Nottingham 28/1/23

32Doncaster Knights

17Nottingham Rugby

2:30 pm · January 28, 2023

Knights Secure First Home Win of 2023 with Bonus Point

A last-minute interception try was enough to seal the winning bonus point at Castle Park for the Knights against Nottingham.

A first home win of 2023 was the response needed following on from a win on the road against Richmond last weekend.

The Knights started strong with a try inside 4 minutes. A great connect between Jack Metcalf and George Simpson on the wing put them on the front-foot. Having worked the phases, Olver spotted a gap and gave the pass for Robbie Smith to nip through and over for the game’s opening points.

With Alex Dolly’s conversion, the Knights had the full contingent of available points on the board.

The visitors responded, moving across field and combining at pace, they gained the overlap which allowed Harry Graham to scamper through for an unconverted score.

The Knights pack showed their strength in the driving maul as they crashed over the line with 19 minutes played. Ehize Ehizode took the throw well before he and his fellow forwards dug in to drive over the line with Will Holling the man at the base to score the points. Dolly dutifully added the extra 2 points.

Nottingham again responded. Taking advantage of a Knights pack which didn’t look set to defend a maul, the green and whites drove over quickly with Jack Dickinson as their try scorer.

The Knights pulled away on the scoreboard in the last 10 minutes of the half. Dolly added a penalty for a Nottingham offside and, two minutes shy of half-time, Thom Smith broke off the back of a driving maul a couple of metres out and drove his way through two attempted tackles to dot the ball down.

With Dolly’s conversion, the sides ran in for half-time with the Knights 14-points up on the scoreboard.

The second half, however, did not start the way the Donny men would have liked. The visitors scored within 4 minutes – taking their lineout cleanly on the Knights 5m line and driving over the line with replacement Archie Vanes in charge of the ball. Bunting then secured his first successful kick at goal of the day for the conversion.

A lengthy period of, at times, scrappy play then followed as possession and momentum volleyed between the two sides.

Dolly topped up the score with a penalty goal from a high tackle just short of 70 minutes. However, it was when the backs were against the wall on 78 minutes played that the Knights decided the fate of the match.

With Nottingham working hard in the Knights 22, and looking to have a man advantage out wide, replacement Billy McBryde timed his run up to the line perfectly, intercepted the ball, and ran the length of the field for the bonus point score.

This Knights squad know how important performances, and results, are at Castle Park and so, they will look to take momentum from the positives of this performance into the Championship Cup competition which resumes next weekend.

Match Statistics

Starting XV | 15 Jack Metcalf; 14 George Simpson, 13 Robbie Smith, 12 Connor Edwards, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Kai Owen, 2 Will Holling, 3 Jake Armstrong, 4 Ehize Ehizode, 5 Evan Mintern, 6 Martin Sigren, 7 Thom Smith, 8 Sam Hudson.

Replacements | 16 George Edgson, 17 Jake Pope, 18 Karl Garside, 19 Sam Daly, 20 Jared Cardew, 21 Joe Green, 22 Billy McBryde, 23 Joe Margetts.

Pens: Dolly 2

Tries: R Smith, Holling, T Smith, McBryde

Cons: Dolly 3


Nottingham XV | 15 Jordan Olowofela; 14 David Williams, 13 Michael Green, 12 Jack Neville, 11 Harry Graham; 10 Morgan Bunting, 9 Liam Slatem; 1 Aniseko Sio, 2 Jack Dickinson, 3 Ben Betts, 4 Ross Bindy, 5 Iosefa Maloney, 6 George Cox, 7 Carl Kirwan, 8 Josh Poullet (c).

Replacements | 16 Archie Vanes, 17 Toby Williams, 18 Liam Bishop, 19 Jacob Wright, 20 Emeka Ilione, 21 Josh Goodwin, 22 Sam Hollingsworth, 23 Marcus Ramage.

Tries: Graham, Dickinson, Vanes

Cons: Bunting


Referee: Ian Tempest

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