Doncaster Knights heavily beaten at Nottingham

Doncaster's Dougie Flockhart
Doncaster's Dougie Flockhart

Doncaster Knights finished empty-handed on what is likely to be their last visit to Meadow Lane.

Nottingham, who are moving to a new base, sentenced them to a 24-3 defeat.

Boosted by a favourable penalty count, the home side took a 7-0 lead on 14 minutes with a converted try by wing Ryan Hough.

Knights struggled to find any real cohesion. Wing Dougie Flockhart, who has been in excellent form with the boot this season, missed out on the chance to cut the deficit, pulling a penalty kick wide into the wind during a rare attacking sortie.

Both sides were reduced to 14 men just before the interval - Nottingham’s Dan Montagu and Doncaster’s Richard List being sin-binned.

The home side stretched their lead during the last play of the half. Full-back Billy Robinson broke a tackle after joining up with the attack, as he had done on several previous occasions, and racing away to score an unconverted try to leave Knights trailing by12-0 at the break.

Full-back Paul Jarvis had enjoyed little opportunity to run with the ball in the first half, but he helped create the position for an attacking scrum in the opening minutes of the second from which Flockhart pegged back three points after Nottingham had been penalised.

It was just the start that Knights had been looking for.

Their joy was short-lived, however, Brent Wilson touched down from a driving maul from a lineout. Dan Mugford again failed to add the extras but they still had it all to do trailing 17-3. Rupert Cooper touched down for a bonus point try, goaled by Mugford, after the home side exposed poor defending.

Knights’ boss Clive Griffiths made three changes at the start of the final quarter but there was to be no repeat of the comeback in their game at Cornish Pirates.

One of the new faces, Ollie Bryant, wasted little time in making an impression stopping Robinson in full flight.

He also went close to a late consolation try as Knights, with Jarvis showing up well, belatedly started to show a bit of form in the closing stages.

But the heavy defeat isn’t the Christmas gift Knights were hoping for.

Nottingham: Robinson, Hough,Styles,Pohe,O’Neill,Mugford, Romans,Porter 
Malton,Carey,Freeman, Montagu, Cooper,Wilson ,Grant. Rep: Ma’afu,Vickers, Holford,Price,Calladine, Smit, Maisey

Knights:Jarvis,Flockhart ,Bulumakau, Armitage,Williams, Francis,Bravo, List, Hunter , Ross Davies, Challinor, Phelan ,Eggleshaw,Hills, Shaw. Rep: Brugnara Veikoso, Pasquali, Makaafi, Roberts, Bryant, Field.