Tyson Lewis focusing on finishing the season strong

Tyson Lewis is aiming to ‘finish the season strong’ as the Knights face Coventry next week when the final block of Championship fixtures gets underway.

The Doncaster players are currently on a week off before they return to training on Monday with Tyson ready to end the 2019/20 campaign in a positive fashion.

“It is a good thing for the boys to get away from rugby, rest and recuperate. When everyone comes back we’ll be switched on and with nine games left we have to finish the season strong for the club and to take momentum into next season.”

The 34-year-old gave his assessment on the defeat to Bedford Blues with the visitors enjoying plenty of territory, but failing to take advantage of it.

“We let ourselves down at times, we had a great opportunity to go there and set a marker down for ourselves going into the last nine games.

We have to go back to the drawing board and make sure we turn up against Coventry next week and show what we are about.

We had the advantage and we were camped in the Bedford half for plenty of the first half, but were unable to get over the line. Then when we are exceeding that much pressure, then you are vulnerable and Bedford were clinical.

Credit to them, they deserved to win, but in the game we made plenty of breaks, but failed to execute.”

Tyson and the rest of the Knights are back in action and looking to make it a fourth consecutive win at Castle Park.

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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.”

DKTV | Tyson Lewis reviews Jersey Reds victory

The Knights secured a fantastic 38-10 win over Jersey Reds last weekend with their best performance of the season.

Six tries, a hat-trick from Kyle Evans, set Doncaster up to dominate the game and were deserving of the five points to push up the Championship table.

Three first half scores from Evans, Colin Quigley and Tyson Lewis earned the home side and advantage heading into the second half. One they grasped with both hands, as Evans added to his tally for the afternoon with two more tries either side of Joe Sproston dotting down from close range.

Lewis scored his seventh try of the season just before half time to sway the balance of the game firmly in the favour of the home side.

The winger gave his thoughts earlier in the week after the excellent all round Doncaster display.

Tyson Lewis aiming to continue try scoring form tomorrow

Tyson Lewis is looking to continue his try-scoring form as the Knights travel to Ampthill on tomorrow (1.45pm KO).

The winger makes his return to the squad after a week on the side-lines.

‘’It’s one of those things that you get left out a week, and you’re itching to play again the following week, you get your opportunity and you just hope that you take it.”

The joint top-scorer this season for the Knights has scored three in his last four.

‘’I am definitely looking forward to going to Ampthill, hopefully get back on the try scoring bandwagon, it’s not going to be an easy game by any means, but yes I am looking forward to it.”

Tomorrow’s fixture with Ampthill is the first ever for the Knights, however the speedster is just treating it as any other game.

‘’I wouldn’t say I’m excited, it is what it is, it’s another game, another competitor and were going to go out there and look to win the game.

I can’t say there is any different feeling from going to Newcastle, Pirates or Nottingham down the road, we have to make sure we stick to the processes and hopefully we’ll get a positive outcome.”

After a last kick of the game victory over Nottingham last week, Tyson is looking to build on that tomorrow, and secure the Knights first back to back wins of the season.

‘’It’s all about going out there and getting a result, we are in a result driven environment, and we need to get the wins, not saying were overly under pressure to get the win but were competitors, with competitive individuals, and we want to win.”

A win tomorrow would see the Knights draw level with Ampthill in the league table, who currently sit 6th, but the 34-year-old is more concerned with the performance of the team.

‘’To be honest with you I don’t really look at the league or really get too flustered with league points, the coaches will deal with that.”

All I’m really concerned about is that we get a team performance, and I score some tries and I perform well, the other stuff I can’t control and the people that get paid to worry about the league will worry about that.”

With only three months left in the season, the Knights talisman, who has managed 85 tries in 183 appearances, is hopeful to be playing rugby at Castle Park next season.

‘’I can only go out and play and the people in charge will make a decision on that, hopefully we will have a chat in the next coming weeks.

My performances and the fact I’m currently top try scorer and that I’m playing well will hopefully be in my favour.”

Tyson Lewis frustrated with first half display at Hartpury

The Knights ended the Championship Cup Pool stages with a defeat to Hartpury, despite scoring three second half tries.

Tyson Lewis gave his thoughts on the first half performance that saw the side go into the interval 22-5 behind.

“We were lackluster in the first half and pretty flat, we will have to look within ourselves as to why that was and to be honest with ourselves to why that happened.

We gave them too many penalties and credit to their number 10 he knocked them over. We believed we could come back and win the game, in the last 10 minutes or so we showed what we are about, but it is frustrating that we waited so long to show what we can do.

