Doncaster Knights impress in defeat against ex-Premier side

Knights' Michael Heaney grabs onto Kieran Murphy. Photo: Sarah Washbourn
Knights' Michael Heaney grabs onto Kieran Murphy. Photo: Sarah Washbourn

Doncaster Knights came close to upsetting the odds on the opening day of the Green King IPA Championship campaign in Saturday’s clash against relegated London Welsh at Castle Park.

The Exiles, who lost every league game last season, made a winning return to the league but long-serving skipper Matt Corker admitted after their 35-33 win that the result could have gone either way including a draw had Dougie Flockhart managed to convert a late try.

“Doncaster scored some great tries and their forwards were dominant as they showed when scoring twice from drives,” he said. “They could probably feel hard done by.

“There is no reason why Doncaster can’t do well this season because they look to have everything you need including three former Welsh team-mates (Hills, Stedman, Hurrell) who are all good players.

“I think (our centre) Guy Armitage was probably the difference. He finished everything he was given and looked really strong.

Doncaster director of rugby Clive Griffiths was clearly disappointed with the result despite seeing his side bank two losing bonus points against one of the title favourites.

“We scored four tries as they did and we could have won it or we could have drawn it so it was disappointing to lose it,” he said.

“What more could we have done with the ball? We showed we can drive it and we can spread it and as well as scoring the tries we did we could have had a couple more. We showed we are a bloody good side.

“Even though we lost they’ve more work to do than us before this weekend’s games.”