Nottingham Rugby 1/4/21

5Nottingham Rugby

26Doncaster Knights

7:45 pm · April 1, 2022

Knights End League Season With Bonus Point At Lady Bay

Doncaster Knights finished the Championship league season with a bonus point win against Nottingham at Lady Bay yesterday evening.

It was a fixture for the forwards as the Knights scrum was pivotal to their number of penalties won with the pack providing the Donny travelling fans with plenty reasons to cheer.

The first strike of the match on the scoreboard came after just five minute played. Having advanced solidly down the field, a smart grubber kick through the legs of the Nottingham defenders had Maliq Holden tearing down on the line to dive on the ball for the opening try.

With a missed kick from Sam Olver, it was just the unconverted score for the Knights but they weren’t kept on five points for long.

Six minutes after their first, they were crossing for a second time. A lucky steal from Joe Margetts allowed the centre to release through the line. With another grubber, much like the first, Kyle Evans this time was the winger to hare down upon it and no force of defensive tackle was stopping him once he had the try line in his sites.

With a successful conversion from Olver, the Knights were 12 points to the good – but that would prove to be the last points of the half.

Despite the lack of more scoring, there were still noteworthy moments in the half. One such moment saw a carving run from Holden immediately followed up by a brute of a carry into contact from Sam Hudson.

As the teams reemerged from the changing rooms, the goal was clearly to secure the bonus point with a couple more tries. However, their first job was defence – repelling Nottingham’s attacks in their 22 but when a penalty awarded the Knights a scrum, the exit from danger was sealed.

Just over 10 minutes from the second half restart, George Edgson found the try line for another time this season. A committed shove in the driving maul from the Knights lineout gave the hooker the perfect platform to peel off the back of the set to crash over. With a conversion from Olver, the bonus point was one try away.

Some hectic phases of play soon followed – there were spilt balls, interceptions and prop Conor Davidson making a break up the wing. The commitment from the Knights was able to force handling errors from the hosts but the switch of possession continued.

With new bodies on the field, and with three minutes left to play, that fourth try materialised for the Knights. The forwards doggedly drove their maul forward when, out of nowhere, replacement scrum half Lloyd Wheeldon burst through a gap in the Nottingham line to dart in under the sticks. A third conversion from Olver took the Knights to 26 points.

Their clean sheet defensively was thwarted on 79 minutes as Nottingham moved off their lineout quickly to work the phases and allow Morgan Bunting to cross the whitewash out wide. With no conversion, it was just the five points for the hosts.

As the final whistle was blown, the Knights knew they had done enough to put themselves in the best position possible in the table. Now, it’s simply a waiting game to see the final Championship league table.

Match Statistics

Nottingham XV | 15 Jack Stapley, 14 David Williams, 13 Charlie Thacker, 12 Morgan Bunting, 11 Harry Graham; 10 Sam Hollingsworth, 9 Michael Stronge; 1 Toby Williams; 2 Archie Vanes, 3 Josh McNulty, 4 Scott Hall, 5 Jose Andrade, 6 Carl Kirwan, 7 Nathan Tweedy, 8 Josh Poullet (c).

Replacements | 16 Jake Farnworth, 17 Aniseko Sio, 18 Liam Bishop, 19 Callum Allen, 20 Jacob Wright, 21 Matt Marsh, 22 Elliot Creed, 23 Lewis Barrett.

Tries: Bunting.


Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Joe Margetts, 12 Mark Best, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Joe Green; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Edgson, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 John Kelly, 5 Ben Murphy, 6 Sam Hudson, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Roberts, 17 Joe Wrafter, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Josh Peters, 20 Jack Davies, 21 Lloyd Wheeldon, 22 Connor Edwards, 23 Guido Volpi.

Tries: Holden, Evans, Edgson, Wheeldon.

Conv: Olver 3.


Referee: Nick Wood.

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