A BRILLIANT solo try from Andy Bulumakau proved a worthy matchwinner as Doncaster Knights produced a stirring comeback to beat Nottingham.
The struggling South Yorkshire side trailed 23-13 on the hour mark having truly gifted their opponents three first-half tries, remarkably all coming from over-throws on their own line-out.
However, Doncaster rallied with three tries from Ben Hunter, Tom James and Bulumakau, the electric Fijian centre who weaved his way past numerous defenders for a dazzling 45m effort in the 75th minute.
It was a decent response having lost 15-9 at Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday and they have now won three of their opening four Championship games.
Bulumakau and captain Michael Hills were to the fore while Hunter made a solid impact off the bench.
But David Nelson, the ex-Newcastle Falcons hooker making his first start for Doncaster endured a torrid first half, with five line-outs in total going awry.
It was a decent response having lost 15-9 at Yorkshire Carnegie on Sunday and they have now won three of their opening four Championship games.The YP’s Dave Craven
Nottingham initially profited when, on Knights’ own ‘22, Nelson’s throw sailed straight to the back into the arms of waiting openside Jordan Coghlan who scurried over in the 16th minute to put his side 8-6 ahead.
Admittedly, the hosts responded almost immediately with a wonderfully created try; the busy No7 Hills surged into space from Declan Cusack’s pass and his lovely pass, followed by another from Nelson, saw Michael Heaney finish smartly, Cusack converting for 13-8.
However, Nelson’s next misdirected throw eventually led to the tighthead prop Will Stuart showing eye-catching pace to dart over on the half-hour.
Worse was to follow just three minutes later when another malfunctioning line-out saw Coghlan collect again, prop Tom West inching over a few phases later for Eden to take his side 20-13 ahead.
There was ironic cheers from the Doncaster fans when their side did finally manage to secure a short line-out yet on their next such set-piece, they managed to lose it again as they formed a driving maul.
Furthermore, when their next driving maul did get going in injury-time, and Nottingham conceded a penalty, Cusack was wayward with his kick.
Instead, the visitors extended their lead with Eden’s next penalty in the 47th minute and the game became interminably scrappy - Doncaster conceding free-kicks on their own scrum, failing to make some exerted pressure count and dropping ball in midfield.
Nevertheless, they did finally rumble over from a line-our drive, Hunter scoring in the 61st minute.
Humberstone sliced his conversion attempt wide but the hosts still sensed a victory was near even after Eden added another penalty.
Replacement scrum-half James dummied clear from behind a ruck 35m out for quality individual effort in the 67th minute, Humberstone improving, only to see his try bettered by Bulumakau’s piece of sheer brilliance.
Doncaster Knights: Foley; J Bulumakau, A Bulumakau, Owen, Lewis; Cusack (Humberstone 53), Heaney (James 59); List (Bergmanas 64), Nelson (Hunter 53), Quigley (Sproston 58), Eames (Challinor 53), Hicks, Shaw, Hills, Carpenter.
Nottingham: Scanlon; Robinson, Evans, Lyons, Cobden; Eden, McConnell (Veenendaal 78); West (Penman 69), Brownlie (Sio 69), Stuart (Hooper 55), Holmes, Qualter, Buckley, Coghlan (Everard 60), Poullett.