On an overcast, early-February afternoon Coventry welcomed Doncaster Knights to the BPA for the fourth Championship Cup fixture of the season, as Alex Rae’s squad returned home following last week’s victory in West London.
Our visitors started the first half arguably the stronger of the two sides, as they controlled the opening few passages of play. Six minutes in, following a lineout 10m from the Cov line, Doncaster would have the first score of the afternoon. The Coventry defence thwarted the rolling maul well, but the Knights spun the ball out wide to the backs, and, after a few phases, it was the prop Karl Garside who eventually forced his way over from close. McBryde’s conversion added the 2 for the visitors. (0-7)
It didn’t take Cov long to respond though, as we were level within two minutes. Will Lane broke down the short side, and new-man Tobi Wilson ran a brilliant supporting line to race down the touchline and under the posts. Evan Mitchell’s conversion took us level. (7-7)
After some stop-start rugby from both sides, it would be Coventry who’d break the deadline on the 28 minute mark. From a lineout just inside the Doncaster 22m, Cov worked their way towards the tryline through a series of strong carries from the forwards, before Will Lane turned from provider to scorer, as he sniped over excellently. Mitchell made no mistake with the extras. (14-7)
Five minutes later Cov had another. Following another lineout in the Donny 22m, the forwards got the shove on through a rolling maul which our visitors were adjudged to have collapsed illegally, leading to 7 points and Martin Sigren being sent to the bin. (21-7)
It took Cov just three minutes to make the extra man count. A brilliantly-worked set play saw Suva Ma’asi put Lucas Titherington through a gap in the Knights’ defence, as the centre went over for the bonus point score. Mitchell’s success from the tee continued, as we ran into the sheds 28-7 up.
HALF TIME: 28-7
Doncaster started the second half well, but it would take our visitors until just shy of the hour mark to get their second of the afternoon. The Knights trundled ominously towards the Coventry line from a 5m rolling maul, and, in spite of the men in Blue and White’s best efforts, Will Holling emerged from the mass of bodies with the ball, and claiming the score. McBryde’s conversion attempt slipped just wide. (28-12)
Within 5 minutes though, Cov were in the ascendency again. Repeated phases of one-out forward carries wore away at the Donny defence, and eventually Jake Bridges powered over from close range. Mitchell added the two from the boot. (35-12)
With the clock in the red, Coventry got the final score of the encounter to give the Butts Park faithful one last cheer. Our visitors defended their tryline doggedly for multiple sets of Coventry attack, but, in the end, it was Toby Trinder who barged over at the bottom of the posts, at last breaking the Knights’ determined defence. Evan Mitchell slotted the 2, to complete his full house from the tee.
FULL TIME: Coventry 42-12 Doncaster Knights
Thank you to all the home supporters that came out to the game, as well as to our visitors from Doncaster. We look forward to welcoming you back to the BPA next weekend, as we face Bedford Blues on February 11th.