Gloucester 54 Doncaster Knights 9

Doncaster Knights v Cambridge. Slotting over another conversion kick Jamie Lennard. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

Doncaster Knights v Cambridge. Slotting over another conversion kick Jamie Lennard. Picture: Malcolm Billingham

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KNIGHTS ended their pre-season preparations with a tough work-out at Kingsholm. This week’s Free Press looks ahead to the new Championship season which starts on Friday.

Brett Davey’s side led 9-7 at the half hour point against their Premiership counterparts thanks to three Jamie Lennard penalties.

Gloucester’s quality eventually told as the hosts went onto ground eight tries and run out convincing winners - but Knights coach Glen Kenworthy was pleased with the performance.

Kenworthy said: “We’re really happy with the first half and our strong set-piece, there is lots to take from it and it was important for us to look after a few boys, whilst blooding some youngsters.

“We are head and shoulders above where we were last year at this point and this will leave us stronger against Plymouth where it really counts.”

Knights launch their 2012/13 Championship campaign at Plymouth Albion on Saturday.

Don’t miss this week’s Free Press for all the build-up to the new season a and cut-out-and-keep fixture list.

Sports writer Liam Hoden speaks to director of rugby Brett Davey about his new-look squad, while Paul Goodwin considers what would constitute a good season for the Castle Park club.