KNIGHTS were left with nothing to show for a battling display at Mennaye Field in round one of the Championship play-offs.
Lynn Howells’ injury hit side clawed the deficit back to three points after trailing 16-3 at the break thanks to Tristan Roberts’ second penalty and an interception try from Dougie Flockhart, converted by Roberts.
Three late Pirates tries from Grant Pointer, Rob Cook and Wes Davies then swung the game dramatically back in the hosts’ favour.
But there was still time for Oli Goss and Latu Makaafi to score in the dying moments and get Doncaster within reach of a losing bonus point.
Roberts, however, missed the final conversion attempt of the game, meaning the Knights missed out on a bonus by a solitary point.
Knights host local rivals Rotherham Titans on Saturday in what already looks like being a must-win Pool B clash.
The Titans lost 58-15 to Bedford Blues in their play-off opener so whoever loses this weekend will face an uphill struggle to reach the semi-finals.
*For the very latest news from Castle Park see this week’s Free Press.