Doncaster Knights 12 Munster A 28: Interceptions cost Knights in rearranged clash

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DONCASTER KNIGHTS saw their British & Irish Cup hopes ended after gifting Munster A victory today.

Clive Griffiths' side trailed just 14-7 early in the second period but, bizarrely, conceded two intercept tries in the space of just five minutes to hand their visitors the contest.

Doncaster play them again in Cork on Friday night but, with just one side progressing from the pool following London Welsh's expulsion, they can no longer qualify for the knockout stages.

This game was postponed from October when Munster's head coach Anthony Foley tragically died in Paris.

Doncaster made eight changes to the starting line-up that saw off Richmond on New Year's Eve, given some of his squad members much-needed game-time.

They actually started well and such was their command initially - with possession and territory - Munster did not enter their '22 until as late as the 29th minute.

However, the problem for the hosts was, from all of that dominance, they had claimed only a 7-0 lead.

That came from a well-worked try for Jarrad Williams, the No8 who strode onto lock Glen Young's clever ball from the top of a line-out for Simon Humberstone to convert.

Otherwise, though, Knights crucially struggled to break down Munster's well-organised and energetic defence, probing away with little success.

Paul Jarvis made one brilliant break but the full-back was also guilty of dropping a simple pass when a chance emerged and giving another awful one that winger Sam Edgerley, understandably, failed to collect.

It meant that the home side were always at risk of being overhauled and, after Munster had a try disallowed for crossing from that fixt venture into Doncaster's 22, they did succumb.

As expected, the Irish side had their own spell of pressure before the break, eventually getting over via flanker Gavin Coombes in the 35th minute, Te Aihe Toma, the exciting fly-half on loan from Bay of Plenty, levelling the game.

Munster then struck first in the second half , ruthlessly exploiting a turnover for captain Robin Copeland to finish off, Toma adding the extras.

Then came that catastrophic double blow as Doncaster served up those Munster tries, winger Calvin Nash first picking off Edgerley's pass to go in from 60m and then Cian Bohane doing likewise to Humberstone from halfway, Toma improving both.

Though the lively Edgerley -the pacey scrum-half playing on the wing - scored a fine individual try in the 65th minute, the damage was too great.

Doncaster pushed hard, typically showing great spirit, but their best chance of a further score went - ironically when yet another pass was intercepted to relieve the pressure on Munster once more.

Doncaster Knights: Jarvis; Bulumakau, Hayes, Clark, Edgerley; Humberstone (Cusack 64), Heaney (White 57); List (Hislop 54), Bergmanas (Nelson 54), Quigley (John 48), Taylor, Young, Ram, Hills (Owen 40), Williams.

Munster A: Johnston; Nash, Arnold (Bohane 40), Goggin, O'Shea (Fitzgerald 61); Toma, Poland; McCabe (O'Connor 52), O'Byrne (O'Brien 64), Scott (Burke 52), Wycherley, Mintern (Coffey 70), O'Callaghan, Coombes (Falloon 76), Copeland.

Referee: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland)