Tyson Lewis looks like a new man, says director of rugby Clive Griffiths, after the winger dotted down twice more to lead Doncaster Knights to a 31-12 victory at Loughborough Students.
The SSE National League One leaders took a big step towards promotion, winning 31-12 and collecting a bonus point as nearest challengers Rosslyn Park slipped up at home to Blackheath.
Lewis has been in red-hot form this season, leading the league’s try-scoring charts with 17 as the Knights march on in their quest to bounce straight back into the Championship.
And on a tricky afternoon in Loughborough Griffiths admitted the 28-year-old wing’s electric speed and pace and finishing proved the difference between the two sides: “He is in great form,” said Griffiths. “He’s unrecognisable to the player he was last year. Some can put him down because we were in the Championship and this is National One, but he is capable of doing it at a higher level.
“His tries came on the end of some really good approach play from the other lads but he’s got pace and a real sense for the try-line as well.”
Doncaster fell behind early on, only for Bruno Bravo’s try to draw them level, but scores from Lewis either side of half-time changed the game.
A penalty try followed, with Dougie Flockhart completing his third conversion of the afternoon, before Chris Hallam came off the bench to complete the scoring late on.
Rosslyn Park’s defeat saw Doncaster open up a seven-point gap at the top and they will be looking to extend that when Henley Hawks visit next weekend.
But Griffiths knows a bounty has been placed on their heads and insists his side must remain vigilant to upsets.
“The conditions were torrid but away from home we were delighted with the win,” he added. “We went behind early on but from that the point the boys showed good character to win it in the end.
“We had 17 penalties against us so the momentum stopped during the game, but with a heavy pitch it was all credit to both sides. Loughborough came out with a lot of intent and they’ll take some beating up there.
“The four games we have lost people have been jumping up and down as if they’ve won the World Cup.
“It’s great for Doncaster to be recognised that way, and Loughborough came at us in just the same way but we won the arm wrestle in the end.”