We were terrific, says boss Davey

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Director of Rugby, Davey told the Epworth Bells: “Our discipline was a lot better and we kept the ball in hand a lot more.

The final result was brilliant – I’ve been saying for a while that we have the potential to be a top team and so this was a statement of intent from us.”

The Knights raced to a 20-0 lead with tries from Dougie Flockhart, Man of the Match Tom Davies and Irish winger Michael Keating; all benfiting from great team moves as the Yorkshiremen delivered plenty of attacking flair to blow away last season’s Championship runners-up.

Pirates responded with a penalty try and scored two more of their own touchdowns after capitalising on Knights errors, as pressure at the set-piece told; but David McIlwaine’s excellent kicking form saw Doncaster pull clear of their rivals as he completed 100% kick completion with eight goals to his name.

The home defence gave away very few penalties of their own, having suffered from their own indiscipline in several recent matches, which the Welsh boss believes was the key to sinking the Pirates as they disrupted the Cornish game-plan.

“In this game it was important to get in front – that’s when you see what the losing side are really made of. Under that sort of pressure, players behave very similarly whatever their ability and it is hard for them to get back on top of their game.”

The Doncaster lads narrowly missed out on claiming a four-try bonus point, but the DOR is satisfied that his side managed to close the game out: “Everything fitted together well – at the end of the day I want wins more than bonus points.”

Knights: D McIlwaine, D Flockhart, O Goss, PJ Gidlow (F Burdon 29), M Keating, T Luke, C Hallam (L Audis 78), T Davies, S Boden (J Yeandle 55), Alex Brown (Andy Brown 30), M Challinor, G Kenworthy (M Noone 40), L Makaafi, D Bradford (Z Farivarz 55), C Planchant (A Boyde 72).

Pirates: M Evans, G Pointer, A Suniula (S Hill 60), D Locke, D Doherty, R Cook, G Cattle (T Kessell 71), P Andrew (L. Fairbrother 69), R Elloway (Dickie-Cowan 76), R Brits (A. Paver 58), L McGlone, I Nimmo, B Cowan (C. Morgan 69), P Burgess (C. Walker-Blair 69), K Marriott.

Referee: Llyr Apgeraint-Roberts (RFU)

Attendance: 1,188