Doncaster Knights 54 Cross Keys 0: Knights lock Keys out to secure top seed in competition

Doncaster Knights completed to 54-0 rout of Welsh Premiership outfit Cross Keys to secure a home quarter-final in the knockout stages of the British and Irish Cup.

Doncaster Knights head coach Clive Griffiths
Doncaster Knights head coach Clive Griffiths

Going into the game the South Yorkshimen knew a single point would be enough to secure homefield advantage in the quarter-finals but yesterday’s win combined with Rotherham’s defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie means that Doncaster not only have a home draw but end the pool stages as the top seeded side in the competition.

It did not take the Knights long to open their account as full-back Paul Jarvis dotted down for his seventh try in the competition after just eight minutes. The score was converted by Flockhart, who finished the day with a personal tally of 19.

Cross Keys competed admirably but seemed unable to halt the Knights assault on the scoreboard and before the half Doncaster added further scores through flanker Latu Makaafi before the pack were rewarded for their offensive efforts with a penalty try following a driving lineout.

Club captain Matt Challinor scored his second try in two weeks, dotting down just after half-time. The lock-forward’s score secured the all-important four-try bonus point and seeing as though qualification for the knockout stages was an impossibility for Cross Keys the rest of the game was played with abandon, making for a very entertaining finish.

The Newport side threw caution to the wind but were met by some ferocious Knights defence and could not find a way through. The home side had no such attacking problems and played some very impressive rugby, Andy Bulumakau capped a superb return from injury with a score on the forty-sixth minute.

A Tyson Lewis brace and one for Flockhart completed the scoring for Doncaster to conclude a resounding victory for Clive Griffiths’s men.

Credit must go to Cross Keys who, despite the scoreline, endeavoured to play until the final whistle and spent the closing stages of the game camped beyond the Doncaster 22-metre line. The home defence refused to part however, meaning, for the first time this season, the Knights had earned a shutout win.

The win completes a perfect pool stage for the Knights with six victories from six and means that they are likely to welcome Irish provincial outfit Munster A to Castle Park on January 24.