Frustration for Griffiths after Doncaster Knights are downed by Cornish Pirates

'THE best team lost' exclaimed Doncaster director of rugby Clive Griffiths after the Knights led three times at the Mennaye Field.

Yorkshire Carnegie coach Clive Griffiths

“We should have had five points, but it is difficult when you play a team that rides its luck like the Pirates have, and sometimes a team has the wood on you,” he said. “Some of the rugby we played was excellent and we created enough chances to sink a battleship.”

Doncaster were very aggrieved at several refereeing decisions, and Griffiths added: “I expect better from the officials, but we have just got to take them out of the equation as best we can.”

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They held the advantage three times in the first half. Good hands set up a try behind the posts for Tom James; a kick ahead by Steve McColl provided a touchdown for Cameron Cowell; and James added a second after a fine break by Charlie Foley, who converted all three.

But on each occasion the Pirates hit back, with a try double by hooker Sam Matavesi, playing against his younger brother Joel, and a Rory Parata score on the stroke of half-time, with Will Cargill adding the extras, 21-21.

Foley hit an upright with a second-half penalty, but made amends just past the hour mark to edge Donny back in front. However, Tom Duncan dotted down for Pirates, converted by Cargill, who also kicked a penalty.

Cornish Pirates: K Moyle, R Wedlake, R Parata (H Strong 80+4), C Patterson, M Evans, W Cargill, A Day, C Judge (T Gendall 77), S Matavesi (D Frost 67), J Andrew, T Freeman (D Cutmore 61), B Beukeboom (capt), J Caulfield, M Bolwell (J Stevens 63), T Duncan. Replacements not used: A Schwarz, H Skinner.

Doncaster Knights: C Cowell, S McColl, L Hayes, J Matavesi, T Lewis (M Clark 79), C Foley (R Dawson 77), T James, R Hislop (T Williams 65), B Hunter (C Langdon 74), C Quigley (J Sproston 63), M Challinor (T Calladine 63), N Civetta, M Eames, M Hills (capt), W Ryan. Replacement not used: K Morath.

Referee: Tom Foley (RFU).