Jersey Reds 24 Doncaster Knights 26: Boot of Humberstone crucial to opening day victory

KICKING KING: Doncaster's Simon Humberstone.
 Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
KICKING KING: Doncaster's Simon Humberstone. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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SIMON HUMBERSTONE’S kicking prowess proved pivotal for Doncaster Knights as they opened up their campaign with a nail-biting triumph in the Channel Islands.

The 30-year-old half converted both of the Knights’ tries at St Peter, while adding four penalties – three of which crucially came in the second half after an opening period which left the visitors just the one point ahead.

Will Owen opened the scoring in the sixth minute but the visitors found themselves trailing 16-10 just before the half hour mark when Brendan Cope converted his own try after having earlier kicked two penalties either side of one from Humberstone.

But the Knights restored their advantage albeit a slender one, four minutes before the break when Humberstone was on hand to convert replacement Tom James’s try.

Cope put the hosts ahead again shortly after the break with another penalty but Humberstone was equal to that to edge the Knights in front 10 minutes later.

A well-worked try from Jason Worrall put Jersey 24-20 ahead with 20 minutes remaining, but Humberstone proved reliable twice more to get his team over the line.

Jersey Reds: Van Breda (c); Pincus, Best (Abrahams 79), Ma’afu, Worrall; Cope, Hardy; Woolmore (Godfrey 54), Macfarlane (Saunders 47), Armstrong (Atalifo 50), Voss (McKern 65), Sexton, Rogerson, Joyce (Nagle-Taylor 65), Argyle. Unused replacement: Dudley

Doncaster Knights: Jarvis (James 29); Bulumakau, Foley, Owen, Lewis; Humberstone, Heaney; List (Evans 51), Hunter (Nelson 53), Quigley (Sproston 58), Challinor, Hicks (Eames 58), Shaw, Hills (c), Carpenter (Hill 54). Unused replacement: Cusack

Referee: Andrew Jackson.