Phoenix Report | Kendo pleased with reaction in Broadstreet victory

Director of Rugby Development Glen Kenworthy was delighted to see the reaction he called for from Doncaster Phoenix, as they bounced back to winning ways on Saturday.

Phoenix secured an excellent 52-14 win over the Broadstreet with eight tries in a fantastic display at Castle Park.

Kendo gave his thoughts on the game:

“It was a good day, eight tries at home you can’t ask for much more than that. Will Smith played really well and has done so for most of the season.

The best part of the win was to see the reaction from the defeat to Burton, we showed a lot of character and played with good intensity for the majority of the game.”

The Midlands Premier side have won four of their last seven home games in a good turn of form since early December.

“Our home form this season has been a positive and i believe that is down to the advantage of having an AGP pitch. It is tough on the body, but the boys like playing on it as it is the same dimensions as pitch 1 and we feel we can stretch the opposition defence and it has given us the chance to score very, very good tries.”

Kendo has now been in his new role since the start of the season and is enjoying the challenge.

“It is new to me and it is a challenge. The Academy are flying and it is fantastic to see how they have progressed and deservedly have won the title.

Also at my coaching role in the Yorkshire U20s it is great to see James Boyd-Bell and Elliot Webb progress into that team from the Academy and they both played in a good win recently.”

Academy secure league title after 29-12 win

The Academy side secured the BUCS Northern 1A league title after defeating Newcastle University 29-12 on Wednesday night.

Northumbria’s surprise defeat to Keele in their last game of the season, meant the fantastic victory at Castle Park was enough for the Doncaster College students to earn the top spot with a game to go.

Head Coach Tyson Lewis’ side started on the front foot from the whistle scoring two tries thanks to the forward pack and Matty Drennan in the first half. Seth Adams converted both as well slotting away a penalty to take a commanding 17-0 lead at the interval.

In the second half, the Academy outfit continued their dominance of the game and dotted down on another two occasions to end the score 29-12 and take them to top of the league and become champions.

Tyson was delighted to win the league title with one game to go.

” I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication the side have shown and put in over the months leading up to winning the league on Wednesday night. I am often astonished by the level of sacrifice and dedication that young men show to get their goals and stick with something they put their minds too.

Certainly this year we have had our ups and downs with injuries, but the boys have dug deep and stuck with it.”

The Doncaster Knights winger also gave his assessment of the excellent display on Wednesday night.

“The game on Wednesday was what we have been striving for, it was a complete performance. It was an 80 minute performance and even though there are areas to tidy up on, which we’ll go through on the review we are delighted with the way we played rugby and the intent we played with in the conditions, we are very proud as a coaching staff.”

The Academy must now face a play off game with a side from the Premier 2 division to gain promotion.

“We go into the Play off game next, we are full of confidence. We are keeping our feet on the ground as promotion is not there yet. We wait to see who we will play next and go from there.”

Academy Focus | ‘We have to beat Newcastle’ says Assistant Coach Burhan Torgut

The Academy face Newcastle University 2nd team today in a must win game as they chase the Northern 1A title.

Assistant Coach Burhan Torgut is aware of the pressure of the game as nine points from the last two remaining fixtures are needed to be champions.

“We have to beat Newcastle, after that we will look ahead, but it all comes down to this game first and whether we can play at our best.”

Last time out the Academy secured a 52-8 win over Keele, Burhan was delighted with the manner of the win.

“It was good to get back to winning ways after the disappointing defeat to Northumbria. There was some clinical attack and the reaction was great to see and is pleasing for us as a coaching team. It was driven by the players and gives the side some confidence going into the Newcastle game, which is the biggest game of the season.

We held onto possession really well and when we attacked we looked really dangerous.

The width of our play; Keele couldn’t handle it and even though we could have scored more tries, it was pleasing to see 50+ points on the board. The set-pieces were once again good, and i can’t praise our forward pack enough and the work that Chall, Listy and Kendo do with them is great.”

From the victory, there were a number of bright performances that caught the Doncaster Knights’ Analyst eye in the eight try win.

“James Boyd-Bell and Josh Cox both played really well against Keele and have both been stalwarts in that pack. I though the whole back line put in a good performance and it was great to see Seth playing well and bossing the whole team around.

Obviously, the two tries from Jack Townend were impressive and he always looks dangerous.”

Come down and support the stars of the future at Castle Park in their penultimate game of the season! 6pm kick off on the first team pitch!


Academy run riot with eight try victory

The Academy side produced a fantastic performance to earn a 52-8 victory over Keele University on Wednesday.

The youngsters scored eight tries to take them to second in the BUCS Northern 1A league table, just two points behind the league leaders.

Four first half tries from Sam Nunn twice, Jack Townend and Tom O’Brien set the side up for a excellent display.

The pick of the bunch, a superb break from Townend from just inside the opposition half to brush off a couple of Keele tackles, before offloading to a supporting O’Brien to score in the corner.

After the interval, Head Coach Tyson Lewis’ outfit continued their terrific performance with Townend finding a gap down the wing to score his second of the afternoon.

