Doncaster Knights seal last-gasp win over Nottingham

Fly-half Sam Olver was the hero as Doncaster Knights returned to winning ways in the Championship.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 2:20 pm
Greene King IPA Championship. Rouban Birch. Doncaster Knights v Ealing Trailfinders. Doncaster's Sam Olver kicks a penalty from close to the halfway line, in the last kick of the first half. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe 16th November 2019.

With Knights looking to be heading for a 15-9 defeat at home to Nottingham, replacement full-back Cam Cowell got on the end of an Olver pass from a scrum in the visitors’ 22 and threw out a floated pass to wing Howard Packman who forced his way over from close range in stoppage time.

With the final whistle set to blow Olver, who had missed an easy penalty at the death which cost Knights the spoils in the corresponding fixture last season, held his nerve to add the conversion from a more difficult position to secure Knights a dramatic 16-15 win.

“I tried to put last year’s kick out of my mind,” he said. “As soon as I started going through my kicking process I just put it out of my head.

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“I was just relieved when I saw the ball go through the posts because there was a lot of pressure.”

Knights got off to a disastrous start when recalled wing Kyle Evans dropped the ball from the kick-off and the Green and Whites latched on to it and passed it out wide to the opposite side of the field where wing Dave Williams sprinted in for a converted try inside 15 seconds.

Apart from when Packman latched on to a loose ball on the halfway line to send centre Lloyd Hayes away down the left, Knights rarely threatened the Nottingham line and they had to rely on the boot of Olver for their nine first half points.

The visitors made costly handling errors in the first half during which they looked the more organised and composed side.

The visitors enjoyed the better of the second half exchanges for long periods and regained the lead shortly after Packman had been sin-binned with Williams going over out wide.

Shane O’Leary failed to add the extras but extended Nottingham’s lead to six points with a long-range penalty. Knights continued to look devoid of ideas and it wasn’t until the closing stages, during which Morgan Eames broke strongly and Tom James jinked past several defenders, that they threatened the line.