Richmond Rugby 12/2/21

30Richmond Rugby

33Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · February 12, 2022

Knights Hold Strong for Win At The Death

Doncaster Knights trailed Richmond for most of the match at the Athletic Ground but gritty determination saw them secure the win with a try in the 82nd minute.

Steve Boden won’t see it as a perfect performance by any means but he will be proud of his side’s commitment to not see themselves as defeated.

It was an error-affected first half for the travelling side as the Knights scored two tries to Richmond’s three. The Donny men looked to have underestimated how physical they would need to be to keep the hosts at bay.

And so, Richmond were the first on the scoreboard for the afternoon. Awarded a penalty for not releasing on the cusp of the Knights 22, directly in the middle of the field, the big boot of James Kane was confident enough to secure the three points.

A game of kick tennis also nearly ended badly as Kane was able to sneak a grubber kick through which forced Maliq Holden to tear back in order to dot the ball down before the centre.

After 11 minutes, Richmond took the first try of the game – their lineout going to hand to produce a dominant driving maul which gave hooker James Hadfield the perfect platform to crash over. With a conversion from Kane, the hosts were 10-0 in the lead.

The Knights changed this on the 20 minute mark. Having ran in to the driving maul, Kyle Evans tore off the back with ball in hand to begin the short phases. A fierce carry from Connor Edwards brought the Knights within inches of the line. This gave Dolly the perfect opportunity to loop in a long pass to Holden on the wing. 

Having stepped the remaining defender, the Doncaster man dotted down out wide for the Knights’ opening score. A tough kick from the touchline robbed Sam Olver of the chance to convert however.

Minutes later, Richmond were reduced to 14 men as winger Jake Caddy was sent to the sin bin after receiving a yellow card for a no-arms tackle upon the restart.

Donny were back adding to the points again – this time through a well-deserved score from Edwards. It all started when Holden got a kick to a dropped Richmond ball, chasing it down and getting the lucky bounce. He then flicked the ball up to Edwards on the supporting line and the centre burst his way across the whitewash, mid-tackle.

It was a more comfortable kicking position for Olver who was able to convert and nudge the Knights into the lead.

Richmond took things back under control just before half time though, scoring twice in the final 10 minutes. A carbon copy of their first try had Hadfield once again crashing to the floor from the back of a driving maul.

Then, Kane benefited from some nice interchanging play in the wide channels as he ran the ball in by the posts and converted his own score – allowing Richmond to run into half time with a 22-12 lead.

The Knights emerged for the second half with some tough work to do to climb their way back into contention for the win. Reinforcements were brought on relatively early, but Richmond were able to get themselves further ahead before the Knights comeback truly began.

Caddy ran in Richmond’s final try of the day having received ball to the wing quickly off the back of a strong scrum. The conversion attempt was wide and the Knights started to close down on Richmond’s 27-12 lead.

The Knights crashed over from a driving maul just minutes after the hour mark, and we believe it may have been Charlie Connolly at the bottom of the messy pile who was the try scorer. With a conversion from Olver the Knights were eight points adrift.

Less than five minutes later, the Donny Welshmen combined – McBryde timed a perfectly weighted pass out wide to Evans who, having stepped two defenders, cantered in for the five points. Olver’s conversion meant it was a tense one-point game.

On 76 minutes, Kane likely believed he had kept his side safe as he kicked a penalty through the posts when a Donny player was called as going to ground at the breakdown.

This Knights side doesn’t seem to be one to give up easily though, so they let 80 minutes come and go as they continued to play, looking for any sliver of daylight to run into and through the Richmond defensive line.

And it’s just as well they did. With 82 minutes played, Thom Smith had a blinder as he took charge of storming the ball down the wing and, with a dummy offload to Connolly out wide of him, ran in the score to the elation of his teammates and coaches alike.

Putting the sealer on things, Olver stepped up to take the conversion and, as it sailed through the posts, the Knights were declared the 30-33 winners.

Match Statistics

Richmond XV | 15 Will Kaye; 14 Owain James, 13 James Kane, 12 Ronnie McLean (c), 11 Jake Caddy; 10 Ted Landray, 9 Jack Stafford; 1 Jonny Harris, 2 James Kadfield, 3 Ntinga Mpiko, 4 Freddie Hosking, 5 Will Carrick Smith, 6 Ethan Benson, 7 Jared Cardew, 8 Huw Worthington.

Replacements | 16 Mike Perks, 17 Luke Spring, 18 Jimmy Litchfield, 19 Myles Scott, 20 Sam Collingridge, 21 Mark Bright, 22 Hamish Graham, 23 Callum Watson.

Pens: Kane 2.

Tries: Hadfield 2, Kane, Caddy.

Conv: Kane 2.


Knights XV | 15 Billy McBryde; 14 Kyle Evans, 13 Connor Edwards, 12 Fraser Strachan, 11 Maliq Holden; 10 Sam Olver, 9 Alex Dolly; 1 Conor Davidson, 2 George Roberts, 3 Andrew Foster, 4 Ben Murphy, 5 Josh Peters, 6 Guido Volpi, 7 Sam Graham (c), 8 Thom Smith.

Replacements | 16 George Edgson, 17 Liam Usher, 18 Charlie Connolly, 19 Jack Davies, 20 John Kelly, 21 Joe Green, 22 Mark Best, 23 George Oram.

Tries: Holden, Edwards, Connolly, Evans, Smith.

Conv: Olver 4.


Referee: Charlie Gayther.

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