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Home quarter final secured with Cup win.

Doncaster Knights ended their 2014 Castle Park campaign with a resounding 54-0 victory over Welsh Premiership outfit Cross Keys. The victory completes a perfect six victories from six games in pool four of the British and Irish Cup.

Prior to kick off Griff’s charges knew that single point would be enough to secure a home quarter final but the win, combined with Rotherham’s defeat to Carnegie means the Knights progress as the competitions top seeded side.

Last weekend the Knights waited until the final 15 minutes of the game to show off their attacking capabilities but they were not hanging around this week. Despite a couple of early handling error Doncaster’s attacking intent was very obvious, Tomasi Palu looked as if he may have recorded the game’s opening score with a superb break down the blind side put was called back by the touch judge. It would not matter however as the Knights were soon back on the attack, with penalty advantage, the team broke through Dougie Flockhart and then Bevon Armitage. The number 12 carried the move forward before putting Paul Jarvis away to open the scoring.

The Knights, boosted by the return of centre Andy Bulumakau looked dangerous every time they were able to get the ball out wide, on occasion though poor handling put paid to promising attacks. It was in fact through the forwards that the Knights next registered on the scoreboard. A penalty well within the kicking range of Flockhart was put to the corner and a textbook driving lineout surged the Knights forward before Latu Makaafi touched down.

Both defenses made their presence felt as the half continued and on a couple of occasions tempers flared, referee Stuart Graffikin deciding a talking to both captains was sufficient action. Keys were enjoying good spells of possession but suffered a double blow just after the half hour mark. Firstly Skipper Scott Matthews was sin binned for side entry at a ruck as the Knights pushed towards the Keys line. The resulting penalty was put to the corner and as the Donny pack set about driving towards goal the maul was illegally pulled down. Referee Graffikin awarded the Knights a penalty try and gave second row Tom Lampard a ten-minute rest for his part.

Keys held out with thirteen men until the half but shortly after were under their own posts again as Matt Challinor scored his second try in two games, reacting quickest to a loose ball after a break by the Knights down the left hand side. Chall’s try ensured the all important four-try bonus point meaning it was mission accomplished as far as securing home field advantage in the quarter final stage. Cross Keys could not qualify for the knock out stages meaning the final stages of the game were a care free spectacle of free-flowing, attacking rugby.

Back to a full compliment the visitors made inroads up field having made wholesale changes in the front row; again the Knights defenses would not be breeched. Andy Bulumakau marked what was a fine return to competitive action after injury with a score on the 46th minute. The centre collecting from second row Jon Phelan before jinking his way past would be defenders to touch down.

Credit must go to Cross Keys who continued to play with attacking intent despite the score line but the Knights just seemed to get better as the game wore on. More opportunities went the Knights way with; Palu, Bulumakau and Lewis all looking very dangerous and it was just a matter of time before they crossed again.

Tyson Lewis reminded Knights fans of just how dangerous he can be when he is given space. The winger collected following an Armitage break and pinned his ears back to score from about forty metres out.

On the hour mark Griff rang the changes in and encouragingly both Ross Davies and Brad Field entered the fray after lengthy injuries and made positive contributions.

The next Knights score was a joy to watch, the team broke up field with the ball spun from Paul Roberts to Piers Francis who offloaded to Tyson Lewis who eventually found Dougie Flockhart. The Scotsman sprinted over to touch down.

With the game clock wearing down the Knights produced one final score, Tyson’s second of the afternoon. Bulumakau produced another mesmerising break and flung a speculative wide pass out to Lewis, the winger collected and would not be stopped, touching down in the corner. From the touchline Dougie was just unable to make the conversion on an otherwise perfect performance with the boot and a personal total of 19 points.

Cross Keys fought to the bitter end and spent the final ten minutes camped in the Knights twenty-two metre area. The home side held firm once again to record a 54-0 victory and book their place in the B&I Cup quarterfinals at Castle Park.

15) Paul Jarvis (Paul Roberts 40’), 14) Dougie Flockhart, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Bevon Armitate, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Piers Francis, 9) Tomasi Palu (Brad Field 63’), 1) Richard List (Riccardo Brugnara 48’), 2) Villiame Veikoso (Jack Bergmanas 60’), 3) WillGriff John (Ross Davies 57’), 4) Matt Challinor (Tyler Hotson 60’), 5) Jon Phelan, 6) Latu Makaafi, 7) Michael Hills ©, 8) Alex Shaw (Phil Eggleshaw 57’)

 

16) Riccardo Brugnara, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Ross Davies, 19) Tyler Hotson, 20) Phil Eggleshaw, 21) Paul Roberts, 22) Brad Field.

 

Tries; Jarvis 8’, Makaafi 13’, Penalty 33’, Challinor 43’, Bulumakau 46’, Lewis 61’, 70, Flockhart 66’

Conv; Flockhart 8’, 13’ , 33’ 43’, 46’, 61’, 66’

Pens

 

15. Ryan Lee 14. Ashton Hewitt 13. Polu Uhi 12. Jack Dixon 11. Lloyd Lewis 10. James Leadbeater 9. Owen Jones 1. Luke Garrett (Richard Cornock 46’) 2. Darren Hughes (Jon Howard 50’) 3. Alex Jefferies (Anthony Lott 46’) 4. Danny Hodge (Simon Williams 46’) 5. Tom Lampard 6. Reuben Tucker (Josh Skinner 54’) 7. Scott Matthews (c) 8. Adam Powell

 

Replacements: 16. Jon Howard, 17. Richard Cornock, 18. Anthony Lott, 19. Simon Williams, 20. Josh Skinner, 21. Nathan Trowbridge, 22. Owen Jones.

 

Sin bin: Scott Matthews 33’, Tom Lampard 35’

 

Attendance: 1,421

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