Doncaster Knights 70 Cardiff Blues Select 12: Ten-try Knights step up bid for B&I Cup ko stages
Doncaster Knights treated supporters to a ten-try feast as they posted their biggest win of the season - 70-12 - against B & I Cup Pool 2 visitors Cardiff Blues Premiership Select.
With Bristol losing at home to Leinster on Friday Knights knew that victory would see them leapfrog the unbeaten Championship leaders into second spot at the midway point of the campaign.
Knights will face much tougher tests than provided by the young visitors, including this weekend’s return fixture, in their three remaining games but they have put themselves in contention for a place in the knock-out stages with successive wins.
A local brass band had had played carols to diners at the club’s Christmas lunch and Knights were equally in tune as they raced into a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Knights broke the deadlock after just three minutes through a close-range try by wing Curtis Wilson.
The lack of a reliable goal-kicker on the day has proved costly for Knights in several Championship defeats this season but fly-half Simon Humberstone kicked the first of nine from nine to make it 7-0.
The Cardiff side bombed a chance to open their account when a pass in a two-on-one situation went astray.
Knights quickly added a second. Centre Mat Clark touched down after full-back Lloyd Hayes was forced to off-load when looking a likely scorer after pulling up with a leg injury.
Good work by second-rower Nick Civetta down the left led to wing Tyson Lewis touching down for a third Doncaster try after just 14 minutes.
The visitors had shown some attacking flair and their efforts were rewarded when scrum-half Dane Blackett, one of several Wales U20 internationals on duty, shot past several defenders to score a converted 23rd minute try.
Knights hit back almost immediately with strong-running No 8 Jason Hill scoring the try of the game following a storming run from inside his own half.
Knights’ forward dominance earned them a penalty try before the visitors grabbed a well-worked second try on 37 minutes to cut the gap to 35-12.
Hill scored the first of five second half Doncaster tries from a forward drive eight minutes after the restart.
A quiet period which saw a number of changes was broken when Jack Bergmanus helped to set up big Joe Sprotson on 64 minutes.
No sooner had the cheers died down than scrum-half Michael Heaney touched down out wide.
Just when it looked as though Knights would have to settle for a 56-12 win, Tom James got on the end of a neat chip kick by Declan Cusack and Matt Challoner crashed over in the last minute.
* Doncaster Knights: Hayes, Wilson, Clark, Owen, Lewis, Humberstone, Heaney; List, Hunter, Quigley, Civetta, Eames, Will Owen, Hill. Replacements: Bergmanas, Evans, Sproston, Challinor, Batt, James, Cusack.