Yorkshire Carnegie – 13/02/2016

34Doncaster Knights

28Yorkshire Carnegie

2:30 pm · February 13, 2016

Knights 34-28 Carnegie

A last minute score from Michael Hills saw the Knights complete a five point victory over their rivals from the west of the county as they closed out a 34-28 victory to shore up second position in the Championship.

The Knights made a bright start in front of a busy crowd of over 2,300 at Castle Park however they conceded the first points of the game after three minutes when Harry Leonard converted a penalty in centerfield.

The early set piece was performing well for Doncaster and having set up good field position following a scuffed clearance kick from Leonard I’m sure plenty of fans were hoping their might have been a trademark Knights driving maul. Instead an intricate lineout play secured the ball before possession was put wide, Dec Cusack and Mat Clark interchanged well and steaming off his wing came Andy Bulumakau. The paceman showed a quick step to dance his way through traffic and race under the sticks, Cusack added the extras and the Knights were up and running.

The response from Carnegie was prompt and after some good phase play winger Seb Stegmann threatened in the corner, he was stopped short but play was brought back for a penalty earlier in the move. Leonard elected to take the three and was on the money, Cusack had a chance to cancel it out moments after but the Irishman’s conversion found the post, 7-6.

It was an entertaining fixture from minute one to 80 with the lead swapping hands several times and the game’s momentum staying fluid throughout. This was signified in the next period of play, over seven minutes both sides added a try to their total as well as another three pointer for the Knights from Cusack’s boot.

Whilst the Donny driving maul has earned many plaudits this season it was the Carnegie lineout that carried the continued attacking threat. At one lineout in the home 22m the Knights elected to stand off the drive but eventually engaged, by which point they had retreated to the try line. Scrum half Chris Pilgrim broke on the blindside and fed Ryan Burrows who charged over the line, Leonard could not convert

The Doncaster response was a joy to behold, at full pace Paul Jarvis hit a perfect line to break through the Carnegie defences the fullback raced towards Jonah Holmes before drawing the defender to release Bulumakau. At full tilt the winger would not be stopped and raced away under the posts with Cusack making it a seven point score. Unfortunately Jarvis picked up and injury at this point and was forced from the field of play. Half time score Knights 17-11 Carnegie.

This week’s highlights will be well worth watching as, not long after the restart, the Knights scored a third and it was another contender for try of the month. Following a sublime break down the right hand side, possession was put back into centerfield where Simon Humberstone collected and showed some elusive evasion skills to cut back inside and fight through a number of tackles to score.

At 24-11 the Knights looked in total control however, there is a reason why Carnegie are one of only three sides to have toppled the Knights in the league this season and they showed their prowess in the game’s next quarter. Two tries following deep lineouts went the visitors way, firstly Stegmann crossed after the forwards drew a number of Knights defenders to create space out wide. Then shortly after replacement Chris Walker broke down the blindside from another driving maul and broke a tackle before feeding the oncoming David Doherty to get over in the corner. Leonard produced a fine conversion which bisected the uprights and all of a sudden the gap was just one point, 24-23.

A floor infringement gave Cusack a chance to put some more points on the board and he did not disappoint with a pin point penalty but Carnegie remained on the front foot. Replacement second row Tyler Hotson paid the penalty for repeated indiscipline by the home pack as he was yellow carded as the Knights struggled to halt another driving maul. With a man advantage Carnegie looked to go to the corner once more with the penalty. What followed was an almost carbon copy of the Stegmann try, this time Doherty profited from the space created by the powerful forwards drive for his second of the afternoon. Leonard missed the extras, 27-28.

With less than ten minutes to play the Knights threw everything forward and it seemed that they might be in when they won a penalty around 40m out. Cusack’s conversion got caught in the wind and dropped wide but the Knights weren’t done.

As the scoreboard clocked ticked towards 80 minutes the Knights mounted an attack and Cusack produced a deft chip that bounced perfectly for Bulumakau, the centre collected and fed Mat Clark who was hauled down inches short of the line. The Knights quickly moved the ball wide where Matt Challinor very unselfishly handed on to Michael Hills who raced over to score. Cusack’s successful conversion made the score 34-28.

In the dying second the Knights were able to run down the clock and held on for a stunning win that extends their unbeaten run in the league to ten games.

Match Statistics

Knights XV; 15) Paul Jarvis (Simon Humberstone 35′), 14) Andy Bulumakau, 13) Mat Clark, 12) Will Hurrell, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Dec Cusack, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Rich List (Tiziano Pasquali 61′), 2) Ben Hunter (Ted Stagg 70′), 3) Colin Quigley (WillGriff John 61′), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Jon Phelan (Tyler Hotson 61′), 6) Latu Makaafi (Glen Young 74′), 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw

Replacements; 16) Ted Stagg, 17) Tiziano Pasquali, 18) WillGriff John, 19) Tyler Hotson, 20) Glen Young, 21) Simon Humberstone, 22) Brad Field.

Tries; Bulumakau 15′, 34′, Humberstone 47′, Hills 77′.

Conv; Cusack 15′, 34′, 47′, 77′

Pens; Cusack 27′, 64′

Sin bin; Hotson 69′

Carnegie XV; 15) Jonah Holmes, 14) Seb Stegmann, 13) Pete Lucock (Joel Hodgson 59′), 12) Tom Casson (Andy Forsyth 48′), 11) David Doherty, 10) Harry Leonard, 9) Chris Pilgrim, 1) Charlie Beech (Lewis Boyce 65′), 2) Phil Nilsen, 3) Rob O’Donnell (Ben Hooper 65′), 4) Dean Schofield, 5) Matt Smith, 6) Chris Jones (c) (Jarad Williams 40′), 7) Andy Saull, 8) Ryan Burrows.

Replacement; 16) Joe Graham, 17) Lewis Boyce, 18) Ben Hooper, 19) Jarad Williams, 20) Chris Walker, 21) Joel Hodgson, 22) Andy Forsyth.

Tries; Burrows 30′, Stegmann 50′, Doherty 59′, 69′

Conv; Leonard 59′

Pens; Leonard 5′, 20′

Attendance; 2,331

Referee; Luke Pearce

Image by Ickledot.

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