Jersey Reds – 19/09/2015

31Doncaster Knights

27Jersey Reds

2:30 pm · September 19, 2015

Knights 31 Jersey 27

The Knights recorded their first home win of the 2015/16 campaign with a determined display versus Jersey at Castle Park. The wins sees the Knights, perhaps temporarily, top the division at this early stage but they did not have things their own way for much of the afternoon.

In bright conditions the Knights began the game in the same vein, as they have played much of the season so far – positively and looking to run the ball. They managed early breaks through Latu Makaafi and Brad Field however left themselves exposed which was nearly punished very early on as Fautua Otto almost dotted down after a nice grubber kick forward in the early exchanges.

Both sides had prospered through the strength of their driving lineouts early this season and looked to utilize the set piece where possible. Jersey turned down early penalties at goal in favour of punts to the corner however the Knights defence held firm and Dougie Flockhart opened the scoring with a penalty following good scrum pressure from the Donny pack.

The lead was short lived however as Sam Edgerley looked to return the restart from deep in his own half and was caught without support. Just outside the 22m and in front of the posts Jersey fly half Brendan Cope decided he would go at goal and converted.

Having held out against the driving line out impressively in the early stages it was the Knights own lineout that got them into trouble next. Having won possession, miscommunication saw the home pack pinged for crossing and Cope punted the penalty deep downfield. The Knights prevented a couple of further ominous looking drives but continually fell foul of the referees whistle and eventually Jersey drove through, Nick Haining touching down and Cope converting.

Flockhart and Cope exchanged penalties as the game grew into the first half with neither side really dominating proceedings. The Knights first try came just after the half hour mark and it was courtesy of their set piece. Michael Heaney, who demonstrated his versatility with aplomb playing out of position at fly half sent a penalty deep downfield to touch and the pack did the rest. A clean catch, well-formed maul and good drive saw flanker Latu Makaafi score against his former club and put the Knights back in the lead. Flockhart’s conversion made the score 16-13.

Once again Jersey reacted promptly to conceding. Indiscipline from the Knights saw the visitors move down field all to easily and soon were in driving line out range. Referee Tom Foley grew tired of the Knights criminal systems for prevent the Jersey maul and Ben Hunter was sent to the sin bin. With a man advantage Jersey crashed over again through Ignacio Lancuba and Cope’s successful conversion saw the sides go in for the break with the visitors ahead 16-20.

With barely a minute played in the second half the Knights had conceded again. A fine break from Richard Lane into a broken field saw the full back pick up plenty of yards before finding Tom Howe outside him. The winger graciously collected a wide pass and put his foot down to accelerate under the posts leaving a simple conversion for Cope.

Donny had fought back from losing positions several times previous to today’s clash but many of the home crowd could be forgiven for thinking Jersey looked good for the win leading by 27 to 16. However the Knights retort was swift and within ten minutes had cut the deficit from eleven points to just one.

Flockhart added his fourth successful penalty of the afternoon on 46 minutes then good scrummaging won a penalty that Heaney slotted deep in to the Jersey 22m. Following a booming initial hit from the Jersey pack the Knights forwards patiently drove towards the visitors line before Latu flopped over for his second of the afternoon….and fifth of the season!! Dougie coolly converted.

Both sides made substitutions around the hour mark and, not unlike the first half, jostled for the upper hand. The Knights continued to look solid at the scrum and as the game wore on created more and more half chances.

With ten minutes left to play the Knights brought the ball infield, following a well-taken line out and after some slick handling full back Sam Edgerley sprinted over in the corner. Flockhart’s attempt to convert from the touchline fell wide but the Knights were back in front regardless.

Jersey tried to rally in the final knockings of the clash but the Knights controlled possession cleverly and ran out the clock to secure the win.

The performance, at times, may have not been quite as impressive as some of what we have seen so far this season but against a well-drilled, miserly outfit the Knights triumphed. Last season this team cam very close and narrowly lost out in fixtures with a similar feel. Let’s hope this result is a sign of things to come!

Match Statistics

Knights XV: 15) Sam Edgerley, 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Andy Bulumakau (Tyson Lewis 61’), 12) Bevon Armitage, 11) Will Hurrel, 10) Michael Heaney, 9) Brad Field, 1) Richard List (Joe Sproston 60’), 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Colin Quigley (WillGriff John 66’), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Tyler Hotson (Jon Phelan 60’), 6) Latu Makaafi (Alex Shaw 60’, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Ollie Stedman.

Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Joe Sproston, 18) WillGriff John, 19) Jon Phelan, 20) Alex Shaw, 21) Tyson Lewis, 22) Josh Sharp.

Tries: Makaafi 31’, 51’, Edgerley 70’

Conv; Flockhart 32’, 51

Pens; Flockhart 12’, 22’, 26’, 46’

Sin bin; Hunter 36’

Jersey XV: 15) Rich Lane?14) Tom Howe?13) Fautua Otto?12) Lewis Robling?11) Ross Adair?10) Brendan Cope?9) Joel Dudley (Jack Moates? 47’) 1)?Ignacio Lancuba (Sean McCarthy 47’)?2) Martin Garcia-Veiga (Nick Selway 64’) 3)?Danny Herriott (Cosma Garfagnoli?67’), 4) Nick Campbell?5) Pierce Phillips?6) Alex Rae (c)?7) James Freeman (Charlie Butterworth 70’)?8) Nick Haining

Replacements;?16) Sean McCarthy, 17) Nick Selway 18)?Cosma Garfagnoli?19) Dave Markham?20) Charlie Butterworth?21) Jack Moates?22) Mark McCrea

Tries; Haining 19’, Lancuba 37’, Howe 41’

Conv; Cope 20’, 38’, 41’

Pens; Cope 15’, 28’

Referee: Tom Foley

Attendance: 1,052.


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