Knights 44-0 Titans,
The Knights have held the upper hand in recent South Yorkshire derbies, having won each of the previous four encounters between the two sides. Despite this few would have predicted that they would dispatch their South Yorkshire rivals quite so convincingly in the latest renewal; outscoring the Titans six tries to nil in a 44-0 rout at Caste Park.
As they did last weekend, the Knights made an electric start and scored the game’s first try before some Castle Park fans had managed to make it to their seats.
A penalty from the kick off allowed Simon Humberstone to kick his side into the Roth half and from their the pack produced an almighty drive.
The forwards rumbled deep into the Titans 22m before Michael Heaney broke and darted towards the line. The scrum half got within a metre before being hauled down but from the subsequent phase Alex Shaw barreled over. Humberstone comfortably added the extras.
The Titans still seemed to be reeling from the first score when the Knights struck again.
Again, a powerful driving maul from the pack was the foundation before the backs finished tidily. From a lineout Donny won a penalty advantage and ran possession in field, the stretched Rotherham defence managed to cover across but, from the base of the ruck, Heaney spotted a gap and sprinted over.
Having been subjected to a barrage of attacks in the opening ten minutes Rotherham were able to gain a foothold in the game after the second try and enjoyed some useful spells of possession at the end of the first quarter. The early scrums were hotly but it was Donny who continued to look the more impressive and they added to their score just before the half hour mark with a Humberstone penalty.
Unfortunately for the visitors the Knights finished the half in the same attacking vein they started it and had a third with five minutes left to play.
A serious of powerful carries moved Donny downfield with the forwards and backs interlinking beautifully. The Titans defended admirably to stem the onslaught but eventually room was created out wide and, following some slick hands, Junior Bulumakau was able to find brother Andy to race over.
Humberstone’s conversion struck the up right but he made amends on the stroke of half time with another penalty meaning Donny lead 25-0 at the change of ends.
The Knights continued to dominate following the break and added a bonus point try just five minutes after the resumption. Junior Bulumakau produced a mazy run down the right hand side which had the visitors scrambling backwards. Quick phases were repelled by the Titans but eventually a gap was found as Humberstone produced a nice show and go before diving over.
If the result was in any doubt it was sealed ten minutes later with Andy Bulumakau’s second of the afternoon. Matt Challinor got in the air well to spoil a Titans lineout deep in their own 22m and replacement back row Jason Hill scooped up the extras to drive into the Titans line. Possession was moved smartly infield and a fine direct carry in midfield was offloaded to Bulumakau who raced away to score.
Both sides made a raft of substitutions around the hour mark and the scoring was stemmed for a while, however, the Knights continued to control proceedings and the attacking threat seemed near constant despite inclement conditions. The Titans did rally in the final ten minutes and had a couple of driving lineouts deep in the Knights 22m but on both occasions their execution let them down and Donny Knights held on to the clean sheet.
Doncaster who had the final say on proceedings as they compounded the Titans misery with a sixth try moments before the final whistle. Good front foot ball was quickly put through hands and Charlie Foley released a superbly timed pass wide to Junior Bulumakau who was about to round Will Thomas and touch down.
With the last kick of the game replacement fly half Declan Cusack slotted a touchline conversion to make the final score 44-0.
Rarely has a derby fixture been quite so one sided and the Titans will surely bounce back stronger but for the Knights it’s now two wins from two and result to live long in the memory.
Knights XV; 15) Charlie Foley, 14) Junior Bulumakau, 13) Andy Bulumakau, 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone (Declan Cusack 59’), 9) Michael Heaney (Tom James 54’), 1) Richard List Jack Bergmanas 50’), 2) Ben Hunter (David Nelson 58’), 3) Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 69’), 4) Matt Challinor, 5) Tom Hicks (Morgan Eames 55’), 6) Alex Shaw, 7) Michael Hills (C), 8) Aaron Carpenter (Jason Hill 54’)
Replacements; 16) David Nelson, 17) Jack Bergmanas, 18) Joe Sproston, 19) Morgan Eames, 20) Jason Hill, 21) Tom James, 22) Declan Cusack.
Tries; Shaw 2’, Heaney 10’, Andy Bulumakau 36’, 55’, Humberstone 44’, Junior Bulumakau 80’
Conv; Humberstone 2’, 10’, 55’, Cusack 80’
Pens; Humberstone 28’, 40
Titans: 15 Will Thomas, 14 Jake Henry, 13 Luke Peters, 12 Joe Barker (Yiannis Loizias 59’), 11 Drew Cheshire, 10 Lee Millar, 9 Rhodri Davies, 1 Toby Williams, 2 Luke Cole (Johnny Murphy 54’), 3 Matt Shields (Tom Williams 65’), 4 James Lasis (Adam Peters 46’), 5 Byron Hodge, 6 Dan Grange, 7 Tom Calladine (Capt.) (Andrew Foster 65’), 8 Ifereimi Boladau (Tom Burns 52’).
Replacements: 16 Jonny Murphy, 17 Tom Williams, 18 Andrew Foster, 19 Adam Peters, 20 Tom Burns, 21 Francisco Vieira, 22 Yiannis Loizias.
Referee: Ian Tempest