Rugby report: Doncaster Knights 27 Plymouth Albion 6

Knights Captain, Michael Hills races for the corner as Lawrence Rayner attempts in vain to get across to cover.
Knights Captain, Michael Hills races for the corner as Lawrence Rayner attempts in vain to get across to cover.

A Dougie Flockhart-inspired afternoon saw the Knights clinch the win in their opening Championship fixture.

Knights’ number 14 struck kick after kick as he and his Doncaster team-mates ground down a physical Plymouth Albion outfit at Castle Park.

Flockhart could have put the Knights ahead early on but saw his penalty cannon back off the post as neither side gave anything away in the opening exchanges.

The Knights were later handed a let-off in the 27th minute when Lawrence Rayner spurned a penalty from a good, central position, however, as he curled his effort the wrong side of the post and the stalemate at Caste Park continued.

The opening score did eventually happen when - in the 33rd minute - Doncaster burst into life through the explosive pace of Paul Jarvis who capitalised down Plymouth’s right flank to dive over with a trademark gut-busting try for Knights’ opening score of their 2014-15 Championship campaign.

Flockhart then angled his conversion expertly to fire Doncaster into a 7-0 lead as Albion were left to nursing their defensive wounds.

Just as the visitors looked to settle down proceedings, Griffiths’ outfit pounced again - this time through Tyler Hotson who added his first club score for the Knights as he crashed over just before the break.

Flockhart soon made it two conversions from two as the home side took a promising 14-0 lead into the interval.

But the home side were chasing after the restart when Rayner reduced the deficit with a beautifully-struck penalty from distance.

However, Flockhart was the man of the hour as he responded emphatically with a penalty of his own as the Knights clinched a 17-3 lead with 50 minutes on the clock.

The game then turned into a kicking battle as Rayner made no mistake from his 52nd minute peach of a penalty to see Doncaster’s lead cut to 17-6.

Despite a couple of missed Flockhart penalties, Doncaster were not derailed in their quest for opening day glory as they continued to probe Plymouth’s physicality.

Flockhart did eventually find his range once more as he struck a 75th minute penalty before a pulsating run from Michael Hills - and Flockhart conversion - saw Albion beaten as Doncaster rallied to their first win of their fledgling domestic campaign.

Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Clark, Armitage, Lewis, Lennard, Maplesden, List, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor, Hotson, Makaafi, Hills, Shaw. Subs: R.Davies, Bergmanas, T.Davies, Phelan, Bravo, Roberts, Bulumakau.

Plymouth: Rayner, Homan, Howley-Berridge, Woods, Warner, Shanahan, Williams, Fidler, Stagg, Tiedemann, Beukeboom, Patrick, Grieve, Grace, Bone. Subs: Matavesi, Heard, Harrison, Langley, Jubb, Davies, Henry.

Attendance: 1,303