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MATCH REPORT vs Cornish Pirates | Knights 27 – 27 Pirates

An extraordinary game at Castle Park, in which there was one red card and three yellows, saw an outstanding recovery by Doncaster who played most of the contest with 14 men and yet surprisingly drew, having been 22-3 behind 10 minutes into the second half.

Report by: Guy Williams

Photo Credit: John Ashton 

Both sides were guilty of a lack of discipline with Doncaster’s winger, Maliq Holden, being shown a red card and later flanker Fyn Brown was sin-binned, so at one stage the Knights were reduced to 13 only.

Pirates, too, regularly upset the referee who penalised them 21 times and also handed out yellow cards for deliberate knock-ons to winger Will Trewin and centre Ioan Evans.

At one point, it seemed the referee had lost control as a mass brawl erupted, but in between all the ill-discipline, several good tries were scored in an encounter resulting in three points for Pirates and two for Doncaster.

Pirates were well on top after the break following two tries by hooker Morgan Nelson, the award of a penalty try and then a fourth from Trewin, so with a lead of 22-3, Pirates should have been home and dry.

Instead, the Knights produced a remarkable fight-back in which they smashed the Pirates’ defence on 53, 57 and 77 minutes, and with fly half Russ Bennett kicking accurately-three conversions and two penalties-astonishingly Doncaster were drawing 27 all.

Collectively they started making decent use of the ball, creating a fine try for centre Joe Margetts, dashing in from 40 metres, and then the pace of winger George Simpson, again from 40 metres out, split the defence.

His second try, after sustained pressure by the forwards on the Pirates’ line, came from a long pass and as Simpson was unopposed, he touched down simply, but ran behind the posts making the conversion easier to draw level.

“ We made it hard for ourselves in the first half, but I’ve a lot of admiration for the team. With 13 men on the pitch, we were looking down a barrel, but we showed loads of character which is the number one trait you need in a team,” said Doncaster’s coach Joe Ford.


Having seemed to be certain of five points, Pirates’ joint head coach Gavin Cattle, was frustrated to head back to Penzance with only three.

“ We were in a commanding position at half time, so I’m disappointed, but give Doncaster credit because they were down to 14 men.

“ We gave them lifeline after lifeline and our errors fed Doncaster.”


Doncaster Knights: McBryde 7 Simpson 8, Margetts 8, Edwards 7, Holden, Bennett 8, Dolly 7(Fox 40 7), Davidson 6(Courtney 63 7), Roberts 6 (Terry 63 7), Thiede 6 (Barrett 48 7), Mintern 6 (Beckett 48 7), Brown 6 (63 Ehizode 7), Smeaton 7, Digby 7(Cant 57 7).


Cornish Pirates: Moyle 7, Trewin 6(Relton 67 6), Evans 6, Elderkin 7, McNab 7, Houston 7, Schwarz 7(Dawson 50 6), Zigiriadis 7(Andrew 61 6), Nelson 8(Williams 50 7), Johnson 7(Richardson 50 7), Britton 7(King 67 6), Barker 7, Everett 7, Stevens 7, Bokenham 7(Gibson 57 6).


Doncaster Knights:

Tries: Margett 53, Simpson 57,77. Conversions: Bennett 53, 57, 77. Penalties: Bennett: 42, 75.


Cornish Pirates:

Tries: Nelson 6, 38. Penalty try: 49. Trewin 50, Moyle 62.


Half time: 0-10.

Penalties conceded: 7-21.

Line outs won: 13-11.

Line outs lost: 4-3.

Scrums won: 3-3.

Scrums lost: 0-1.

Sin bin: Red card Maliq Holden 37 mins, yellow cards: Doncaster: Brown..Cornish Pirates: Trewin, Evans.

Referee: George Shelwood.

Attendance: 2012.

Star man: George Simpson – Doncaster Knights.


Next up at Castle Park: England vs France U19’s, Saturday 30th March, 1pm KO

Next up for the Knights: Knights vs Caldy, Sunday 14th April, 2:30pm KO 

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