DONCASTER Knights’ boss Brett Davey dedicated yesterday’s 30-16 Championship win over Leeds at Headingley to the family of full-back David McIlwaine.
“David’s grandfather died earlier this week and he hadn’t trained with us all week but I thought that he was absolutely magnificent,” said the Welshman.
“He came around to my house on Tuesday and told me the news and we had a quiet chat and I told him to take however long he needed but he said his grandfather would have wanted him to play. I left the decision up to him.”
It was McIlwaine who secured Knights an interval lead after landing a long-range penalty in stoppage time from seven metres inside his own half.
“It was an outstanding place kick but we know what he is capable of,” said Davey.
McIlwaine also scored the first of two late Doncaster tries.
“He’s a big boy to stop,” said Davey. “He’s tall and rangy and I like full-backs like that because I was one.”
When informed by journalists after the game that it was the club’s first ever win at Headingley, Davey said:
“That’s fantastic; it’s testament to the players. But I don’t think that we played anywhere near our potential.
“I was pretty disappointed with our performance. There will be a lot of elements that when we look at the video we won’t be happy with.
“It took us a while to understand what our game is. When we started to play we were fine but it took us far too long.
“I couldn’t believe that we came in at half-time in front. We dominated territorially in the second half but we didn’t score our two tries until late on.
“I didn’t worry when they kept us out after a long spell of pressure. If you keep knocking on the door sooner or later it’s going to break down.”