Rotherham Titans – 15/10/2016

34Rotherham Titans

17Doncaster Knights

3:00 pm · October 15, 2016

The Knights long wait for a win at Clifton Lane continues as the Titans recorded a comprehensive 34-17 victory again an under par Doncaster in Round One of the British and Irish Cup.

Both sets of teams made numerous changes to their regular line-ups, including a total of eight dual-registered players across the two sides and it was Gloucester fly-half Lloyd Evans that stole the show with a twenty-four-point haul for the Titans.

Doncaster took the first head-to-head between the two sides when they met in the Championship last month but were a long way off the mark in this encounter; producing an uninspiring display as the Titans ran out worthy winners.

Evans slotted his first of six penalties just a few minutes into the game after the Titans opened the game with some purposeful running; Ben Foley in particular making good ground with a charge down the wing. The lead was short lived after the Knights got themselves into an attacking position from a miss thrown lineout, Latu Makaafi got very close to going over for the game’s first try but was stopped short. In the next phase the Knights were awarded a penalty on the floor and Flockhart levelled the scores.

In terms of attacking opportunity there wasn’t a great deal more for the visiting Knights fans to get excited about in the first half as the Titans recorded fifteen unanswered points.

Firstly, Evans slotted his second penalty of the afternoon after Sam Edgerley was caught without support having cleared up another loose lineout.

The first try of the game followed shortly after. A deep driving lineout from the home pack was eventually stopped by the Knights but illegally so according to referee Jack Makepeace. With penalty advantage Rotherham carried for the Knights line and tighthead Josh McNulty made a powerful break before offloading to second row Toby Salmon who collected and went over. Evans converted, 13-3.

The Titans went in again moments later following more sloppy play from the Knights. Jarad Williams did his best to clear up an overthrown Donny lineout but the lock was turned over in contact and possession was quickly zipped out wide where Rotherham had plenty of numbers. Winger Jake Henry profited in the corner for the score and left the Knights looking rather lost.

Donny needed something before the half and got it as the Titans produced a lineout error of their own. An over throw was collected by Latu Makaafi who raced goalwards, the backrower was hauled down in sight of the try line and the Knights went wide where George Catchpole fought his way through a challenge to touch down. Dougie Flockhart produced a superb nudge from the touchline to add the extras and meant the Knights went in trailing by just eight.

An improved display was required if Donny were to turn it around in the second half and the signs were bright immediately after the restart. The Knights kept possession impressively and starved Rotherham of the ball as they patiently made their way downfield. A lack of communication in attack saw a promising move come to an end after Alex Shaw was penalised for crossing and a second penalty moments later allowed Evans to extend the Titans lead to 21-10.

The Knights hit back quickly, a strong kick chase put good pressure on the Titans from the restart who gave up a penalty as they tried to recover possession. Simon Humberstone put the forwards in the corner with a well-weighted kick to touch and from the line out a penalty was awarded the Knights way. Playing the advantage, possession was moved infield and Lloyd Hayes attacked the line powerfully to break through and score under the sticks. Flockhart converted and the Knights were right back in it.

Unfortunately, this was as good as it got for the Knights and they produce an underwhelming final half an hour of play. Rotherham quickly found their feet and controlled proceedings, more or less until the final whistle. Two further Evans penalties re-established a double digit lead for the Titans with just under ten minutes to play.

Doncaster chased the game in the dying moments and had a couple of half chances but in all honesty it was the Titans who looked the more likely to improve their score and on the stroke of full time did so. Fittingly, it was stand-off Evans with the score as the Gloucester man sliced through a gap in the Doncaster defensive line to cross, untouched, under the sticks before converting his effort.

The final score of 34-17 was an accurate reflection of the two sides performances, the Knights now look to bounce back versus Munster ‘A’ next weekend in Round Two at Castle Park next Saturday.

Match Statistics

Titans XV; 15) Charlie Foley, 14) Ben Foley, 13) Cam Hudson, 12) Joe Barker ©, 11) Jake Henry, 10) Lloyd Evans, 9) Matt Walsh (George Tressider 55’), 1) Toby Williams, 2) Luke Cole (Charlie Maddison 68’), 3) Josh McNulty (Joe Rees 45’), 4) Toby Salmon (James Tyas 45’), 5) Oli Curry, 6) Joe Batley, 7) Dan Grange, 8) Freddie Clark.

Replacements; 16) Charlie Maddison, 17) Joe Hutchinson, 18) Joe Rees, 19) Oliver George, 20) James Tyas, 21) George Tressider, 22) Oli Bryant.

Tries; Salmon 25’, Henry 35’, Evans 80’

Conv; Evans 35’, 80’

Pens; Evans; 3’, 16’, 47’, 65’, 71’, 80’


Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis (Ben White 40’), 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) George Catchpole, 12) Lloyd Hayes, 11) Andy Bulumakau, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Sam Edgerley 1) Robin Hislop (Richard List 63’), 2) Ben Hunter, 3) Joe Sproston (Colin Quigley 40’), 4) Jarad Williams, 5) David Nolan, 6) Latu Makaafi (Nick Gray 68’), 7) Will Owen (Beau Robinson 68’), 8) Alex Shaw ©

Replacements; 16) Richard List, 17)  Jack Bergmanas, 18) Colin Quigley, 19) Nick Gray, 20)  Beau Robinson, 21) Dec Cusack, 22) Ben White.

Tries; Catchpole 39’, Hayes 49’

Conv; Flockart 40’, 50’

Pens; Flockhart 9’

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