Doncaster Knights 31 Jersey 27: Knights power back in style

Latu Makaafi in action for the Knights.
Latu Makaafi in action for the Knights.
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Doncaster prepare for Saturday’s derby against Rotherham Titans at Clifton Lane after a start which has provided 11 points from three games.

Tongan flanker Latu Makaafi was once again in top form, scoring twice against the Channel Islanders, as he took his Championship tally of tries to five.

After Jersey had deservedly grabbed what appeared to be a commanding position of 26-17 following the costly sin-binning of Doncaster hooker Ben Hunter, Makaafi led the fightback with his second try on 52 minutes which was set up by a powerful drive to Jersey’s line.

With Dougie Flockhart adding his second conversion –the Doncaster winger and goal kicker also kicked four penalties –the Knights were behind by a point.

An entertaining match, in which Jersey also contributed three tries, threatening to cause an upset, was punctuated by 30 penalties, but Doncaster were more ruthless and scored the match-winning try after Jersey had been penalised yet again.

From the lineout, the ball was handled quickly and full-back Sam Edgerley scored in the corner.

What particularly delighted coach Clive Griffiths was the way they fought back after conceding two converted tries with Hunter in the bin. He said: “Our fitness levels showed and there was another massive effort from the forwards.”

Doncaster Knights: Edgereley, Flockhart, Bulumakau (Lewis 63), Armitage, Hurrell, Heaney, Field, List( Shaw 58), Hunter, Quigley(John 66), Challinor, Hotson(Phelan 58), Makaafi( Shaw 60), Hills, Stedman.

Jersey: Lane, Howe, Otto, Robling, Adair(McCrae 72), Cope, Dudley(Winter-Moates 47), Lancuba(McCarthy 47), Garcia-Veiga(Selway 64), Herriott(Garfagnoli 67), Campbell, Phillips, Rae, Freeman(Butterworth 70), Haining.

Referee: T Foley (RFU).