Doncaster Knights switch sights to Cup semi-final rematch with Ealing Trailfinders

SHORTLY after Doncaster’s final game of the Championship campaign had finished at Castle Park attention swiftly turned to their Championship Cup semi-final against the same opponents in west London.

The Doncaster squad for the clash at Vallis Way on Coronation Day will be far stronger than the one which competed wholeheartedly against Ealing, and while the Knights lost at home for the sixth time in the league, tries by winger Robbie Smith and George Simpson and strong defence throughout showed their capabilities.

Finishing sixth with a record of 10 victories and 12 defeats..52 probably a disappointing outcome for a club that came second last season, but considering the serious injury crisis faced by coach Steve Boden, a mid-table position is a satisfactory result.

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As to the Cup semi-final, Boden says: “ It’s a big game for us and keeps our season alive. It’s an exciting opportunity. Some of our guys against Ealing put their hands up for selection this Saturday and their performance of which I’m really proud has produced competition for places.

CUP CHALLENGE: Doncaster Knights' director of rugby Steve Boden. Picture: Tony JohnsonCUP CHALLENGE: Doncaster Knights' director of rugby Steve Boden. Picture: Tony Johnson
CUP CHALLENGE: Doncaster Knights' director of rugby Steve Boden. Picture: Tony Johnson

“ The league match allowed us to give some of the lads a rest and as we couldn’t alter our league place, we made changes.

“ I was delighted with the way we played against an extremely good side and defended well for large periods against a very physical team.”

Doncaster in the first half played with sharpness and aggression, and delivered one of their best performances of the entire league campaign, but in the second, Ealing dominated territory and possession, scoring three more tries as the half time score of 14-14 increased significantly in their favour.

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Indeed, Doncaster, without the ball, were unable to threaten seriously.

Doncaster Knights: Holden, Simpson, Davey, Lloyd-Seed,R. Smith, McBryde(Parkin 74), Yarnell, Owen(Pope 51), Holling, Armstrong(Garside 54), Mintern(Roberts 65), Murphy(Kelly 55), Sigren, Daly(Cardew 40), T.Smith.

Ealing Trailfinders: Kelleher, Daniels, Bodilly(Shingler 71), Bird-Tulloch, Earle, Lancaster, Hampson(Burns 65), Gibbons(Davis 46),Malton(Terry 65), Thiede(Roots 53), O’Connor, Davidson(De Wee 31), Korczyk, Uzokwe(Digby 53), Montgomery(Newman 40).

Referee: Andrew Jackson.