Knights ride on

DONCASTER Knights threw their promotion play-off hopes a lifeline when they beat Bedford Blues 33-31 in thrilling style on Saturday.

But despite an improved performance, Rotherham Titans slipped to a 24-16 defeat to Cornish Pirates which ended their hopes of qualification from Pool B.

The Titans may still have a say in the qualification race as they host local rivals the Knights on Saturday in a must win match for the Doncaster side,

Doncaster dug in well and grew in confidence as the match with Bedford wore on.

Hooker Steve Lawrie and full-back Steve McColl scored Doncaster’s first half tries, while Tristan Roberts kicked the conversion.

After the break prop Daniel Frazer and centre Chris Briers crashed over as the score reached 28-26 with 15 minutes left.

Bedford extended their lead with a penalty to make it 31-26, but second row Dom Parsons’ 73rd minute try levelled the scores, and Roberts’ conversion sealed the win.

Director of rugby Lynn Howells was pleased with the performance following the previous week’s defeat to Bedford.

He said: “After last week’s game they had a bit of bounce about them.

“We showed last week that we are capable of beating them, we just didn’t finish them off. But our problem has always been consistency.”

Also improving from the previous week was Rotherham who matched the unbeaten Pirates for much of the contest.

The first half saw Juan Pablo Socino and Robert Cook exchange penalties with the Pirates leading 9-6 at the break.

The visitors extended their lead to 6-19 with another penalty and a try from Dave Ward which was converted. But Socino added a third penalty to narrow to gap.

Flanker Phil Burgess touched down in the final minute for the Pirates to make it 9-24, but full-back Cliff Hodgson added an injury time try which Matt Rhodes converted to make it 16-24.