It doesn’t matter if we are playing in the cup or the league it is a case of turning up from minute one and imposing ourselves in the game, we didn’t do that enough.”

Doncaster produced a much improved second half display as Tyson, Rory Pitman and Colin Quigley dotted down to add to the winger’s first half try and help the side earn a bonus point. Although, the back was aware the first half wasn’t as good for the visitors.

“It is a game of two halves, you can’t win it in the first half, but can certainly lose it. We lost our detail at breakdowns and gave away too many cheap penalties and they took advantage. After the restart, we were better and played how we want to at times in the latter stages, but we left ourselves with too much to do in that period.”

The 34-year-old was playing his 180th appearance for the club and was pleased to score twice, but disappointed with the result.

“As a winger i want to score tries, but equally as a competitor i want to win. Whilst i am happy to score two tries, i wanted to win the game.”

The Knights are back in action this Sunday in a local derby with Yorkshire Carnegie at the Emerald Headingley Stadium. A fixture the club stalwart knows the side must start on the front foot in.

“The last 10, 15 minutes were good and if we turn up like that we’ll be in the game and we made a good account of ourselves at that time against Hartpury. Ultimately, if we turn up as we did at the start on Saturday then Carnegie will get some scores. We will dust ourselves down from this defeat, look within and make sure we come out firing on Sunday.”

Academy Focus | Tyson Lewis looking forward to cup test tonight

The Academy are in action tonight at Castle Park against Birmingham University in the BUCS cup competition.

Head Coach Tyson Lewis is looking forward to watching his side get back to winning ways, after tasting defeat in the opening league game of the season.

“We have some wrongs to right, we have spent a couple of weeks mulling that over, it is just on the boys now to go out and there an enact the plans we’ve put in place.”

The Doncaster Knights’ first team winger is confident the Academy will build on the success of the last couple of seasons as well.

“We always knew this was going to be a tougher season, you are coming up against good rugby players at this level and the boys know that, but by no-means are we shying away from that and then at the end of the season we can dust it off and look at it again.”

All of the Academy’s home games will be at Castle Park this season, a decision Tyson is very pleased about.

“It great for the boys to run out there just like all the first team players do and show what they’re about.”

Cornish Pirates Post Match Reaction | Tyson Lewis

The Knights suffered a 25-44 defeat to Cornish Pirates on Saturday in the first home league fixture of the season.

Doncaster scored two first half tries, one through Tyson Lewis, followed by a driving maul dotted down by George Edgson. However, it was not enough as the Pirates produced a clinical attacking display with five tries, five conversions and three penalties.

Tyson Lewis spoke after the game that the result was deserved one.

“We didn’t particularly play well, we had points in the game where we looked dangerous, but we weren’t dangerous for long enough and we gave away too many penalties.”

The winger saw positives to take into the next Championship game on Friday against Jersey, but believes the side needs to start better.

“We didn’t start particularly well, a double penalty and then we are looking at a man scoring underneath our posts and that sort of motif carried on all the way through, hats off to Pirates they came here and capitalised.

There are positives, we looked sharp with the ball, we just need to keep it for a little bit longer.”

DKTV | Tyson Lewis looks to bounce back to winning ways

Tyson Lewis took time out of training in preparation for the final RFU Championship Cup game before the league begins, to talk to DKTV ahead of the game with Jersey at Castle Park on Saturday.

The winger was clear that the Knights have to move on from the defeat to Newcastle Falcons and make sure of the victory against Jersey.

“The points speak for themselves, it was a tough weekend but we have to dust ourselves down and get on with it and get ready for the game with Jersey. The games come thick and fast and we have just got to move on.

It is not a league or a competition where you are waiting and dwelling on previous results, you have to just keep moving on, come May when the season has ended, that is when you lick your wounds and reflect what has been.”

The 34-year-old believes that the Knights will continue to have the belief that they can beat Jersey, despite the setback at Kingston Park.

“Every game is important, we didn’t go to Newcastle thinking we were going to lose and certainly we are not going into the game at the weekend thinking we can’t win or it is a must win, we want to win every game and every fixture we play, we are competitors and have to drive to get the victory.”

DKTV | Tyson Lewis previews the opening 2019/20 fixtures


The 2019/20 Championship and Cup fixtures were released earlier this week and Tyson Lewis spoke to DKTV about the tough opening league fixtures for the Knights.

“We start with a tough one against Hartpury first off, then Pirates and Jersey to follow so the first three games (of the league) will be a test for us but equally it will show us where we are at and what we need to improve on and go from there.”

The league season starts later this year with the first game on the weekend of the 12th October, however the winger believes the delayed beginning to the Championship campaign will help the Knights.