Forwards James Boyd-Bell then drove over after some good build up play from the Doncaster College students. Joe Barnes then added a try to his impressive game with Matthew Drennan’s quick thinking allowed a eighth try with a tapped penalty before barging his way over the try line.

The 52-8 win now means that with one game in hand on top of the table Northumbria University, with fixtures with Newcastle and Keele left to play.

Support the stars of the future next Wednesday in the penultimate game of the Academy season when they entertain Newcastle University 2s at Castle Park, 6.30pm kick off.

Academy Focus | Richard List aiming to bounce back in Keele clash at Castle Park

The Academy face Keele University tomorrow knowing a win would strengthen their title hopes as they currently sit six points from the top of the table.

Coach Richard List is now aware that the side must aim for three wins to end the season to become champions of the Northern 1A.

“There is no getting around it, the pressure is on and we have to win these next three games. We have Keele home and away as well as Newcastle at home, so we would love as much support as possible for the lads at Castle Park. The defeat to Northumbria if anything did us a favour to keep the lads grounded and to keep working hard as the job is not done yet.”

The Doncaster College students were defeated by Northumbria 33-22 last Wednesday with Listy reflecting on the game.

“We let ourselves down really, we weren’t good enough in the attack, we weren’t fizzing it around and getting into shape. Our play in the rucks wasn’t at its best and the ball was getting slowed up. Just generally there were a few little bits and it grew into a larger situation.”

The Academy scored three second half tries to earn a bonus point, which the Doncaster Phoenix prop pleased with the attitude of the performance.

“It was a positive to score four tries, we could have had another point really with how we played in the second half and scored another try. However, we gave away a penalty in the last minute and the chance went. It was good to see the boys show the intent and character to carry on playing until the final whistle. We carried on attacking, going forward and trying to play the brand of rugby we are looking for.”

Doncaster are back in action at Castle Park against Newcastle University on Wednesday 11th March with a 6.30pm kick off. Before that though they welcome bottom of the league Keele tomorrow at home for 3pm kick off after the fixture was reversed to due flooded pitches.

Academy Focus | ‘It is a big game’ Tyson Lewis previews Northumbria fixture

The Academy travel north today to face Northumbria University in an important game in the BUCS Northern 1A league title race.

The opposition currently sit in second place with 36 points having played 10 games. While Head Coach Tyson Lewis’ side are fourth on 33 points after eight games, with a five point win increasing the pressure on top of the table Durham, who have 39 points, but have played 12 matches.

Tyson was delighted with the last victory over Durham as the side took the spoils back home.

“It was a very good performance, in the attack we looked the best we have done all season. The forwards do what they always do and gave us a good platform to play off.”

The Academy outfit defeated Northumbria in the reverse fixture at Castle Park, but the Knights’ winger aware of the important of the game if the side are to win the league.

“It is a big game, it is a pivotal point in the league. If we go there and win we put ourselves very much in pole position for becoming champions.”

Six of the Academy side, Matthew Drennan, Allan Hudson, Elliot Webb, George Tankard, James Boyd-bell and Josh Cox featured for the Yorkshire U20s side last weekend. A feat the Head Coach is pleased with to show the progress of the players’ hard work while in the Academy set up.

“The boys are going from strength to strength. If we can carry on putting boys in the representation leagues it will be great.

Hopefully now we can get some boys in the U17s and U18s through the AOC. Hats off to the boys they played well for the Yorkshire U20s at the weekend.”

Academy Focus | ‘Some of tries were outstanding’ Kendo praises league win

The Academy continued their league winning form with a 45-20 win over Durham 4s last Wednesday at Castle Park.

A blistering first half from the home side earned a 38-3 score line after the first 40 minutes.

“The first 40 was the best performance we have put together this season. Some of the tries were outstanding, the hunger of the boys to win was there from the start.

We were just happy to continue the good form in the league.”

Director of Rugby Development Glen Kenworthy praised the overall display and the character the squad showed to bounce back from the cup exit to Manchester.

“The Durham 4s are a tricky team to play, we put them to the sword for the first 20 minutes. In the second half, we gave a few boys a rest, others the opportunity to show their talents. Some of those did well. We may have lost our structure at times in the second half, but overall it is a five point win and we are delighted with that and the performance.

The cup game was good for the boys, they learnt a lot from the defeat. Manchester Met are in the league above and doing well, we more than competed with them. The score line flatters them massively. The boys walked away disappointed, but positive that we gave it our all.”

Next up for the Academy is top of the table Northumbria. Although the Doncaster College students only sit three points behind, but have two games in hand.

” Northumbria away and Newcastle at home are both massive games. They are probably the two in form teams. They’ll plan to knock us off our perch.

We’ll plan well, we have a bit of time before the games. A few boys will be back from injuries which is a big boost. We are confident that we can do the job and get two wins.”

Academy star Elliot Webb calls for more students to join

As we enter the second month of the new year and many students now deciding their next place of education.

Doncaster College student Elliot Webb believes that the Academy is the perfect opportunity to combine education and a love of rugby.

‘’I think if you love rugby, but also want to get an education alongside that and want to build a future for yourself whether it’s in sport or out of sport, I think it’s a great opportunity for anyone.”

