London Irish – 23/03/2019

49London Irish

12Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · March 23, 2019

Doncaster left the Madejski Stadium frustrated to have not scored more tries, but were on the end of a clinical London Irish display that earned the hosts a 49-12 victory today.

The home side began as would be expected of league leaders with an intensity and determination and could have scored their first try of the afternoon if it was not for Tyson Lewis. The winger burst back and tackled Alivereti Veitokani as the full-back drove to within 5m of the Doncaster try line.

Moments later it was the Knights other winger Curtis Wilson who followed suit with an important tackle down the right as Irish carved out an overload in the Doncaster 22.

The away side did fight back as Ollie Stedman made a clever break deep into the Irish half, but his offload couldn’t find Wilson and the hosts cleared the danger.

However, London Irish’s intensity eventually found its reward with Tom Stephenson finding space between Kurt Morath and Tyson Lewis in the Doncaster 22 to burst away and score. Ian Keatley converted to hand the home side a 7-0 lead after 24 minutes.

That advantage was doubled just three minutes later from a close-range drive from Albert Tuisue, the referee took his time to make his decision but decided that the flanker had squeezed the ball over under the bodies of the Doncaster players tackling him. Keatley again converted.

Clive Griffiths’ side rallied soon after and on 34 minutes with Charles Beech scoring on his full debut for the Knights after driving over from close range. Morath converted to half Irish’s lead.

Doncaster’s momentum was soon cut short though when Ben Loader burst free and avoided a last-ditch Paul Jarvis tackle to score with Keatley converting again for a 21-7 lead to the home side just before half-time. A score line that flattered the home side with the Knights having put in a determined and battling first half performance.

After the interval, it was the league leaders that increased their intensity once again with only a Lewis tackle stopping a quick fire try from Loader in the right corner.

However, the lead was extended on 45 minutes from a driving maul as the hosts dominance began to shine through. Another try was added on the 60-minute mark as Stephenson scored his second of the game after twisting away from a couple of tackles inside the Doncaster 22.

Last season London Irish were a Premiership outfit and that was evident as they demonstrated their clinical nature when Keatley dotted down from close range, the fly-half converting as well to make the score line 42-7 after 66 minutes.

The Knights showed some impressive rugby of their own and after a period of good pressure in the hosts half, Ollie Stedman was found out wide with a good pass from substitute Henry Seniloli, the flanker dotted down with ease in the corner for his seventh Doncaster try of the season to give the travelling fans something to cheer about.

The home side had the final say though with a try in the dying embers of the game, Charlie Maddison stretching over from close range and after a Jacob Atkins conversion the league leaders earned a 49-12 victory.

Match Statistics

Knights XV:  15. Jarvis 14. Wilson(39’Cowell (41’ Wilson) 13. Clark 12. Hayes 11. Lewis(58’Cowell) 10. Morath 9. Polataivao(64’Seniloli) 1. Hislop(64’List) 2. Hunter(58’Malcolm) 3. Beech(47’Sproston) 4. Civetta(58’Eames) 5. Hicks 6. Stedman 7. Hills 8. Tyrell(60’Lomidze)

Replacements: 16. Malcolm 17. List 18. Sproston 19. Eames 20. Lomidze 21. Seniloli 22. Cowell

Tries: Beech, Stedman Conversion: Morath

London Irish XV: 15. Veitokani 14. Loader 13. Stephenson 12. Hepetema 11. McLean 10. Keatley 9. Meehan 1. Reid 2. Porecki 3. Hoskins 4. van der Merwe 5. McNally © 6. Tuisue 7. Ioane 8. Rogerson.

Replacements: 16. Fainga’a 17. Chawatama 18. Maddison 19. Schatz 20. Steele 21. Atkins 22. Macken.

Tries: Stephenson 2, Tuisue, Loader, Porecki, Keatley, Maddison Conversion: Keatley 7

Our Partners