Newport Gwent Dragons 17 Doncaster Knights 49

Latu Makaafi was on the trysheet for Knights.
Latu Makaafi was on the trysheet for Knights.

Doncaster Knights put Newport Gwent Dragons to the sword in their return B&I Cup Pool Five win at Ystrad Mynach, running out 49-17 winners.

Knights - who had found themselves hanging on in the last ten minutes to claim a 21-16 win at Castle Park a week ago after failing to capitalise on their earlier dominance - were far more clinical on this occasion with the result, and a bonus point, in the bag by half-time.

Fly-half Andy O’Brien, one of six changes, opened the scoring on ten minutes after Knights, who also rung the changes, had been penalised at a scrum.

Knights hit back to lead 7-3. The visitors won a lineout against the throw with the ball being moved along the line before centre Bevon Armitage celebrated his return to action after a long injury lay-off when breaking the line to put wing Mat Clark over.

Fly-half Declan Cusack, standing in for the rested Dougie Flockhart, tagged on the conversion.

Knights doubled their lead at the end of a useful first quarter.

The Welsh side failed to deny Knights from a catch and drive ploy which resulted in a 15th try of the season for flanker Latu Makaafi, who touched down near enough for Cusack to again add the extras.

Dragons, who had gone close at the other end, fell further behind just after the half hour when Clark bagged his second converted try to leave them trailing 21-3.

Dragons’ hopes of cutting the deficit before the break weren’t helped when flanker James Benjamin was yellow carded.

Knights made their extra man count when Makaafi rewarded a spell of pressure by crashing over for a bonus point converted try to secure his side a 28-3 interval lead.

Benjamin helped make amends for his sin-binning when rewarding a spirited start to the second half by Dragons when scoring near enough for O’Brien to convert.

Knights quickly regained the initiative – helped by the fact that Dragons were again reduced to 14 men after George Gasson fouled Clark shortly after he had nearly got Will Hurrell in.

A converted penalty try saw Knights stretch their lead to 35-10. Knights struck again before the end of the third quarter – full-back Sam Edgerley helping to set up centre Andy Bulumakau for a sixth converted try.

Dragons weren’t ready to throw in the towel, however, and Benjamin crossed for a second converted try.

Fly-half Simon Humberstone came off the bench for his first appearance of the season and wasted no time in making his mark - setting up a try, which he also converted - for wing Tyson Lewis at the death with a neat kick to the corner.

n Newport Gwent Dragons Select: G Jones, Warren, Brew, Nightingale,Gasson; O’Brien, L Jones; Garrett, Gustafson, L Brown, Andrews, A Brown, Skinner, Benjamin, Keddie. Rep: Shipp. Cornock, Jeffries, Sweet, Davies, Robson. Edwards

n Doncaster Knights: Edgerley; Clark, Bulumakau, Armitage, Hurrell; Cusack, Heaney: List, Stagg, Quigley, Hotson, Phelan, Makaafi, Hills, Stedman. Rep: Hunter, Sprotson, John, Challoner, Shaw, Humberstone, Lewis.