Doncaster Knights fall to another defeat against bogey side Jersey in Championship Cup Pool clash
Doncaster Knights failed to avenge a harsh 27-0 league defeat against Jersey at the Stade Santander International in their Championship Cup Pool 2 clash.
But once again the score (27-17) didn’t do them justice in a game where they were the better side for long periods.
Although they will have been pleased to score three tries for the first time in five games, they will rue missing other chances.
Particularly when losing their own throw when close to the Jersey line on several occasions.
Knights welcomed back long-serving second-rower Matt Challinor following a lengthy suspension and also gave a starting debut to recent signing, Namibian back-row international Wian Conradie and dual-registered No 8 Sam Moore.
Knights dominated the first ten minutes but had nothing to show for several promising attacks.
The hosts came more into the game as an attacking force towards the end of the first quarter and took the lead against the run of play on 20 minutes when hooker TJ Harris touched down from close range.
Wing Howard Packman burst into the Jersey 22 before being tackled.
Jersey were reduced to 14 men when flanker Max Argyle was sin-binned on 29 minutes.
Wing Howard Packman then burst into the Jersey 22 from a quick line-out before being tackled.
Knights did capitalise on their extra man when Challinor celebrated his return to action by driving over from close range on 37 minutes. Fly-half Sam Olver added the extras to give Knights a deserved 7-5 lead.
But Jersey wing Alex Morgan broke from his own half to give his side a 10-7 interval lead, despite having played into the wind.
It proved a case of third time lucky for fly-half Brendan Cope who extended Jersey’s lead to six points when converting a penalty just after the restart.
Knights hit back strongly with dual-registered scrum-half Gus Warr marking his first game in Doncaster colours when spotting a gap and touching down from close range for a 47th minute try to close the deficit to 13-12.
Warr could have been in again had full-back Steve McColl, albeit with defenders around him, managed to find a better pass in the Jersey 22 after supporting a good break by centre Charlie Foley.
Knights continued to boss the third quarter and Jersey hadn’t threatened to add to Cope’s penalty until they robbed McColl, who kicked superbly out of hand throughout the game, inside his own 22 and quickly transferred the ball out wide for wing Brendan Owen to score.
Knights’ hopes of overturning a 20-12 deficit received a boost when No 8 Ventor was sin-binned, but a rather fortuitous try by Cope from a wayward line-out put the game beyond them.
Jersey went close to a fifth try before Joe Sprotson completed the scoring with a close-range effort late on.
Knights: McColl, Packman, Hayes, Foley, Wilson, Olver, Warr; Thomas, Edgson, Foster, Challoner, Eames, Conradie, Hills, Moore. Rep: Hunter, Hislop, Suter, Sproston, Holling, Evans, Pocklington, Burden.