Doncaster Knights run riot over Richmond but Steve Boden concerned about poor discipline

DONCASTER KNIGHTS’ first home game of the Championship campaign produced a convincing win by seven tries to four against the London club, a result which takes the Castle Park team to fifth in the league behind Nottingham, Bedford, Ealing Trailfinders and Jersey Reds.

The Knights now have 10 points from three games, and as they prepare for this Friday’s clash in Nottingham, they’ll be delighted to have earned a maximum of five points from their last two contests.

However, the lack of discipline, revealed at Castle Park, is a major issue that needs to be put right. Against Richmond, enterprising and persistent opponents who led 19-15 at the interval, Doncaster gave away five yellow cards.

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At various stages, full-back Harry Davey, lock John Kelly, centre Joe Margetts, replacement forward Ehize Ehizode and winger George Simpson were sin-binned.

DISCIPLINE ISSUES: Doncaster Knights' head coach, Steve Boden. Picture: Bruce RollinsonDISCIPLINE ISSUES: Doncaster Knights' head coach, Steve Boden. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
DISCIPLINE ISSUES: Doncaster Knights' head coach, Steve Boden. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

“If we are thinking of moving forward, the amount of penalties and yellow cards we give away is not going to get us into the top four,” said head coach Steve Boden.

What will though is the speed and effectiveness of the Knights’ attacking game which delivered some thrilling tries: a hat-trick for left winger Maliq Holden, two for George Simpson on the other wing, and one for replacement centre Robbie Smith.

Doncaster started promisingly by scoring two first half tries, but then worryingly declined and let Richmond gain some control as they scored three tries before half time on 11, 28 and 36 minutes after careless errors which annoyed Boden.

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However, as the second half developed, Richmond were ruined. Doncaster’s pack, featuring Chile skipper Martin Sigren for his first game at Castle Park, won plenty of ball to create five more tries.

The exciting scores by Simpson, both from more than 50 metres, showed the wisdom of signing such a dangerous player from Hartpury, and together with his team-mates, Holden and Jack Spittle, Doncaster surely have three of the best wingers in the Championship.

Touching down in the 3rd, 41st and 60th minutes, Holden’s speed devastated Richmond as he responded positively to being dropped.

“I’m glad to be back,” he said. “Our attack has grown because we retained a lot of players and in pre-season we focused on our attack, and I guess that means our backs are getting more of the ball and we looked dangerous throughout.”

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Doncaster Knights: Davey, Simpson, Margetts (Smith 56), Edwards, Holden, Olver (Lloyd-Seed 74), Dolly (Green 60), Davidson (Pope 17), Roberts (Edgson 61), Garside (Armstrong 56), Kelly, Murphy (Ehizode 68), Sigren, Hudson (Cardew 53), Smith.

Richmond: Landray, O’Meara, Case, Kiernan, Mills (James 74), Johnston, Kerins(Watson 74), Maguire (Cave 57), Torpey (Bentley 61), Litchfield (Mpiko 46), Scott, Collingridge, Wakeling (Johnson 55),Benson (Mpiko 20), Bright.

Referee: Mike Hudson (RFU).