Nottingham Rugby 18/01/2020

16Doncaster Knights

15Nottingham Rugby

2:30 pm · January 18, 2020

A last-minute conversion from Sam Olver secured Doncaster a vital 16-15 home win against Nottingham this afternoon.

Although, the Knights got off to the worst possible start as they conceded within 12 seconds of kick off. Kyle Evans dropped the kick, allowing the visitors to play the ball wide to the right-hand corner and create an overload for David Williams to dot down. Shane O’Leary converted well from a tight angle to make the score 0-7 after nearly a minute.

Doncaster rallied back and could’ve had an instant reply when Lloyd Hayes made a break into the Nottingham half. However, the centre decided to go it alone, despite the support of Steve McColl and Evans.

The home side continued to push forwards though and Olver put the first points on the board of the game with a penalty from inside the visitors’ 22.

The fly-half soon doubled that tally with another pen midway through the first half.

Nottingham came back into the game as the balance swayed back and forth throughout the first 40 minutes, however a succession of good scrums and line outs pushed the Knights up the field.

With the momentum in their favour, the home side took a 9-7 lead into the interval with another good penalty as half time came to a close.

Doncaster started the second half in a positive fashion, although they couldn’t take advantage of that early pressure.

Morgan Eames made a good break over the halfway line, but decided to go into contact with Tom James in support and chance went.

However, the visitors then began to take control of the fixture. As Williams dotted down his second try of the game, again in the corner after some quick hands from the Nottingham backline. Fortunately for the home fans, O’Leary missed the conversion.

As the half wore on Doncaster tried to keep within touching distance, but couldn’t find the momentum to cause the visitors many problems.

On the 70-minute mark, Nottingham extended their lead though O’Leary to make the score 9-15.

After that, Clive Griffiths’ side showed a never say die attitude and began to edge back into the game and gain some territory.

In a frantic final few minutes, Donny started to dominant the game.

Firstly, Tom James made a good break, but was halted five metres out. The home side then had a scrum five metres out, James passed the ball wide to Cameron Cowell, who produced a great pass to Howard Packman. The winger used his pace and power to barge over and make the score 14-15 with just a minute left.

Olver then took centre stage. The fly-half was in a similar position last season against Nottingham at Castle Park, in the last minute, with a kick to win the game. That day he missed. Not today. The 25-year-old slotted away the conversion under immense pressure as the Doncaster fans celebrated a last grasp 16-15 victory.

Match Statistics

KNIGHTS XV: 15. Steve McColl(70’Cowell) 14. Howard Packman 13. Lloyd Hayes(79’Roberts) 12. Charlie Foley 11. Kyle Evans 10. Sam Olver 9. Tom James 1 Robin Hislop(70’Thomas) 2. Ben Hunter(79’Edgson) 3. Colin Quigley(57’Foster) 4. Matt Challinor © 5. Morgan Eames 6. Rory Pitman(63’Calladine) 7. Wian Conradie 8. Ollie Stedman(79’Lokotui)

Replacements: 16. George Edgson 17. Marc Thomas 18. Andrew Foster 19. Tom Calladine 20. Fotu Lokotui 21. Sam Pocklington 22. Cameron Cowell 23. Jack Roberts

Tries:  Packman Conversions: Olver 2 Penalties: Olver 3

Yellow Card: Packman

Nottingham XV:  15. Sean Scanlon 14. David Williams 13. Harry Strong 12. Luke Peters 11. Ben Foley 10. Shane O’Leary 9. Murray McConnell © 1. Aniseko Sio 2. Luke Cole 3. Ben Betts 4. Llewelyn Jones 5. Daniel Qualter 6. Seb Cecil 7. Will Owen 8. Josh Poulett

Replacements: 16. Jacob Farnworth 17. Thomas Hill 18. Oisin Heffernan 19. Oliver Chessum 20. George Cox 21. Alexander Dolly 22. Will Millett 23. Jack Spittle

Tries: Williams 2 Conversions: O’Leary Penalties: O’Leary

Attendance: 1203

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