1st XV Match Preview V Doncaster Knights (Away) Sat 19/12/2009 



by Joe Heaton

Doncaster v Moseley, at Castle Park, RFU Championship,
Saturday, December 19th 2009, k.o. 2.00 pm

This is another difficult away match of vital importance. The current position in the championship table could not be tighter. The gap between Moseley in the relative comfort of eighth position and Saturday’s opponents, Doncaster, in ninth, is only one bonus point. Furthermore, both clubs are being closely pursued by Coventry (10th /22 points).

                      P W D L F A BPts Pts
Moseley    8th 13 5 0 8 277 359 5 25

Doncaster 9th 13 5 0 8 219 231 4 24

The outcome of last Sunday’s away match against Nottingham, in which Moseley lost by 30-15, and conceded four tries to nil, does not reflect the game or the closeness of the teams. Moseley could well have won this game although the visitors had not been favourites at the start of play but again defensive frailty at crucial times let the side down.

The team’s defensive record in the Championship, in which 359 points have been leaked in thirteen championship matches at an average of almost 28 per match, is only worsened by B’ham Solihull. The need to significantly tighten the defence is imperative, otherwise the lower reaches of the league, and the four side relegation play offs, beckon.

In September, at Billesley Common, the two teams competed for the dubious honour of propping up the new Championship. In the event Moseley won 33-25 although since then the Knights have got their act together. Last Saturday they beat Cornish Pirates away 10-12.

Last season, in November 08 in National League One, Doncaster beat Moseley 12-19 at Billesley Common and in March 09 won again at home 41- 17.

Doncaster’s record in National League One, preceding the establishment of the Championship, has been impressive. In the club’s first season after promotion the Knights were 10th but in 2006-07 they were 3rd and 2007-08, 4th. Last season they were 5th.

No side, promoted from League Two, did better in League One so quickly, except previously relegated Premiership sides. The Knights’ leading try scorer last season was Mark Woodrow with 263 points, which placed him second in League One’s table of leading try scorers.

Doncaster sits at the heart of the road and rail communication system of north eastern England. It is 20 miles from both Rotherham and Sheffield and straddles the South Yorkshire coalfields.

The town is the largest in England not to have been awarded city status, although Greater Doncaster has a population of 286,000. The main claim to fame of the town’s much contracted industry is its former locomotive building and repair shops, which built the steam engines ‘Mallard’ and ‘Flying Scotsman’ for the London North Eastern Railway.

The area suffered badly from the rundown of the coal industry in the 1970s/80s, but, profiting from its superb location, was successfully regenerated until the start of the present recession, which has caused a major setback.

Doncaster Rugby Club now plays at Castle Park in Armthorpe Road. Its ground, built in part from Lottery funds, has a capacity of 5,000, of which 1,600 can be seated under cover. The club’s Director of Rugby is Lynn Howells, who is ably assisted by Justin Bishop. Two seasons ago he made a considerable number of successful changes in his squad, with a view to reducing the average age of a squad that was beginning to show the effects of time and long service.

We wish the Yorkshiremen well, but not in rugby!


Click Here

Castle Park
Armthorpe Road

Tel No: 01302 831388
Fax No: 01302 836300

E-mail: sales@castle-park.co.uk



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