Cross Keys 32 Doncaster Knights 37: Flockhart helps Doncaster open account with Cup victory

Doncaster coach Clive Griffiths.
Doncaster coach Clive Griffiths.
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Doncaster Knights opened their British & Irish Cup campaign with this victory on their travels at Cross Key.

The visitors scored four tries through Mat Clark, Phil Eggleshaw, Andy Bulumakau and Michael Hills.

In-form Dougie Flockhart converted all four tries and kicked three penalties.

Cross Keys replied with tries from Leon Andrews, Polu Uhi, Ashley Hewitt and Barney Nightingale. Crucially, Dorian Jones could only convert two, adding two penalties.

It was Doncaster’s first game in the competition for almost two years, with coach Clive Griffiths giving starts to Glen Kenworthy, Ross Davies, Phil Eggleshaw, Andy Bulumakau and Will Foden.

Keys opened the scoring from a scrum, when centre Andrews charged through, Jones converting before kicking a penalty for 10-0. Clark brought the visitors back into the game when he won a sprint to the ball, and Flockhart added the extras.

Two penalties from Flockhart then nudged Doncaster in front at 13-10.

But the lead did not last for long as winger Uhi raced home for a try, Jones was off target with the conversion attempt.

Doncaster were back in front, 20-15, at half-time. A scrum led to Eggleshaw picking the ball up and battling his way over, Flockhart again making no mistake with the conversion attempt.

Cross Keys were first out of the blocks after the break, Jones’s chip seeing Nightingale collect the ball to score.

Jones then added a long-range penalty to move the hosts 25-20 ahead.

Flockhart chipped away at the deficit with a penalty, and then converted after a Knights drive saw Hills touch down.

Doncaster won a four-try bonus point when winger Bulumakau – making his first competitive start for the Knights – raced home for a try. Flockhart’s conversion saw Doncaster lead 37-25.

Cross Keys pulled a try back late on via Hewitt, converted by Gerain Rhys jones.

Cross Keys: GR Jones, Hewitt, Andrews, Nightingale, Uhi, D Jones, L Jones, Price, Buckley, Young, Hodge, Williams, Skinner, Griffiths, Powell.

Replacements: Hughes, Garrett, Jefferies, Ceddy, Tucker, Cordy-Redden, Leadbeater.

Doncaster Knights: Jarvis, Flockhart, Clark, Armitage, Bulumakau, Roberts, Bravo, Davies, Bergmanas, Davies, Kenworthy, Hotson, Makaafi, Foden, Eggleshaw.

Replacements: List, Hunter, Quigley, Hills, Challinor, Lennard, Palu.

England finished third in the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on the Gold Coast after losing to eventual winners Fiji 48-7 in the semi-finals.

Simon Amor’s men began the final day with a 31-7 rout of defending champions New Zealand. Fiji went on to beat Samoa 31-24 in the final while England beat South African 19-0 in the third-place play-off.

Uruguay have booked their place at the 2015 World Cup after beating Russia 36-27.