“As much time as you can get to prepare is good, it’s not a bad thing, it just means we will be chomping at the bit to get playing some actual rugby certainly in the league campaign, but it is more time for us to prepare, we’ve been disappointed the last couple of seasons so a little bit more time to prepare isn’t going to hurt.”

The 34-year-old looked for the derby games when the fixtures first came out and is looking forward to facing Yorkshire Carnegie and Nottingham, as the Knights look to reverse last seasons results against both sides.

“The local derby games with Yorkshire and Nottingham are definitely the games you look forward to and want to be playing in, then you look further afield, but certainly the two local games will be ones we are looking at.”

In the opening five games, the Knights face Hartpury, Cornish Pirates, Jersey Reds, Bedford Blues and Coventry; three of which Clive Griffiths’ side defeated last season. However, Tyson believes Doncaster are better prepared then they were at this stage last season heading into the new season.

“We are stepping into the unknown, certainly compared to where we were last year I would like to think we are better than we were then, but all teams will go into the first three games thinking they are better than they were last year and want to put their best foot forward and we are going out to win, so will the other teams and whichever side executes the better on the day will win.”

Academy Head Coach Tyson Lewis believes win at Hull down to hard work over the last year

The Academy beat Hull University first team 50-22 as the sides met in a one off game between the two teams. 

The academy in partnership with Doncaster College defeated their opponents, who are three divisions higher in Northern 1A compared to the Northern 4B, the league the academy won this season.

Coached by Doncaster players Tyson Lewis, Richard List, Matt Challinor and Declan Cusack, the youngsters commanded the first half with a 31-17 lead at the interval.

Tries from Seth Adams, Louis Burkhill, Sam Nunn, George Tankard and recently signed Knights professional Will Holling gave the team a comfortable advantage at half-time along with three conversions from Adams.

In the second half, the academy put a further 19 points on the scoreboard thanks to scores from Ollie Turvey, Fraser Leiper and a second of the afternoon from hooker Holling, as well another two conversions from fly-half Adams.

Head Coach Tyson Lewis was delighted with display the academy side put out against a team much higher in the BUCS divisions.

“The performance was the icing on the cake for all the hard work the boys have done and put in this year, we wanted to back up the league and cup and have done that, we wanted to see how we would measure up against a better opposition and the result is another big indicator of where the boys are and how they have developed.” 

The scoreline doesn’t reflect the endeavour and closeness of the game, our shape at time during the game was very good and at other times we made a few mistakes and they capitalised, but that is a rugby game and it is back and forth, ultimately the hard work from the boys over the 32 weeks has shone through the especially towards the end and to finish to with a 50-22 scoreline is both credit and praise to their hard work and dedication they have to get better and listen to the coaches.”

Tyson spoke of the positive effect having some of the players feature on a Saturday for Doncaster Phoenix and the development that has had on the academy side.

“A number of boys are playing for Phoenix, who are going well now, and they are bringing the knowledge from those games back and the other way with the information they learn from the academy they take that into a Saturday, so they’re growing as players, even the younger ones are moving and developing in the right direction.

We want the boys to carry on getting better, irrespective of the number of wins, and if they do Clive will come calling again and there will hopefully be a few more in the first team and it means we are doing our job right as the academy coaching staff.

Will Holling became the third academy player in three years to sign full time with the Knights and Tyson believes the hooker has what it is takes to play in the Doncaster first team.

“The challenge of professional rugby is a great one, but Will and Sam have been in the environment and training for nearly year or so, therefore it is an opportunity for them that I am sure they’ll grasp with both hands and come out the other end and keeping playing, Sam Jones has done it and hopefully they can as well.”

DKTV | Tyson Lewis: ‘I am massively delighted for the academy boys.’

Academy Head Coach Tyson Lewis is delighted with the performances of the players after they secured a league and cup double for the second consecutive season.

“I am massively delighted, they have put the hard work in over the last 30 or so weeks since pre-season, they set their stall out early on that they wanted to win the league and back up what they achieved last year and they have done that.”

The academy domestic season is now over and Tyson is looking forward to continuing the growth next season.

“Our aim is always to grow the academy, we want to play in the highest leagues possibly in the BUCS system and we have a couple of games coming up to see where we are at regarding that in the coming weeks so the boys are excited for that and hopefully we add a few boys for next season.”

The stars of the future are next in action as they travel to face Hull University 1st team in a match on Wednesday 3rd April to gauge whether the academy will rise up the BUCS leagues.

After that game, the Knights in partnership with Doncaster College academy will face a unique opposition at Castle Park in the form of Russian side Krasny Yar Krasnoyarsk on the 22nd April.