Doncaster Knights set for potential promotion decider against Ealing Trailfinders

Doncaster Knights’ promotion hopes are on the line this weekend when they face title favourites Ealing Trailfinders in London.

By Jamie Crawford
Friday, 25th February 2022, 6:00 am
Doncaster Knights in action at Ealing Trailfinders last year. Photo: Alex Davidson/Getty Images
Doncaster Knights in action at Ealing Trailfinders last year. Photo: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

An eighth successive league win at home to Hartpury last Saturday kept Knights at the top of the Championship with games fast running out.

But big-spending Ealing trail Doncaster by just three points and have two games in hand – so Steve Boden’s side must beat them to maintain any realistic hopes of finishing above them in the table.

Ealing and Doncaster are the only two clubs in the Championship to have applied for promotion to the Premiership.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Here’s the key information ahead of Saturday’s game...

Head to head

Knights produced an excellent display in November to beat the then league leaders Ealing 22-5 at Castle Park.

Trailfinders won 38-15 at Vallis Way last May towards the end of the Covid-shortened 2020/21 campaign.

The Trailfinders Sports Club has not been a happy hunting ground for Knights although they did record a 17-17 draw there in 2016.

Last time out

Knights squeezed past Hartpury 11-10 at a muddy Castle Park thanks to Sam Olver’s last gasp penalty.

Trailfinders won a tough game in Jersey, eventually overpowering the Reds 22-10 in a game they trailed by a point at half time.

Dangermen

Back row Simon Uzokwe has scored the third highest number of tries in the Championship this season (12).

Doncaster-born prop Lewis Thiede is an experienced powerhouse. The former Knights tight-head has played in the Premiership with Wasps and Bristol.

Verdict

Ealing play outstanding rugby and have scored 650 points in 15 games (43.3 average).

They can attack and score from anywhere on the pitch.

Knights have scraped through the last couple of games with the last throw of the dice and must produce a much-improved display this weekend.

A Knights victory is certainly not out of the question.

Trailfinders suffered a surprise 31-19 defeat at home to Bedford Blues earlier this month.