Preview: Doncaster Knights' unbeaten home record goes on the line against Ealing Trailfinders

Doncaster Knights have won four on the spin in the Championship but face their sternest test of the season against Ealing Trailfinders on Saturday (2.30pm).

Friday, 26th November 2021, 5:00 am
Doncaster Knights in action at Castle Park. Photo: John Ashton

Steve Boden’s side are also unbeaten at Castle Park this term but that record will be put to the test against an Ealing side eyeing promotion to the Premiership.

About Ealing

Ealing Football Club played its first rugby union match in 1869 on Ealing Common prior to the founding of the RFU in 1871.

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The early years saw regular fixtures against the likes of Wasps, London Irish, Harlequins, Richmond and Blackheath.

A history in the London leagues followed as the club moved locations before entering National Division 3 South in 2007. They are now top of the Championship and favourites for promotion.

Sheffield-born owner Mike Gooley, who runs the highly successful Trailfinders travel business, has invested an estimated £20 million into the club.

Head-to-head

Knights lost 26-46 to Ealing at Castle Park in last season’s Trailfinders Cup.

A month later they lost 40-20 in London in the league.

You have to go back to the 2017/18 season to find the last time Doncaster beat Ealing – a 50-19 success at Castle Park in April, 2018.

Last time out

Knights recorded a hard-fought 20-15 win at Hartpury thanks to tries from Joe Margetts, Jack Spittle and Josh Peters.

Trailfinders won a tough encounter 35-29 against Jersey Reds with back row Simon Uzokwe named man of the match.

Trailfinders dangermen

Ealing have scored more tries than any other team in the division.

Winger Charles Walker is the joint highest try-scorer in the Championship with seven tries from seven games.

Hookers Eoghan Clarke and Jan-Henning Campher have each scored six tries.

Craig Hampson, back row Rayn Smid and scrum half Jordi Burns have all scored five tries apiece.

Essentially Trailfinders can score from any position but the Knights must be particularly wary of tries being scored by hookers, the scrum half or the back row rolling off the set piece or the ball being shipped out wide to the flying Walker.

How they stand

Ealing top the table after only losing one game so far, a 15-12 defeat to Cornish Pirates. Knights are fourth after losing two games.

Ealing have scored a bonus point in each of their seven games played but Knights have been left to rue missed opportunities because they have only scored two bonus points.

Knights have the best home defence in the Championship so far this season after conceding 36 points.

However, Trailfinders have the strongest attack, scoring a massive 268 points.

This weekend

Ampthill v Hartpury, London Scottish v Coventry, Jersey Reds v Cornish Pirates, Bedford Blues v Nottingham.