Doncaster Knights 27 Bedford Blues 19 - Doncaster’s forward power has Bedford in retreat
Doncaster Knights delivered an outstanding second half performance at Castle Park where in a tense and close contest they recovered strongly after Bedford led by 19-12 at half time.
But in a fighting display which keeps the Knights in second place in the Championship with seven wins from eight games (31 points), they produced 15 points without reply as their battling forwards created two more tries by hooker Will Holling and full-back Billy McBryde on 53 and 77 minutes.
And with the Championship’s top points’ scorer, fly-half Sam Olver, adding a crucial penalty in the 66th, giving his side the lead for the first time and a conversion, Doncaster achieved a maximum five points.
Earlier, the Knights were outplayed for the opening 20 minutes of a highly entertaining match as Bedford, attacking relentlessly, scored three tries by number eight Oli Robinson, winger Josh Gillespie and flanker Ollie Newman.
But once Doncaster won some ball, pressure was applied. McBryde shot over for his first try after clever support play by forward Jerry Sexton and winger Kyle Evans, and just before the break, second row and skipper Matt Challinor was driven over cutting Bedford’s lead to 19-12.
This fightback grew in the second half during which the Knights not only scored two additional tries and prevented Blues gaining any losing bonus points.
While Bedford controlled much of the first period, Doncaster’s forwards, among whom Holling and number eight Guido Volpi shone repeatedly, dominated the second, and given the territory they earned, it was appropriate that Holling scored from a maul and that McBryde, who has just agreed to stay at Castle Park for another season, scored his second from a maul.
Doncaster Knights: McBryde, Evans, Foley, Edwards (Newey, 35), Packman, Olver, Mitchell, Cade, Holling, Denman (Jones, 46), Challinor (Britton, 54), Sexton, Joyce, Graham, Volpi.
Bedford Blues: Lane, Gillespie (Robson, 55), Litchfield, Hirsky-Douglas (Grayson, 67), Tapley, Maisey, Tupai, Wrafter (Iyogun, 7), Fields (Hughes, 54), Paul (Prowse, 46), Carrick Smith (Onojaiffey, 54,) Bean, Newman, Atkinson, Robinson (Uru, 54).