Up and running: Doncaster Knights 47 Blackheath 17

Adam Kettle was among the second half try scorers for the Knights in the win over Blackheath.
Adam Kettle was among the second half try scorers for the Knights in the win over Blackheath.
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‘One down, 29 to go.’

That was the simple message from buoyant Knights chief Clive Griffiths after seeing his side recover from a slow start to run out comfortable 47-17 winners over Blackheath.

After toiling through a difficult opening half hour in the National One curtain-raiser, the Knights found their feet and the difference in class began to show, particularly in a fine second half show which brought five tries.

Griffiths issued a stark warning to expect a similar pattern in each of the Knights’ game

“We’re going to have to go through an arm wrestle for a time in every game this season and whether we come through that will determine if we get the win,” he said.

“If we get our way in a game you’d expect us to have the quality to get a comfortable win.

“But if we don’t come through the early stages it’s going to be a bit of a struggle.

“Thankfully it went our way today.”

If the opening half hour was the game’s arm-wrestling period, it was visitors Blackheath who showed the greater strength, giving the Knights a harsh introduction to life in National One.

Their pack showed incredible strength, punishing early nerves for Doncaster.

But all they had to show from the period was a single try from David Allen, converted by David Marshall.

A pair of penalties from Dougie Flockhart kept the off-colour Knights in touch until they found their groove.

Michael Walker-Fitton put the Knights in front on 34 minutes and they never looked back.

Flockhart converted that and added another penalty early in the second half.

After Marshall pulled a penalty back for the visitors from the capital, Chris Hallam added the Knights’ second try following some tenacious work.

And the floodgates were opened with Doncaster displaying great pace in the backs.

Tries from Adam Kettle, Phil Eggleshaw, Mat Clarke and the lightning quick Paul Jarvis followed to see the Knights as relatively comfortable winners.

Allen added a second try for the visitors.

Knights: Bryce, Jarvis, Clarke, Armitage (Barker 67), Flockhart, Roberts, Hallam (Bravo 66), Eggleshaw, Hills, Kettle, Walker-Fitton (Kenworthy 60), Challinor, R Davies (Phillips 8), Santamaria (Bergmanas 73), Tamanis.