Coventry v Doncaster Knights: History suggests close game in store at Butts Park Arena

Doncaster Knights’ opening day clash at Coventry promises to be a close, hard-fought game.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 10:29 am
Doncaster Knights. Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Knights finished third in the Championship last season and Coventry finished fifth – just six league points separated them.

Doncaster won by a single point at Castle Park in their only meeting but were fortunate to prevent Coventry scoring during their second half domination.

Coventry beat Knights 18-6 in November 2019, scoring three tries to none in the process. They completed a double by winning the return fixture 26-35.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The close scores between the sides in all competitions in 2018/19 (20-19, 31-29 and 17-23) tell their own tale.

Pre-season

Coventry beat Nottingham 60-10 in their opening friendly, scoring ten tries in the process. Their fast backs dominated the game, with winger Tom Emery’s try a highlight.

Ollie Betteridge (centre) scored and brother Fred (back row) dominated.

Premiership side Wasps made the short trip to the heart of the city on September 4 and returned 21-52 winners.

Gloucester were 50-40 winners at Butts Park Arena last weekend in a 14-try thriller.

Knights’ only pre-season game was at Premiership outfit Newcastle Falcons.

Doncaster lost by four points (33-29) but there was plenty to be optimistic about for the coming season.

Knights won praise for their defending and speed of passing.

Sharp offloading will be key in this weekend’s game after both Coventry and Knights impressed with their speed of passing during pre-season.

The season ahead

The Championship reverts to its usual format of the 11 teams playing each other twice. There will be no end of season play-off and the winner will be promoted into the Premiership subject to meeting the minimum standards criteria.

Knights kick off at Coventry before welcoming London Scottish to Castle Park on September 25 (2.30pm).

The final round of fixtures takes place in mid-March.

Meanwhile, Sam Graham has been appointed club captain for the 2021/22 season. He will be assisted by co-captains Sam Olver and Billy McBryde.