Knights pay penalty as hopes fade

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DONCASTER’s Championship play-off hopes are hanging by a thread after they were well-beaten by Nottingham.

The Knights were still in the contest trailing 9-0 at half-time having conceded three penalties.

But the hosts raised their game after the break and ran in three tries, all of which were converted, to put a comeback out of reach of the home side.

Nottingham could have been 15-0 ahead at the break, all through penalties, if James Arlidge had made two other attempts.

But as it was the visitors bravely battled to stay alive in a hard-fought clash, hungry to bounce back from their defeat to Bristol in their opening play-off match in Pool A.

However, despite a strong opening half the visitors came unstuck after the break as Nottingham dominated proceedings with their three tries.

Outside centre Tim Streather was the first Notts’ player to cross the try-line, with Arlidge on the mark with his fourth kick of what was proving to be a fruitful afternoon.

Prop Michael Holford scored a second try and centre Ayoula Erinle bounced over for a third to compound the damage.

Japan international Arlidge finished the afternoon with three penalties and three conversions as Notts eased to a 27-points victory margin.

The only consolation for the Knights was Dougie Flockhart’s penalty kick which slightly reduced the deficit to 15-3, but from there it was the hosts who took control as they regrouped from their 32-21 loss to London Welsh.

KNIGHTS: Berridge, Flockhart, Goss, Burdon, Keating, Quinn-McDonogh, Hallam, Corsar, Boden, Brown, Challinor, Parsons, Makaafi, Farivarz, Noone. Subs: Burke-Flynn, Yeandle, Kenworthy, Kettle, Halla, Boyde.

Penalties: Flockhart