Doncaster Knights must not underestimate threat posed by Coventry

Doncaster Knights hope to avenge their opening day defeat at Coventry this weekend.

Friday, 17th December 2021, 10:23 am
George Edgson scored a hat trick of tries for Doncaster Knights in their victory over Nottingham last weekend. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX LTD

Steve Boden’s men will be looking to make it six wins from six at Castle Park this season when the Midlanders visit on Saturday (2.30pm).

About the opposition

Coventry enjoyed great success during the 1960s and 70s with several of their players gaining international recognition.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

More recently they have flitted between England rugby’s second and third tiers, dropping into the third tier in 1995 and 2010.

They regained promotion at the first time of asking in 1996 but it took them eight seasons to gain promotion in 2018.

Head-to-head

Coventry ran out 39-22 winners at Butts Park Arena in September. The standout players for the hosts were back rows Josh Bainbridge and Ryan Burrows. Ex-Knight Will Owen also gave a noteworthy display.

Last season the Knights were 20-19 winners at Castle Park with both sides scoring three tries apiece.

The final game of the 2019/20 season saw Coventry complete the double over the Knights with a 26-35 win at Castle Park. They won the reverse fixture 18-6.

Last time out

Coventry went down 29-24 at Jersey but came away with a bonus point.

Leicester loanee prop Will Hurd, Exeter Chiefs loanee flanker Aaron Hinkley and scrum-half Joe Snow were on the trysheet.

Knights were comfortable 45-12 winners over Nottingham at Castle Park.

George Edgson scored three of Doncaster’s seven tries.

Coventry dangermen

Fly half Evan Mitchell is the equal-second individual highest points scorer in one game, notching up 20 points against Nottingham in November.

Fly half Tom Curtis scored 14 of Coventry’s points when they beat the Knights.

Strengths and weaknesses

Coventry are not prolific try scorers, scoring the second fewest number of tries in the Championship.

However, they have the fifth strongest defence of their try-line.

Cornish Pirates hold the honour of conceding fewest tries, followed by Jersey, Doncaster and Ealing Trailfinders.

Coventry are one of only four teams that have gone on to win every game when they were leading at half time.

Verdict

Even though Coventry have lost six of their ten games and are 11 points worse off than Knights, they must not be underestimated.

The Midlanders will take confidence from their victory over Doncaster in September.

Losing by just five points at third-placed Jersey last weekend, and scoring three tries against the Reds, also highlights their threat.

Other fixtures

Hartpury v Ealing Trailfinders, Richmond v Cornish Pirates, Ampthill v Nottingham, Jersey Reds v London Scottish.