Doncaster Knights returned aggressively to form after their opening defeat by Ealing Trailfinders and delivered a top-class display at the Alpas Arena near Gloucester where Hartpury were beaten by five tries to one.

The Knights gained a maximum of five points, a result providing much confidence as the squad begin preparations for their first home match in the Championship against Richmond at Castle Park on Saturday.

After a careless opening in which Hartpury led 9-0 after little more than 10 minutes, Doncaster gradually asserted their superiority and scored three fine first half tries by winger Jack Spittle, number eight Thom Smith and left winger George Simpson, playing against his old club.

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Doncaster’s pack, in which second row Ben Murphy stood out, won plenty of ball, enabling them to add to the interval lead of 19-9.

Doncaster Knights' joint captain Sam Olver was pleased with the application of his team. (Picture: Tony Johnson)Doncaster Knights' joint captain Sam Olver was pleased with the application of his team. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Doncaster Knights' joint captain Sam Olver was pleased with the application of his team. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Working hard alongside Murphy was an interesting new signing,Santiago flanker Martin Sigren, the Chile captain whose leadership has taken his country-for the first time-to the World Cup in France next year.

The 26-year-old, capped more than 20 times, made an impressive debut and seized his opportunity to make an impact after replacing Sam Daly early in the first half.

In the 46th minute, Simpson, who also scored at Ealing and is always alert to opportunities, completed a move involving backs Harry Davey and Robbie Smith, a try giving Doncaster a bonus point and also putting them ahead by 24-9.

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Shortly afterwards, full back Davey again showed his attacking skills as he burst through. The raid was continued by scrum half Alex Dolly who then passed to replacement winger Smith, another former Hartpury player, who touched down for the fifth try, and with fly half Sam Olver striking his third conversion, Doncaster led comfortably by 31-9.

Although Hartpury scored a converted try in the 64th, Doncaster’s control was never threatened seriously and a convincing victory was confirmed by a late Olver penalty.

“ We bounced back really well from the defeat at Ealing and the most pleasing aspect was the attitude of the squad. Our backs created lots of chances and Sigren showed he’s an excellent addition,” said joint skipper Olver.

Hartpury: Lloyd, Tovey, Jenkins, Williams, McNab, Matthews, Bruzulier, Benz-Salomon, Shipp, Rodman, Davies, Lemon, Lewis, Short, Eadie.

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Doncaster Knights: Davey, Spittle(R Smith 35), Margetts, Edwards, (Strachan 52), Simpson, Olver, Dolly, Davidson(Wayland 56), Edgson(Roberts 51), Wilson(Garside 63), Kelly(Ehizode 51), Murray, Daly(Sigren 8), Hudson, T Smith.

Referee: Simon Harding