Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Knights charge away from Club
Doncaster Knights 47 v Blackheath 17
Six tries was the final count as Doncaster Knights, confirmed as most pundits’ promotion favourites, eased away from Blackheath to secure maximum points on the opening day of their National League One campaign.
Both off the field, with the kind of razzmatazz which seems to have to accompany professional rugby these days, and on it, with some clinical finishing from a squad which took in excess of £700,000 to assemble, the Yorkshire club rubber-stamped their well-documented desire for a speedy return to the Championship.
However, Blackheath, who included seven debutants in their squad of 20 for this match, will take a lot of credit from a performance that kept them in touch for much of the contest. Indeed, for the opening half-hour, the visitors held a deserved lead for which they can thank their pack for setting the foundation.
With Tom Bason and Dave Allen restored to full fitness, the Club forwards gained significant ground against their Doncaster counterparts. Des Brett and Nick Winwood held sway at the set-scrum and, making his first appearance since joining from Southend, Nik Grier consistently hit his jumpers at the line-out, enabling Allen to be driven across for a converted try on eight minutes.
The Club flanker, and top try scorer from the last two seasons, might have had a second in similar fashion but for a penalty conceded for crossing in the maul.
Instead though, two penalty-goals from Knights’ wing Dougie Flockhart narrowed the gap, and on 33 minutes, Doncaster served notice with a fine side-step and break from fly-half Paul Roberts to set up the attack from which lock Michael Walker-Fitton dived across to give the Yorkshiremen a six-point advantage at the break.
However, it was after the interval, as Blackheath’s set-piece began to falter, that the hosts began to stretch away. After an exchange of penalties between Flockhart and David Marshall (who kicked confidently from the pristine Castle Park surface on his league debut in Club colours) a turned-over put-in for a crooked feed gave the base for Knights’ scrum-half Chris Hallam to cross, and a couple of line-out losses saw the visitors defence opened up for flanker Adam Kettle to score.
Blackheath responded well by producing a good close-range throw to drive Allen across legally for a second, bringing the score back to 28-17 on the hour. But in the final quarter the power and pace of the full-time professionals took charge, and tries from number-eight Chris Eggleshaw, centre David Clark and wing Paul Jarvis put the polish on the final outcome.
‘We played some great rugby today against a fully professional, very well-drilled, Doncaster side and the final scoreline flattered them,’ said Club Director of Rugby Simon Legg to BBC Radio Kent afterwards.
‘At only 13-7 adrift at half-time we were looking very positive with some good patterns and our driving line-out working well, but unfortunately, being very physical, they absorbed our pressure and, in the final 20 minutes, hit us with some well-executed planned moves.’
‘But there are certainly a lot of positives to take forward to Worthing next week.’
The match against Worthing Raiders is on Saturday 14th September, and is a 3.00 pm kick-off at Roundstone Lane.
Tries: Walker-Fitton, Hallam, Kettle, Eggleshaw, Clark, Jarvis
Conv: Flockhart 4
Pens: Flockhart 3
Conv: Marshall 2
Comments are closed on this article.