grant Pointer. From the line out that followed the Knights won a penalty that Dougie converted to bring the first half to a close.

The Knights made showed improvement at the start of the second half and began to threaten the Jersey defences, forcing a handful of quick fire penalties. Hooker Joe Buckle paid the price for his side’s indiscipline as he was shown a yellow card. Despite the pressure the Knights were unable to make an impact on the scoreboard as errors and poor decision-making put paid to some positive attacking rugby.

In need of something, Griff made a handful of changes and shortly after his side finally got a break. Hooker Thacker showed an impressive turn of pace to hack forward loose pass and chase down Pointer in his own goal area. The Knights won a penalty from the resulting scrum, good vision and determination saw scrum half Tom Palu take a quick penalty and jink his way over the line to score what would be the Knights only try of the game.

Jersey struck back almost immediately and from the restart made their way into Knights territory and quickly put some points on the board when Donny were penalized at the ruck. Bentley converted to take his personal tally to 16 points for the day.

The final twenty minutes of the game saw the Knights desperately try to get some go forward and momentum as the visitors’, who were also on a long run of defeats, focus shifted toward the final whistle. Doncaster started to play with an inventiveness and purpose not seen in the game up until that point but time and time again sloppiness and poor execution hurt them at crucial moments.

Jersey’s defence held firm despite a second yellow card of the afternoon, this time Bentley was given a ten-minute breather for killing the ball on a Knights attack. From the resulting penalty Dougie closed the gap to seven points, ensuring a losing bonus point for the Knights. In the last couple of minute’s the Knights mounted a final challenge, winning a penalty that Piers Francis kicked up to the Jersey 5m line. Unfortunately the Knights could not secure clean line out ball and shortly after the final whistle was blown.

The British and Irish Cup returns next week and will be welcome break for the Knights before Championship action returns with a difficult trip to Sixways stadium on the 31st.

Match Statistics

Knights XV

15) Paul Jarvis, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10. Paul Roberts (Piers Francis 48’), 9. Tomasi Palu, 1.Richard List (Jack Bergmanas 54’), 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Colin Quigley (Ross Davies 72’), 4. Matthew Challinor, 5. Jon Phelan (Tyler Hotson 60’), 6. Laurence Pearce, 7. Michael Hills (Captain), 8. Alex Shaw (Latu Makaafi 54’)

Replacements: 16 Jack Bergmanas, 17 Ben Hunter, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Tyler Hotson, 20 Latu Makaafi,21 Piers Francis, 22 Bruno Bravo.

Tries; Palu 56’

Conv; Flockhart 57’

Pens; Flockhart 7’, 25’, 40’, 77’

Jersey 15) Grant Pointer, 14) Mark Foster, 13) Drew Locke, 12) Lewis Robling, 11)Mark McCrea (Aaron Penberthy 37’, 10 Jonny Bentley, 1) Sam Lockwood, 2) Joe Bucklem, 3)Harry Williams, 4) Nick Campbell (Markham 71’), 5) Pierce Phillips, 6) Michael Noone, 7) Ryan Hodson (capt), 8) Nick Haining (Paula Kaho 63’),

Replacements; 16) Nick Selway, 17) Ignacio Lancuba, 18) Danny Herriott, 19) Dave Markham, 20) Paula Kaho, 21) Ryan Glynn, 22) Aaron Penberthy

Tries; Williams 17’, Locke 27’

Conv; Bentley 17’, 27

Pens; Bentley 11’, 22’, 37’, 60’

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