Nottingham Rugby – 16/02/2019

23Doncaster Knights

25Nottingham Rugby

2:00 pm · February 16, 2019

Doncaster put in a valiant display that saw them one kick away from being victorous today against Nottingham.

Instead, it was the visitors that took the spoils after Sam Olver kicked wide with the last kick of the game, after the Knights battled back from 17-6 down at half-time, but were eventually beaten 25-23.

First tries of the season for Paul Jarvis and Tyson Lewis showed the spirit of the Doncaster side, but a Shane O’Leary penalty in the 78 minute ultimately swayed the result for the Green and Whites.

The Knights started the first half the better side and battled away to carve out the first opportunity for a try with Tom Calladine making it to within 5m from the try line before being tackled.

It was Doncaster that put the first points on the board from an Olver penalty, as the fly-half returned to the side after not being eligible to play last week against Ealing Trailfinders as part of his loan agreement.

Just five minutes later, the away side began to battle back and Shane O’Leary put away a penalty of his own.

Nottingham grew in confidence from putting their first points on the board and dotted down on 24 minutes. A grubber kick from inside the Doncaster 22 bounced delightfully for Alex Goble to dive onto inside the Knights’ try line. O’Leary converted to give the visitors a 10-3 lead.

Doncaster had a chance of their own soon after, as Ollie Stedman caught a high kick on his own 10m line and burst away into the Nottingham 22. However, he lacked support and tried to pass out a wide to Tyson Lewis, but the ball was intercepted by a Green and White shirt.

The away side extended their lead on 37 minutes with Jordan Coghlan bursting away from his own half, avoiding two last ditch tackles, and dotting down. O’Leary converted to give a 17-3 advantage, however that was soon decreased with an Olver penalty seconds before the half time whistle.

Doncaster dominated the early proceedings of the second half just like they did in the first. After three Knights’ scrums in the Nottingham 22, the ball was worked out to Tyson Lewis on the wing. The 33-year-old managed to find a gap after some quick feet and score his first try of the season. Olver again converted superbly from a tight angle on the right-hand side touchline.

The pressure continued with the Knights pushing back the sixth placed Championship side, but were caught against the run of play, as David Williams scored in the corner after going through the phases and finding a gap in the Doncaster defence. O’leary for the first time in the match missed the conversion as Nottingham stayed ahead 22-13.

A triple substitution of Sam Jones, Joe Sproston and new signing Dwayne Polataivao sparked the Knights into a comeback. Doncaster passed the ball wide in a similar fashion to the second try and Paul Jarivs on his return from injury; twisted and turned to stretch over and score. Olver again converted to decrease Nottingham’s lead to 20-22.

Clive Griffiths’ side are characteristically determined with a never die attitude and the Knights continued in that fashion.

On 73 minutes, Olver kicked another penalty after Luke Cole was shown a yellow card for an off the ball incident.

That one-point lead for the Knigths lasted just two minutes as O’Leary scored a penalty from a central position in the Knights’ 22 to give Nottingham a 25-23 lead.

Doncaster fought back once again as the full time whistle edged closer and thought they had won the game when a penalty was awarded, however as cruel as rugby and sport is, Olver kicked it wide in the last kick of the game.

The Knights move up a place in the table to eighth with the losing bonus point, but deserved much more for their second half efforts.

Match Statistics

Knights XV: 15.McColl(49’Foley) 14. Jarvis 13. Creed 12. Hayes 11. Lewis 10. Olver 9. James 1. Hislop(68’List) 2. Mayhew(66’Malcolm) 3. Quigley(64’Sproston) 4. Challinor(64’Jones) 5. Hicks 6. Tyrell 7. Calladine 8. Stedman

Replacements: 16. Malcolm 17. List 18. Sproston 19. Ryan 20. Jones 21. Polataivao 21. Foley

Tries: Lewis, Jarvis  Conversions: Olver 2 Penalties: Olver 3

Nottingham XV: 15. Gearoid Lyons 14. David Williams 13. Will Millett 12. Luke Peters 11. Alex Goble 10. Shane O’Leary 9. Murray McConnell 1. Jamie Jack 2. Luke Cole 3. Oisin Heffernan 4. Tom Holmes (C) 5. Sam Lewis 6. Shane Buckley 7. Jordan Coghlan 8. Josh Poullet

Replacements: 16. Jake Farnworth 17. Owen Hills 18. Cecil MacCarthy 19. Tim Cardall 20. George Cox 21. Darryl Veenendaal 22. Caetano Branco

Tries: Goble, Coghlan, Williams Conversions: O’Leary 3  Penalties: O’Leary 2

Our Partners