Match report: Newcastle Falcons 52 Doncaster Knights 17

BACK ON BOARD: Returnee Jamie Lennard showed he has lost none of his point scoring ability as the Knights faced Newcastle in a pre-season friendly.
BACK ON BOARD: Returnee Jamie Lennard showed he has lost none of his point scoring ability as the Knights faced Newcastle in a pre-season friendly.

THE Knights showed flashes of potential but were comprehensively beaten in their pre-season opener at Newcastle.

Brett Davey’s side recovered from a poor first half to notch two well-worked tries and demonstrate they are capable of testing the top sides in the Championship.

But the power of the promotion favourites proved too much and the Falcons ran out comfortable winners.

It started well for the new look Knights when full back Dougie Flockhart landing an early penalty.

But the hosts came to life and hit back immediately, fly half Jimmy Gopperth going over and converting his own effort.

Newcastle piled on the pressure and bedded in the 22 as the Knights infringed.

Taiasina Tu’ifa went over as the pressure told before Alex Crockett got on the scoresheet to give the Falcons a 19-3 lead inside the first quarter.

Doncaster rallied well to put together several phases with newcomer Sam Pailor particularly impressive.

But Newcastle soon forced a turnover and Gopperth made the most of a defensive error to grab his second try and third conversion.

Home skipper Will Welch added the next score before full back Alex Tait closed the half with a try that put Newcastle 38-3 up.

The Knights came out fighting after the break and Adam Kettle darted over from ten metres out with Jamie Lennard slotting the extras.

Scrum half James Munro chipped deftly over the Newcastle defence and made a successful chase to score with Lennard converting from out wide.

The Knights conceded two late efforts through Carlo Del Fava and Tom Catterick as tiredness told.

Knights: Dougie Flockhart, Tyson Lewis, Dante Mama, Tom Luke, Dan Smith, Tom Barrett, Louis Silver, Brian McGovern, Rhys Buckley, Tomas Francis, Phil Hoy, Royce Cadman, Matt Challinor, Jethro Rawling, Sam Pailor.

Replacements (all used): Adam Tamanis, Tom Davies, Ali Thomson, Jerry Cronin, Dominic Parsons, Ben Sowery, Adam Kettle, James Munro, Jamie Lennard, Michael Keating, James Tincknell, Will Simpson.