DARING fly-half Ume Fosita ran the show as Doncaster Knights finally ended their winless run in the Championship with a crucial victory over derby rivals Yorkshire Carnegie.
The Tongan star, who debuted at full-back last week, paired to great effect with his international colleague Tomasi Palu and helped continually dissect the surprisingly leaden visitors as relieved Knights won in the league for the first time since beating the same opponents at Headingley in September.
Nine consecutive Championship losses had left Clive Griffiths’ men just three points above the relegation zone but this richly-deserved success will have alleviated mounting pressure and done wonders for their confidence.
That said, for all their dominance, Doncaster seemed intent on making life hard for themselves, wasting a raft of clear-cut opportunities to keep their Leeds-based foes interested.
It was not until they opted against going wide and instead kept it simple, a well-worked driving maul that resulted in captain Michael Hills crossing in the 61st minute to make it 29-9, that they could truly be safe in the knowledge of a priceless triumph.
Andy Bulumakau was a real menace at centre for Doncaster, benefitting from Fosita’s skilled promptings, while, considering this was a derby, Carnegie were strangely bereft of any fire.
Their line-out was a mess and they badly missed hooker Jack Walker who is on England Under 20s duty versus Wales tonight along with prop Paul Hill and flanker Josh Bainbridge.
Tommy McGee’s men also saw captain Ryan Burrows and scrum-half Chris Pilgrim sin-binned as they struggled in the first half when they were fortunate to be just 19-3 down.
Tyson Lewis scored a classy try after a lovely pass from Bulumakau on 11 minutes with Dougie Flockhart converting and adding four penalties compared to Harry Leonard’s solitary kick.
But after Knights wasted more chances at the start of the second half with poor execution, Flockhart instead just coming away with three points, Leonard added two more penalties to keep them bizarrely still in the hunt at 22-9.
However, Hills took control with that try before Flockhart’s brilliant tackle denied Pete Lucock at the other end.
Replacement Sam Edgerton stepped over in the 77th minute, Louis Grimoldby converting, but, by then, Doncaster had already secured the victory they so desperately craved, their mood heightened further when it emerged bottom-placed Plymouth Albion had lost heavily at Bedford.