Rugby union round-up: Phoenix back from the Brink at Derby

Seva Bulumakau was on the trysheet for Pheonix. Photo: FSP Images
Seva Bulumakau was on the trysheet for Pheonix. Photo: FSP Images

Doncaster Phoenix returned to winning ways in the Midlands Premier Division with a high-scoring 46-38 victory at Derby.

A 79th minute try from No. 8 Martin Brink saw claim a hard earned win despite Sam Jones and James Wright being unavailable following call ups to the Knights squad.

The hosts started brightly and took an early lead before wing Seva Bulumakau hit back for the Phoenix, getting on the end of a smart chip from Will Holling.

The try seemed to boost Derby as they ran in two further scores to establish a 19-7 lead as the game reached its quarter point.

Captain Sam Bottomley pulled the Castle Park side back into the tie, finishing off a break by fly-half Sam Brooke to score, before a converted effort from Jay Robinson on the stroke of half time saw the sides go back into the sheds with score tied at 19-19.

Scrum half Sam Pocklington put Phoenix into the lead for the first time shortly after the resumption as he collected a hack forward by Bulumakau and finished smartly.

Will Taylor added another try to Doncaster’s total but it was sandwiched between two Derby scores to leave the scoreboard on 31-33.

Brooke slotted over a penalty to extend the Phoenix lead to five points with five minutes remaining but a missed tackle in midfield saw the Derby second row race home for a converted try.

Another Brooke penalty in the 77th minute made it 38-39 in Phoenix’s favour before Brink guaranteed the win as he finished what was a fine team try at the death.

Thornensians were on the wrong end of a 41-5 scoreline in their Yorkshire League Division Two clash against third-placed Old Crossleyans at Coulman Road.

It was always going to be a massive ask of the home side to pull off a shock win going into the game with 15 members of their squad unavailable.

The Doncaster side were forced to play players out of position with both centre berths being filled by forwards – No 8 Antony Bull and hooker Scott Berry.

At one stage prop Aidan Smith played out on the wing.

Despite their problems Thorne never through in the towel and dominated the game territorially at times in both halves though their lack of a cutting edge, allied to some strong try-line defence by the West Yorkshire side, restricted them to just one try.

After finding themselves on the defensive in the opening ten minutes or so, the visitors took a firm grip on the game and raced into a 24-0 lead before prop Martin Moffat opened Thorme’s account.

The second half was a more even contest with the Thorne forwards showing up well in both the set-piece and the loose.

But, as in the first half, it was Crossleyans who boasted the real fire-power in attack and added another three tries to run out comfortable winners.

Relegated Wheatley Hills featured in a 24-24 Division One draw against visiting Keighley at Brunel Road.