Knights end losing run by thumping second-placed Trailfinders - Doncaster 50 Ealing 19
Doncaster Knights put second-placed Ealing Trailfinders to the sword when sentencing the big-spending visitors to a 50-19 Championship defeat at Castle Park.
Knights ended a run of three successive league defeats, which had seen them drop down to seventh in the table, when running in seven tries to sentence the shell-shocked visitors to their biggest defeat of the season.
In posting their highest league score of the season, Knights claimed a stunning revenge on the side who had inflicted their biggest defeat (57-14) at Vallis Way back in November.
Everyone at the club had been focused on avenging that defeat but no-one in their wildest dreams expected such a runaway win.
Especially given their continuing injury problems and the fact that the visitors had gone into the weekend’s fixtures still in with a mathematical chance of pipping long-time leaders Bristol for the title.
Knights knew it was going to take something extra special to do what only Bristol (twice) and Nottingham had done but that was the what the Castle Park side served up.
There was no shortage of stand-out performances with such as No 8 Josh Tyrell and second-rower Nick Civetta starring in the forwards and fly-half Charlie Foley, centres Lloyd Hayes and Andy Bulumakua and full-back Cameron Cowell, who all bagged tries, also catching the eye.
But to a man the Doncaster side were outstanding and the Castle Park regulars were treated to easily their best home display of the season.
Not only did Knights capitalise on their chances but they were fully committed in defence as they needed to be against such a big side.
Knights received an early boost when dual-registered full-back Cowell, who has proved the ideal cover for the injured Paul Jarvis of late, made the running for the opening try by Hayes, who looks to be back to his pre-injury form after just two minutes.
Cowell added a second when he latched on to a dropped ball and left the cover for dead on a 40m sprint to the line.
Wing Dougie Flockhart, who showed up well in defence, converted both to make it 14-0.
He missed with a couple of kickable penalties in the first half but helped secure Knights a 21-7 interval lead after Bulumakau had touched down from a 60m interception.
Knights weathered the expected pressure from Ealing at the start of the second half before extending their lead on 47 minutes when Bulumakau, who did well to plant the ball down, touched down from close range from scrum-half Tom James’ pass.
Ealing briefly entertained hopes of yet another match-winning comeback when powerful wing James Cordy-Redden forced his way over to make it 28-14 but that was as good as it got as Knights hit back with three more tries.
Both Jack Ram and Curtis Langdon scored from close-range forward moves with fly-half Foley ghosting over from the edge of the 22.
Former Doncaster forward Ollie Stedman made the running for the visitor’s third try on his Ealing debut.
Knights: Cowell, Flockhart, Bulumakau, Hayes, Wilson, Foley, James; List, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor, Civetta, Shaw, Ram,Tyrell. Replacements: Langdon, Bergmanas, Sproston, Batt, Hill, Heaney, Lewis.