1st XV Match Preview V Doncaster (Away) Sat 04/09/2010 



by Joe Heaton

Doncaster v Moseley, at Castle Park, RFU Championship,
Saturday, Saturday 4th September 2010, k.o. 3.00 pm

After all the pre-season optimism, realism set in last Saturday afternoon as Moseley went down to a home defeat (17-29) against recently promoted Esher. In spite of all the excellent off season work in addressing last season’s shortcomings the hole in the centre was even more inviting to opposing sides due to a combination of injury and selection.

It was a disappointing result especially given the matches that lie immediately ahead i.e. Doncaster (a), Cornish Pirates (h), Bristol (h), Bedford (a) and Worcester (h). No doubt there was a probing inquest and the club’s supporters will anxiously wait to hear what the management has to say on the defeat. It was most unfortunate that Ollie Thomas was unable to play due to a groin strain; his kicking was badly missed. It is hoped, however, that he will be fit for Saturday.

This first away match against Doncaster Knights, the most promoted club in the history of league rugby union football, is one of the more demanding fixtures of the season. They were 7th in the first Championship, i.e. two places above Moseley.

The results of last season’s Championship matches between the two clubs were:
26th September  Moseley 33-25 Doncaster W
19th December    Doncaster 19-3 Moseley L

Like Moseley, Doncaster lost last Saturday’s match, away to Cornish Pirates 30-14 although the Duchy is always a hard place to get a result. The Knights will be as fired up as Moseley to avoid two successive defeats.

The club’s best known new player for this season is Tristan Roberts, from Moseley. Our management and supporters will hope that he has not yet settled into his new club or that he has one of those days which so infuriated rather than exhilarated the Moseley supporters last season.

Doncaster sits at the heart of the road and rail communication system of north eastern England. It is twenty miles from both Rotherham and Sheffield and straddles the South Yorkshire coal field. 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 claims to fame of the town’s much contracted industry are its former locomotive building and repair shops, which built the steam engines of the ‘Mallard’ & ‘Flying Scotsman’ for the London North Eastern Railway.

The area suffered badly from the rundown of the coal industry in the 1970s/80s but has been successfully regenerated, profiting from its key location.

Doncaster RFC was founded in 1875 and remained a regional club until it reached National League Two in 2002-03 and League One in 2005-06. Doncaster now plays at Castle Park in Armthorpe Road. The club’s ground, built in part from Lottery funds, has a capacity of 5000, of which 1600 can be seated under cover.

Since early last season Doncaster’s Director of Rugby has been Lynn Howells, who is assisted by Justin Bishop. In the close season he made a considerable number of changes with a view to reducing the average age the team.

It all makes for a challenging encounter on Saturday.


Check your diaries…………

Please note that our home games against Doncaster and Rotherham will now be played on Friday 12th November and Friday 11th February respectively - 7.30pm ko

This follows the successful staging of Friday games in last seasons B&I cup and also avoids clashing with the televised England v Italy 6 Nations game.

It is also hoped that by staging the match on Friday local players will have the opportunity to come and sample the enjoyment of watching a highly competitive Championship match.



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