Doncaster Knights go top of the Championship in dramatic fashion

With 80 minutes on the clock it looked like for all Doncaster Knights’ second half spirit against Richmond, they would come up short and miss a golden opportunity in the race to the Premiership.

By Sportsdesk
Sunday, 13th February 2022, 7:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th February 2022, 8:10 pm
Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton
Doncaster Knights head coach Steve Boden. Photo: John Ashton

Step forward Charlie Connolly, on the end of a dummy offload from Thom Smith, to race across the line and dot down.

The last gasp try gave Doncaster a 33-30 victory which, allied with Ealing Trailfinders’ surprise defeat at home to Bedford Blues, sent them back to the top of the RFU Championship.

Knights have played two games more than their much wealthier promotion rivals but, with four fixtures left to play, Doncaster head coach Steve Boden will take this position.

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He might not have been thrilled with the performance though, even if the spirit and the manner of their comeback showed his side’s strengths.

It was an error-strewn first half for the travelling side as the Knights scored two tries to Richmond’s three, Boden’s men appearing to have underestimated how physical they would need to be to keep the hosts at bay.

Maliq Holden and Connor Edwards scored the Knights’ opening two tries but they trailed 22-12 at the break.

That became 27-12 to Richmond before Connolly found himself at the bottom of the maul with the ball in his hands and a try on the board.

Sam Olver slotted his second conversion of the day before Kyle Evans danced over for Doncaster’s bonus-point clinching fourth try.

A one-point game became four when Richmond kicked a penalty on 76 minutes, forcing Doncaster to require a try to win the match. Connolly obliged on 82 minutes with Olver adding the extras.

It was Doncaster’s only lead of the game, but it was an important one.