Rotherham Titans – 21/01/2017

16Doncaster Knights

12Rotherham Titans

2:00 pm · January 21, 2017

The Knights made sure double centurion Dougie Flockhart marked his 200thappearance for the Club with a win as they battled past local rivals Rotherham Titans to record a 16-12 victory.

Flockhart’s contribution, as it has been countless times before, proved to be the difference between the two sides as he added eleven points to his record-breaking tally with four successful kicks.

Dougie first pulled on a Knights jersey eight years ago and whilst he hit a landmark few do in today’s professional game it was also a huge day for Academy prospect Alex ‘Buster’ Keeton who became the first member of the Knights academy to feature in a first team game. Buster entered the field to rapturous applause with the game finely poised at 16-12 in the closing minutes and did not let anybody down, throwing himself into tackles and earning a turnover in the dying seconds.

With both teams unable to progress from the group stages of the British and Irish Cup this South Yorkshire derby was entirely for pride and it was Doncaster who struck first. An early penalty gave the Knights a line-out deep in the Titans half from which Ben Hunter was able to charge over the line from the back of a well-formed maul. Flockhart’s conversion making it 7-0.

The Knights pressure was relentless following Hunter’s try. Tyson Lewis and Sean Scanlon caused problems for the visitors seemingly on every possession but despite this no further scores went the Knights way.

Though they created precious little in attack the Rotherham defence held firm through the early onslaught and as the game progressed they grew into the fixture.

With the clock creeping towards forty minutes there was a clear momentum swing and the Knights now found themselves on the back foot. The Titans were able to hold possession deep in Donny’s half with numerous line-outs; often from the Knights indiscipline. Doncaster defended with venom but were unable to prevent hooker Charlie Maddison charging over the whitewash from five metres out; 7-7.

The Knights will have been glad to get back into the sheds on level terms as the visitors finished with a flurry and only big defensive plays, notably from Jack Ram and Mat Clark, prevented further scores.

Doncaster started brightly in the second half and were on the front foot quickly but remained unable to unlock the Rotherham defence; eventually settling for a Flockhart penalty despite continued pressure on fifty-five minutes.

The Titans response was almost immediate, an alleged illegal contact from Matt Challinor saw the lock sent to the sin bin for ten minutes and the resulting play proved costly. It was Maddison who did the damage again coming off the back of the another driving maul to put the visitors in the lead for the first time in the game; 10-12.

The game started to open up a bit more following the Rotherham try, Doncaster had the opportunity to regain the lead following some ill-discipline from the visitors but Flockhart, uncharacteristically, put his effort wide.

Fly-half Simon Humberstone kept Doncaster on the front foot with an impressive kicking display and with Challinor back on the pitch the Knights were able to resume authority. Rotherham were reduced in numbers themselves soon after as back-row Buster Lawrence was sin-binned for cynical play close to the goal line which allowed Flockhart to make amends for his prior effort; 13-12.

It was Flockhart who sealed the game for the Knights five minutes from time, more attacking pressure from the home side proved too much for the Titans to deal with once who gave away an obvious penalty under pressure which Dougie quickly dispatched. Final score 16-12.

The Knights return to Championship action next weekend against Bedford Blues hoping to build on the momentum of a third derby win.

Match Statistics

Knights XV; 15. Paul Jarvis, 14. Sean Scanlon (Lloyd Hayes), 13. Dougie Flockhart, 12. Mat Clark, 11. Tyson Lewis, 10. Simon Humberstone, 9. Michael Heaney (Sam Edgerley), 1. Richard List (Jack Bergmanas) 2. Ben Hunter (Alex Keeton 76’), 3. WillGriff John (Colin Quigley), 4. Matt Challinor, 5. Dave Nolan (Joe Maksymiw), 6. Jack Ram, 7. Michael Hills © (Will Owen), 8. Latu Makaafi.

Replacements; 16. Jack Bergmanas, 17. Alex Keeton, 18. Colin Quigley, 19. Joe Maksymiw, 20. Will Owen, 21. Lloyd Hayes, 22. Sam Edgerley.

Tries; Hunter 5’

Conv; Flockhart 5’

Pens; Flockhart;55’, 66’, 75’


Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Ben Foley, 13 Dan Kelly, 12 Joe Barker (Capt.), 11 Jake Henry, 10 Oli Bryant, 9 George Tresidder, 1 Joe Hutchinson, 2 Charlie Maddison, 3 Ian Williams, 4 Miles Normandale, 5 Oli Curry, 6 Buster Lawrence, 7 James Tyas, 8 Tom MacDonald.

Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Toby Williams, 18 Danny Herriott, 19 Darren Oliver, 20 George Oliver, 21 Sam Pocklington, 22 Jack Hayes.

Tries; Maddison 32’, 52’

Conv; Bryant 32’

Pens; Bryant

Referee: Ben Blain

Attendance: 1207

Written by Connor Hickinbottom. 

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