Archie Smeaton inspires Doncaster Knights to revenge victory over Caldy

Doncaster’s 10th Championship win, in which they earned a bonus point at Castle Park, gained revenge for their Christmas defeat on the Wirral.

First-half tries by wingers Jack Metcalf and George Simpson and two conversions and a penalty from fly-half Russ Bennett established a firm control on the contest which Doncaster led by 17-0 at the interval.

While scoring opportunities were wasted and their kicking game did not always produce the desired effect, the Knights’ pack played with genuine authority and laid on two more tries in the second half by centre Connor Edwards and flanker Archie Smeaton whose score towards the end was fully deserved as he delivered an outstanding display in attack and defence.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We were disappointed with our performance over there. It wasn’t professional and we took them for granted,” said Smeaton.

Doncaster Knights head coach Joe Ford oversaw victory over Caldy (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)Doncaster Knights head coach Joe Ford oversaw victory over Caldy (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)
Doncaster Knights head coach Joe Ford oversaw victory over Caldy (Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe)

“This time we were professional, we stuck at it and we put in a great defensive effort.Overall, I’m happy, but we left points out there and we were in their 22 for long periods and didn’t convert the possession.

“But this league at the top is very competitive, so we are delighted to get five points. We’ve got Ampthill away this Saturday and that’s going to be difficult because they are in good form having beaten Ealing and Bedford recently.”

Arguably, Doncaster should have put 40 points past Caldy who were second best during the first half, and for several periods in the second strong tackling by the Knights restricted the Cheshire club to their own half when they enjoyed decent possession.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Opportunities missed included one for skipper and full back Billy McBryde who would have touched down but for a forward pass, and then centre Joe Margetts, who sprinted his way through Caldy’s defence, somehow dropped the ball when he was about to put it down.

Two more chances were also thrown away in promising attacking positions, and while Caldy broke through late in the second half, this was an encouraging display with three league games remaining against Ampthill, Bedford Blues, also away, and finally against Championship leaders Ealing Trailfinders at Castle Park on the last Saturday in May.

Doncaster, who stay fifth and now have 51 points, will announce later this week the name of their new forwards’ coach and reveal some of the players who are leaving and those who have re-signed for next season.