Knights 70-12 Cardiff Blues Premiership Select XV.
The Knights picked up their second British and Irish Cup win of the season in emphatic fashion at Castle Park as they comprehensively beat Cardiff Blues Select XV by 70 points to 12.
Donny scored freely throughout the game and in all honesty looked superior to their Welsh opposition in all departments.
The scoring began with the game just two minutes old, a purposeful carry from Lloyd Hayes playing at full back, moved the Knights into the Blues 22m where indiscipline at the ruck gifted Donny a kick to the corner.
The pack secured possession and, after a patient drive, moved in field. A series of carries saw the side get to within in touching distance of the try line before Michael Heaney hit Curtis Wilson on a hard line and the winger would not be denied.
Simon Humberstone converted the first of nine successful conversions from nine attempts on the day in what was a truly exceptional display with the boot.
The lead was doubled only moments later with a slightly unusual score finished by Mat Clark.
Ambitious handling from the Blues saw an offload juggled and the intercepted by Michael Heaney, the scrum half quickly fed Tyson Lewis who broke down field. Lewis then handed on to Hayes who looked to have a clear run in but pulled up short with what appeared to be a hamstring concern – thankfully Clark was in support and finished the move.
The Knights third came following a promising Blues drive.
Having found good field position through a Ben Jones penalty to touch, the line out misfired with Nick Civetta the first to react. The lock showed an impressive turn of pace to burst into the Cardiff half before flinging an audacious offload to Tyson Lewis. The winger did exceptionally well to hold the pass and keep his stride to cross and score.
With three scores in the opening quarter of an hour perhaps the Knights got a tiny bit complacent and let the Blues in for a try - well-taken by Dane Backer. Following a nice driving lineout, the scrum half hit and inside line to dart over and put the visitors on the scoreboard.
The bonus point came for Donny soon after and from a fine individual effort. Declan Cusack, who replaced Hayes at full back early on, fielded a kick down field and handed on to Jason Hill. From well within his own half Hill set off to evade all of five tacklers and score just wide of the posts.
The Donny pack held the upper hand all afternoon and asserted their dominance just after the half hour mark when referee Jonny Erskine awarded a penalty try as the home forwards rumbled through their opposites centimeters short of the try line.
The visitors had the final say of the first half producing a nicely worked try moments before the break.
Quick phase play and smart hands opened up room down the right hand side and centre Harri Millard speedily finished the over lap. Half time score 35-12.
It would have needed a comeback of epic proportions from the Welshmen to have prevented a Knights win in the second half but, even so, many would have found it hard not to be impressed by the clinical second forty Donny produced.
The Knights matched their five try effort from the first half in the second and with some fine efforts among them.
Jason Hill got his second shortly after the resumption but it was a score all eight forwards will claim as the Knights scrum pushed the Blues into their own goal area giving Hill the simplest of tasks to ground.
The Blues then kept the Knights out valiantly until a final fifteen-minute flourish really added gloss to the score line.
Joe Sproston’s effort on 65 minute’s was a joy to watch as the tighthead linked up with fellow front row Jack Bergmanas to produce some silky hands and footwork to put the big man away.
Michael Heaney finished a superb team try shortly after as the Knights let rip with some exciting running and offloading to warm the freezing cold Castle Park crowd.
Tom James and Matt Challinor both crossed in the dying stages and Simon Humberstone completed his lazerlike display from the kicking tee to goal them both from out wide.
Next weekend the Knights travel to Sardis Road for the repeat of today’s fixture, knowing full well the Blues side will pose a renewed threat on home soil
Knights; 15) Lloyd Hayes (Declan Cusack 10’), 14) Curtis Wilson, 13) Mat Clark (Tom James 61’), 12) Will Owen, 11) Tyson Lewis, 10) Simon Humberstone, 9) Michael Heaney, 1) Richard List (Owen Evans 54’), 2) Ben Hunter (Jack Bergmanas 52’), 3) Colin Quigley (Joe Sproston 52’), 4) Nick Civetta, 5) Morgan Eames (Adam Batt 58’), 6) Alex Shaw, 7) Will Owen, 8) Jason Hill.
Replacements; 16) Jack Bergmanas, 17) Owen Evans, 18) Joe Sproston, 19) Matt Challinor, 20) Adam Batt, 21) Tom James, 22) Declan Cusack.
Tries; Wilson 2’, Clark 8’, Lewis 15’, Hill 25’, 48’, Penalty 33’, Sproston 64’, Heaney 66’, James 77’, Challinor 80’
Conv; Humberstone 3’, 9’, 15’, 25’, 33’, 48’, 64’, 77’, 80’
Cardiff Blues Premiership Select: 15) Patric Lewis, 14) Corey Howells, 13) Harri Millard, 12) Max Llewellyn, 11) James Beal, 10) Ben Jones (Ben Thomas 35’), 9) Dane Blacker (Dafydd Smith 40’), 1) Rhys Carre (Louis Jones 66’), 2) Joe Page (Ian Jenkins 63’), 3) Joe Rees, 4) Josh Hawkins (Owain Lloyd 59’), 5) Ben Murphy, 6) Shane Lewis-Hughes (C), 7) Sion Edwards, 8) Gareth Jones (Alun Lawrence 38’) Replacements: 16) Ian Jenkins, 17) Louis Jones, 18) Owain Lloyd, 19) Alun Lawrence, 20) Jamie Hill, 21) Ben Thomas, 22) Dafydd Smith
Tries; Blacker 22’, Millard 38’
Conv; Jones 22’
Referee: Jonny Erskine