'To score 39 points at Castle Park and lose is not acceptable' - Doncaster Knights fall in thriller to Coventry

Doncaster Knights may well have lost their third consecutive Championship match in which they have conceded almost 20 tries, but they produced a much more positive performance than the recent defeats by Bedford Blues and Ampthill, in this 45-39 home loss to Coventry.

A lively Coventry team, third in the league, won by seven tries to five at Castle Park during a most competitive and entertaining contest which earned the Knights two fully deserved points.

Doncaster scored two first-half tries as they benefited from the return after nearly six months of prop forwards, Conor Davidson and Andrew Foster, returning from injuries.

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A try by flanker Sam Hudson and the award of a penalty try, plus accurate goal kicking by scrum-half Alex Dolly put pressure on Coventry who were the stronger team by half-time having broken through Doncaster’s defence, at times fragile, four times.

Doncaster Knights' Alex Dolly. (Picture: Tony Johnson)Doncaster Knights' Alex Dolly. (Picture: Tony Johnson)
Doncaster Knights' Alex Dolly. (Picture: Tony Johnson)

Doncaster fought hard to recover from being 24-18 behind at the interval, scoring a brilliant try from centre Joe Margetts, a second by Hudson, compensating for a yellow card, and then a third from replacement hooker Will Holling, reducing Coventry’s advantage to 45-37.

The Knights’ organisation in defence was unsatisfactory periodically, allowing their opponents to grab two rapid tries on 56 and 58 minutes.

Coach Steve Boden was content with the work-rate and commitment of his squad, but clearly unhappy to lose at home, despite scoring almost 40 points:

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“ The effort of our players was outstanding and our physicality was a huge step forward, but some of the tries we conceded were extremely soft.

“To score 39 points at Castle Park and lose is, I think, not acceptable.”

Doncaster now have a small break and return to action in the rearranged game against Jersey Reds on Easter Saturday.

Second in the Championship and having lost only once, Jersey promise to be formidable opposition.