Plymouth Albion 27 Doncaster Knights 22

Doncaster Knights' Michael Keating. Picture: Andrew Roe
Doncaster Knights' Michael Keating. Picture: Andrew Roe

MICHAEL Keating suffered a suspected dislocated collarbone as Knights were defeated on the opening day of the RFU Championship.

Irish full back Keating scored a memorable first half try by beating three men and chipping over the cover defence to give Doncaster the early ascendency at Brickfields.

But Plymouth’s pack eventually began to dominate and Keating’s afternoon turned sour when he was forced off after the break.

SAM Hocking had touched down for the hosts in just the third minute but Keating’s individual effort and three Jamie Lennard penalties kept Knights in touch with Albion, who added their second try of the half through Thomas Bowen.

Plymouth started the second period on top, however, and Brett Beukeboom crashed over the whitewash as the hosts extended their lead to 27-14.

Knights’ Rhys Buckley set up a tense finale when he finished off a neat catch and drive move but Plymouth held out for a deserved victory.

Knights: Keating (Sowery 65), Flockhart, Tincknell, Luke, Mama (Simpson 61), Lennard, Hallam (Silver 57), Davies, Buckley, McGovern (Cronin 53), Cadman, Parsons (Hoy 49), Challinor, Rawling (Boyde 68), Pailor (Kettle 49).

Tries: Keating 21, Buckley 67.

Penalties: Lennard 10, 29, 40, 54.