The Sport Science student is currently in his second year with the university and is looking to graduate with a degree in the summer of 2021.

Elliot is coached by Doncaster Knights winger Tyson Lewis, with the side currently on a seven-game winning streak. The youngster reflected on a fantastic 2019 for the Academy outfit.

‘’I think it was a good first half of the season, we started off slow with the first loss here at Castle Park, obviously we’ve come back from that, we’ve worked hard, and now from the performances at the back end of 2019, it’s left us in a good place going in to 2020.”

Elliot is relishing the opportunity of playing three leagues higher than last season, after the Academy was promoted three leagues higher after an independent assessment in the summer.

‘’I think the rise up the leagues has challenged us all and made us work hard, it has 100% made us better players.

Obviously, it took some adapting, which was shown with a loss in the first game.

I think the way in which we’ve come back from that as a team shows good character and I think we’re in a great position to push on and hopefully win the league.”

The Academy have their first game of the new decade away against Durham University on Wednesday, with Elliot keen to start the year off with a win.

‘’There’s no easy games, especially having gone up three leagues, obviously we still want to take maximum points from it as we do in any game.

Every game and every point counts, but we’ll be using it for the same reason as any other, to keep working hard, and to build on it going into the remainder of the season.”


Sam Nunn ranks Academy win at Liverpool his best ever

The Academy side gave their league title hopes further confidence with a seventh straight victory on Wednesday afternoon.

A 21-26 away win at top of the league Liverpool University 1st team side kept the side in third place in the Northern 1A. However they are currently just two points behind Durham 3rds, who lead the way after seven games.

Sam Nunn ranked the result as one of his best wins with the Academy side.

“It is right up there, probably the best we’ve had to be honest. It was a very tough game, they are a good side and are well drilled. We came together and got the win, which puts us in a great position entering the new year.”

The winger believes the work off the field has been a pivotal point in their seven game winning run.

“Seven wins on the bounce you can’t complain after losing the first game, we’ve worked hard in training and improved a lot. We have built together a well balanced team and obviously the league title is what we want and i think we are more than capable of getting it now.

Our training ground work has been good, we’ve improved game on game, there is still plenty to work on, but we are in a good position now and we couldn’t be happier.”

Despite being behind with the first half looming, the winger was pleased with the comeback and defensive work from the group.

“It was a pretty slow start, but we built into the game and stuck to our processes. We managed to drive over the first try which gave a confidence boost, but we went down to 14 men and conceded two so that left us a tough place.

We showed a very, very good defensive display all together in the game.

Once we got 15 back on the pitch, we rallied together well and got the win in the second half.”

The Doncaster College students are next in action in the new year at Castle Park on the 22nd January against Keele University 6.30pm kick off.


Academy secure fantastic away win against top of the league

The Academy side gave their league title hopes further confidence on Wednesday with a seventh straight victory.

A 21-26 away win at top of the league Liverpool University 1st team side kept the side in third place in the Northern 1A. However they are currently just two points behind Durham 3rds who lead the way after seven games.

Head Coach Tyson Lewis’ side took the lead in the early encounters within the first 15 minutes after a superb driving maul. Although, the home side rallied back and had a 14-7 at the halfway stage of the first half.

The Doncaster Knights stars of the future continued to battle back though and went into the interval level after a Kieran Nicholson try and a Seth Adams conversion.

Once the second half got underway it was the Merseyside University that took the dominance of the game with another try to make it 21-14 after 45 minutes. That was the home side’s last score of the game though, as the Academy started to play with intensity and tempo as the game edged further into the second half.

First a Sam Nunn try after good hands across the backline got the visitors within touching distance of the victory. Which was then sealed with another fantastic driving maul try, this time Fraser Leiper dotting down to earn the Doncaster College students an excellent away victory against top of the league.

AGM Safety sponsor Academy stars for this season

Club sponsors AGM Safety have agreed a partnership with the Academy side to be on the front of the home and away shirt for the 2019/20 season.

Long standing followers of the Knights, the Health & Safety company are now supporting the stars of the future as they strive for another BUCS league title.

Adrian Marsden, the owner and Lead Consulant of AGM Safety was delighted to create a new association by sponsoring the Academy.

“It is great to be able to support the next generation of hopefully Doncaster players, we love our association with the Knights, and this is another step in helping our brand awareness & we have made some fantastic connections already through the partnership with the club.

We have become big rugby fans and are regularly at Castle Park to cheer on the team bringing our family and friends along to matches, I hope that the Academy can continue their great success so far and I am pleased I can be a part of that.”

The student side have started their season in impressive fashion and are currently on a six game winning streak to take them to third in the table.

The Academy fixtures can be found here

Head Coach Tyson Lewis was pleased that the Mexborough based company had chosen to sponsor the Academy this season.

” We are very appreciative of Adrian and the rest of AGM Safety for sponsoring us, they have obviously been a long standing supporter of the Knights.

They have a good connection with the club, it is great to see them not only supporting the rugby side of the Academy, but the education side as well and championing the sporting excellence alongside the education. We are looking for more and more local companies to do that and help us grow.”