Doncaster Knights seal derby day spoils with win at Yorkshire Carnegie
Doncaster Knights made a winning return to Championship rugby in their derby clash against lowly Yorkshire Carnegie at Emerald Headingley.
They ran in six tries to claim a bonus point 40-19 victory as they posted their first win in six league and cup games.
Former Carnegie forward Ollie Stedman celebrated his return to action when helping to set up a third-minute try for scrum-half Tom James.
Half-back partner Sam Olver added the extras and had the chance to make in 10-0 in as many minutes but he hit the post with his penalty. Knights continued to enjoy the better of the territorial exchanges and James dived over for his second converted try of the game to make it 14-0.
Knights’ supporters in the crowd got ready to celebrate a third try at the start of the second quarter as the visitors threatened from a catch and drive move only for the hosts to dig deep and hold them out prior to being awarded a relieving penalty.
Carnegie came more into the game in the second quarter though they had a let-off when a promising Doncaster raid initiated by Stedman fizzled out when centre Charlie Foley juggled with his pass before losing possession close to the home 22.
But it merely proved a stay of execution - prop Robin Hislop touching down from close range on 37 minutes following a patient build-up in the Carnegie 22.
Former England wing Tom Varndell threw his side a badly-needed lifeline when catching the kick from the resulting restart and showing the Doncaster defence a clean pair of heels.
Knights made a good start to the second half and opened up a 28-5 lead after being awarded their second penalty try in recent games.
It was a double blow for Carnegie who had seen Guy Graham sin-binned moments earlier. Former Carnegie favourite Steve McColl set up the third try in two games for Tyson Lewis with a clever chip over the defence for a commanding 35-5 lead.
Instead of the floodgates opening in the final quarter, Knights were stung by two converted tries before they added one of their own through Fotu Lokotui.
Knights now commence their Christmas break and return to league action on January 10 when they head to Newcastle Falcons.