Nottingham 40 Doncaster Knights 15
DONCASTER Knights suffered a second Championship defeat in the space of five days at Meadow Lane last night.
Knights were still in contention midway through the second half but fell away badly in the final quarter.
The hosts drew first blood with a third-minute penalty by fly-half James Arlidge.
Knights’ dual registered fly-half Christian Lewis-Platt had the chance to level the scores from around 30 metres out two minutes later but he pulled his kick just wide of the post.
Knights, who made eight changes to their line up, got their noses in front on 11 minutes when flying winger Matty Williams got on the end of a kick by Lewis-Pratt 12 metres out and just held off the cover to score. Lewis-Pratt added the extras from wide out to make it 7-3.
Full-back Steve McColl extended Knights’ lead on 19 minutes with a huge penalty from five metres inside his own half.
Fifth-placed Nottingham hit back strongly and after centre Tim Streather had been held just short after beating a couple of defenders in the Doncaster 22, the ball was moved left where Arlidge sent second-rower Craig Hammond over from close range on 21 minutes.
The half-back’s conversion, which would have levelled the scores at 10-10, drifted wide.
Arlidge fared better with a straight 40 metre penalty five minutes later.
Nottingham, who had the momentum at this stage, went close to extending their lead when centre Junior Sifa broke the Knights’ defensive line just outside their 22 and showed good footwork in a move which took play to a couple of metres of the line.
Nottingham remained on the attack, however, and opened up a 16-10 lead with an unconverted try by No 8 Sione Kalamafoni.
There would almost certainly have been a third Nottingham try had winger Cesar Sempere used Streather on his outside rather than trying to go clear himself on the halfway line after the home side had turned defence into attack.
Nottingham added a third try by flanker Phil Eggleshaw on 51 minutes which Arlidge converted to make it 23-10.
Skipper Steven Lawrie crossed from close range shortly after Knights had made three changes, to cut the deficit to just eight points.
But Streather and Kalamafoni added further tries to deny Knights a losing bonus point.
Knights: McColl, Williams, Goss, Wright, Flockhart, Lewis-Pratt, Jones, Corsar, Lawrie, Thiede, Challinor, Parsons, Farivarz, Walker, Jackson. Rep: (all used) Cusack, Cochrane, Makaafi, Rowan, Hampson, Roberts, Gidlow.