Doncaster Knights 29 Yorkshire Carnegie 16: Knights back in form to complete double over Carnegie
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Georgiou, Doherty, Clarke, Lucock, Leonard, Pilgram, Imiolek, Nilsen, Tideswell, Jones, Myerscough, Williams, Walker, Buirrows. Rep: Graham, Harris, Hooper, Smith, Joyce, Edgerrton, Grimoldby.