Character saw Doncaster Knights through, says coach

Aaron Carpenter leads the charge for Knights against  Yorkshire Carnegie. Photo by Glenn Ashley.
Aaron Carpenter leads the charge for Knights against Yorkshire Carnegie. Photo by Glenn Ashley.

Full-back Paul Jarvis celebrated his 100th appearance for the club when helping Doncaster Knights claim a thrilling 31-26 Championship win over second-placed Yorkshire Carnegie at Castle Park.

But well though Jarvis played, forwards’ coach Glen Kenworthy chose to focus on the team’s feat in defending their narrow lead in the closing minutes when down to just 13 men.

“We showed spadesful of character in defence in those last five minutes or so,” said the Kiwi.

“We had a bit of a blip before then and let them in for a couple of tries when we were leading 31-14 and looking to finish comfortable winners.

“We got off to a decent start but we kept getting penalised and found ourselves 7-0 down.

“We knew one of their threats was from their driving maul and although I thought we generally coped well against that throughout the game, their first try came from a catch-and-drive.

“We hit back with a good try and three Dougie Flockhart goals and we led 13-7 at the interval and everyone was positive.

“Having said that we knew they were still in the game.

“They caught us cold at the start of the second half when regaining the lead with an early try down the blindside, but a brace of tries by Andy Bulumakau put us back in the driving seat.

“Bainbridge scored a try and that gave them a bit of a leg up and when they scored their fourth try to get within five points of us they probably thought they could win it. But, as I said, we pulled together as a team and held out. We are a tight unit and we play for the full 80 minutes.”