Doncaster: Gollings, Bailey, Hunt,
Cannon, Van Vuuren, Rees (Woodrow 40), Jones, Bunting (Davies 47), Phillips
(Boden 53), Tau, Kenworthy, Gross (D Cook 62), Earnshaw (Grainger 77),
Forster, Talei (O Cook 65).
Thomas, Bressington, Binns, Reay, O’Leary, Hayes (Macdonald 70), Hunter
(Knight 71), Buxton, Caves (Bick 62), Moran, Arnold, Skelding (Stott 53),
Mason, Bignell (Lightowler 70), Rodwell.
Referee: R Phillips (RFU)
Doncaster (17) 27
Tries:van Vuuren, penalty, Talei, Woodrow
Moseley (14) 24
Tries: Hunter, Bressington, Binns
Moseley rue missed chance
Moseley will be wondering how on earth they
failed to take more from this game than the losing bonus point John Beale
would have settled for before kick off.
And with Otley getting nothing out of their defeat by Newbury, the pill will
be doubly hard to swallow.
On a dry pitch made for running rugby, Moseley started full of pace and
intent. Ollie Thomas cut a swathe through the home defence in the first
minute; and Andy Binns follow up on his kick ahead was only thwarted by a
desperate dive on the ball by Russ Earnshaw, who knocked on in the process
to set up the attacking scrum from which Daniel Hunter smartly broke blind
to score wide out on the right.
Moseley continued to run the ball at Doncaster, their backs looking
threatening every time and fully testing one of the league’s best defences.
It was no surprise when a second try arrived as early as the 11th minute.
Swift handling created an overlap on the right and a deft offload by Tommy
Hayes out of the tackle gave Nathan Bressington a stroll to the line. Thomas
had converted both with ease from wide positions and a real shock was on the
Such was the Moseley confidence that a kick at goal was spurned after a
scrum collapse, Thomas going to the corner; but somehow Jason Forster stole
the ball within the ensuing maul and broke out to relieve the pressure.
Back came Moseley, though, and great interplay between forwards and backs
created another opportunity, advantage was played, and with a score looking
certain Bressington’s pass to Richard Bignell went astray to give the home
side a huge let off.
The opening quarter had been all Moseley and they should have led by more.
The Knights did finally begin to assert themselves. Hooker Ben Phillips
worked a neat move off the front of a line out to make big yards, Binns was
offside attempting an interception; and a quick penalty saw the ball moved
quickly left for Donovan Van Vuuren to score on the home left.
On the half hour, a powerful home maul made some 20 metres and a try looked
inevitable when Ben Buxton cynically disrupted it from the side and referee
Phillips immediately awarded the penalty try. Gollings converted and the
home side were somehow in the game. So much so that a third try arrived
before the break to give them a surprise lead. Turnover ball was run out of
defence by Gollings, Van Vuuren took it into the Moseley 22, and Netaini
Talei in support was just able to burst the last tackle and dive in to
Moseley were level again soon after the break when Thomas struck a tackle
penalty; but Doncaster regained the lead with their fourth try almost
immediately when replacement ten Mark Woodrow somehow stepped and danced his
way through a bemused defence to score at the posts to make Gollings extras
In end-to-end fashion, Moseley took just three minutes to equalise once
more. Taking full advantage of a stretched defence, Andy Binns sailed
through the home centres to score at the posts, and Thomas was again on
target with the extras.
It was anyone’s’ game. The Knights still looked off colour and Moseley
pressed to be awarded three penalties in quick succession just after the
All were around the ten metre line, all in Thomas’s range and amazingly all
three hit the uprights and Doncaster managed to scramble clear.
With the one chance Doncaster were offered, Gollings rubbed salt into the
wounds by coolly slotting his kick from 40 metres and the Knights had a lead
with three minutes to play that would be decisive.
In stoppage time, Thomas spurned three points for a draw by going to the
corner to try for a win, but to no avail as a determined defence held out.