Doncaster Knights 29 Yorkshire Carnegie 16: Knights back in form to complete double over Carnegie

Doncaster Knights claimed their first Championship win for over four months when completing the double over Yorkshire Carnegie at Castle Park.
Carnegie struggle to stop Knights'  Alex Shaw. Photo: Chris EtchellsCarnegie struggle to stop Knights'  Alex Shaw. Photo: Chris Etchells
Carnegie struggle to stop Knights' Alex Shaw. Photo: Chris Etchells

Knights, whose last league win was at Headingley back in September, ended a run of nine successive Championship defeats in fine style as they ran out worthy 29-16 winners.

In a game which also counted towards the Yorkshire Regiment Trophy, Knights came out all guns blazing and stormed into a commanding 19-3 interval lead against the holders.

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It could easily have been much worse for the visitors, who had skipper Ryan Burrows sin-binned early on, but for several try-saving tackles and the fact that Knights’ finishing didn’t always match the quality of their approach-work.

The dominant Doncaster pack – with No 8 Alex Shaw showing up well – gave new half-back pairing Ume Fosita and Tomasi Palu the time and space needed to bring out the best of their three-quarters.

Doncaster fans have had to wait several weeks to see Fosita make his home debut, but he produced a performance worth waiting for.

Not only did the Tongan fly-half handle and kick the ball well, he also showed that he has an eye for a gap and a magnificent 40m second half break deserved better reward.

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Centre Mat Clark made his first start since shoulder surgery last year, and he formed a dangerous partnership with the excellent Andy Bulumakau,

The former Gloucester man also went close to what would have been a spectacular try from deep inside his own half after backing himself to score with men in support.

It needed another try-saving tackle to deny full-back Paul Jarvis what would also have been a memorable first- half try after he had run from his own 22 and kicked deep before re-gathering inside the Carnegie half

But there was no stopping flying wing Tyson Lewis as he sprinted in from over 25 metres out from a well-worked move. Dougie Flockhart added the extras as well as kicking four first-half penalties.

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Knights will have expected a response from the Leeds club after the break, and whilst the second half was indeed more of an equal contest, the result was never in doubt.

A try by skipper Michael Hills from a catch and drive, effectively put paid to any comeback hopes Carnegie may have entertained after a brace of penalties by fly-half Harry Leonard had cut the deficit to 22-9.

Leeds had the last word with a converted try by replacement scrum-half Sam Edgerton, but it was Knights were celebrating at the final whistle.

Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Bulumakau, Clark, Lewis, Fosita, Palu, List, Hunter, Quigley, Hotson, Phelan, Challinor.,Hills, Shaw: Rep: Tom Davies, Veikoso, Makaafi, John, Armitage, Bryant, Maplesden.

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Yorkshire Carnegie: Georgiou, Doherty, Clarke, Lucock, Leonard, Pilgram, Imiolek, Nilsen, Tideswell, Jones, Myerscough, Williams, Walker, Buirrows. Rep: Graham, Harris, Hooper, Smith, Joyce, Edgerrton, Grimoldby.