Knights strike form to win four-try bonus point

Extra spark: Brett Davey praised captain Chris Hallam's performance in his first game of the season.  Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Extra spark: Brett Davey praised captain Chris Hallam's performance in his first game of the season. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Doncaster Knights posted their first win of the season with a four try bonus point performance that took them to seventh place in the Championship.

Knights Director of Rugby Brett Davey made four changes from the side that had been selected the previous week. In the backs, scrum half and skipper Chris Hallam and centre Ollie Goss included in the starting line out after proving their fitness and impressing when coming on the previous weekend at half-time at Pirates. In the pack Alex Brown got the nod at tight head prop and young lock Dom Parsons got his first start with Matt Challinor moving to blindside flanker.

Knights started with the same intensity that they had finished the game in Penzance and they went ahead with a penalty by fly half Tom Luke after four minutes.

They could well have scored their first try minutes later when Hallam broke from deep inside his own half before racing 70 metres but the Moseley cover just got to winger Michael Keating five yards out.

Dougie Flockhart was denied a try when the ball rolled into touch just as it crossed the line inches ahead of the chasing winger.

After 14 minutes the Knights eventually crossed the line when, after a period of pressure inside the Moseley 22, full back David McIlwaine broke the defence line before popping the ball to Keating who slipped it to the supporting openside flanker David Bradford to score a try that Luke converted.

Then, after the Knights pack had driven Moseley back 20 metres from a lineout, Luke made the initial break before linking with supporting centre PJ Gidlow and Bradford whose final pass to Mcilwaine gave him the opportunity to dummy opposite full back, and former Doncaster favourite Anthony Carter, to score his side’s second try.

Moseley regrouped and gradually fought their way back into the game and it took another 20 minutes before the Knights scored again.

After Moseley had kicked the ball into the Knights half, McIlwaine broke out before linking with Flockhart who made ground before placing a perfectly weighted grubber kick ahead which was won on the ground by Bradford who then fed the ball to the supporting Keating who scored a try that was converted by Luke. J

ust when it looked as if the Knights were going to go in at the interval with a 22-0 lead, Moseley flanker Ben Pons broke from halfway and evaded several tackles to score a good individual try in the corner that was converted by fly half Brad Davies.

Moseley came back at the Knights in the second half as, with the advantage of the breeze and the sun and inspired by Carter against his old club, they put the Knights under pressure.

But the Knights defence held firm and, when Moseley attempted a lobbed pass just outside the Doncaster 22, it was intercepted by Goss who raced 70 yards to score between the posts to give Luke an easy conversion.

Disaster struck the Knights from the restart when confusion in their ranks allowed the ball to bounce into the grateful hands of Moseley flanker Mike Maltman who ran 20 metres unopposed to score his side’s second try that Davies converted.

Now it was mostly Moseley as they sensed an upset but the Knights managed to hold out until the game went into injury time. Then, following series of attacks close to the Knights line, Moseley replacement centre Andy Reay burst through two tackles to score from close in which was converted by Ollie Thomas.

Knights continued to show improvement as their new squad starts to gel and there were many things on show which pleased their supporters.

However Davey will no doubt be closely studying the performance particularly in the second half when they allowed Moseley back into the game.

Doncaster Knights: McIlwaine, Flockhart, Goss, Gidlow (Whitehead 62), Keating, Luke, Hallam, Corsar (Andy Brown 62), Boden (Yeandle 62), Alex Brown (Burke-Flynn 70), Kenworthy, Parsons, Challinor, Boyde, Bradford (Kettle 55) Reps not used: Audis, Toft.

Moseley: Carter, Robinson, Adams (Reay 58), King, Hunt (Thomas 73), Davies, Brown (Glynn 63), Voisey (Gadd 49), Protherough (Quigley 63), O’Donnell, Sanderson, Spivey, Maltman, Ellery (Stott 63), Pons (Mason 54)