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Match Report | Championship Rugby, Round Ten | Doncaster Knights 26 – 20 Bedford Blues

Match Report | Championship Rugby, Round Ten | Doncaster Knights 26 – 20 Bedford Blues


Doncaster Knights 26 Bedford Blues 20 by Guy Williams.

Imagery by John Ashton @ickledot


Doncaster’s post-match celebrations in the home dressing room at Castle Park shook the entire stadium; rightly so, because after successive league defeats, this victory during a close and entertaining contest showed that the Knights were returning to form.


They were somewhat fortunate to win their sixth match in nine because in the last-minute Doncaster could well have lost. Bedford winger, Dean Adamson, with the line begging to be crossed and with no defender in sight, inexplicably dropped the ball, so the Knights survived, and given the inaccurate form of the Blues’ goal-kicker, Will Maisey, the fly half might have missed the conversion.


He’d already failed to convert any of Bedford’s four tries, so arguably Doncaster were again lucky, but compared with the displays against Caldy and Ampthill, they were aggressive, creative and sharper all-round.


Scoring chances were missed,though.However,their dominant pack, setting up tries for full back Jack Metcalf, prop Harrison Courtney and winger Maliq Holden were highly competitive enabling Doncaster to retain their fourth position in the Championship.


This much needed win was timed perfectly because they now begin preparations for Saturday’s clash away at Ealing Trailfinders, one of their hardest challenges of the league campaign. Doncaster will be without hooker Tom Doughty who suffered a nasty blow to the head against Bedford and regular fly half, Sam Olver, out for three months, following an injury against Ampthill.


In Olver’s place, Doncaster’s place-kicking role was taken over against Bedford by centre Russell Bennett who joined the squad after the financial collapse of Jersey Reds, winners of the Championship last season.


Bennett’s skilful goal kicking, a conversion and three significant penalties on 15, 40 and 60 minutes, played a major contribution towards Doncaster’s success.


“The pleasing aspect was that we were really physical against Bedford and dominated them up front in attack and defence. We killed them with our physicality and stayed in the game.


“ We held on to the ball for long phases and took our chances. I’ve settled in nicely, have been welcomed and am loving it here.Morale is high. That’s not been an issue.


“ Obviously, we don’t know what’s going on with the future of the Championship, but I’m a lot happier now after the turbulence at Jersey Reds,” said Bennett.


His boss, Director of Rugby Steve Boden, was much happier too.


“ I’m very proud of their efforts, but we let Bedford off the hook and should have scored 40 points given our field positions and dominance. We need to be better.”


Doncaster Knights: Metcalf, Simpson, Margetts, Bennett, Holden, McBryde, Fox(Dolly 73), Courtney(Davidson 52), Doughty( Terry 4), Barrett(Thiede 62), Wilson, Mintern(Ehizode 58),Smeaton(Hopkinson 71), Tait, Digby.


Bedford Blues:Le Bourgeios, French, Elliott(Worley 52), Matavesi(Grimoldby 66), Adamson, Maisey,Day(Lennon 48), Jack(Conway 49), Fish(Heffernan 54), O’Connor(Wright 28), Lockett, Woolford(Williams 54), Frost, Howard, King(Curran 49).


Referee: Joe James.


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