London Scottish 20 Doncaster Knights 36: Curtis Wilson claims hat trick in much-needed Knights victory

Doncaster Knights winged their way to a first victory in six Championship games at the Athletic Ground.

Sunday, 28th October 2018, 10:38 am
Updated Sunday, 28th October 2018, 10:48 am
Curtis Wilson

Curtis Wilson notched a hat trick and fellow wing Steve McColl also touched down as third-bottom Knights ran hot on a bitterly cold day to claim a bonus point 36-20 win over mid-table London Scottish.

Both men touched down in the first half to secure Knights a 24-15 interval lead with Wilson bagging a brace in the final quarter to dash the Exiles' comeback hopes after they had got back to within four points.

Scottish grabbed an early lead when wing Miles Mantella intercepted a pass by fly-half Kurt Morath close to his own line and raced away to score an unconverted try.

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Knights hit back with the first of four first half tries on nine minutes when ace finisher Tom James beat the remnants of the Scottish cover on a 20m run to the line after backing up a break from just inside his own half by full-back Cameron Cowell and carried on by No 8 Josh Tyrell. Morath added the extras to make it 7-5.

Scottish hit back and after going close earlier they opened up a 10-7 lead as Mantella capitalised on a favourable bounce to score a second unconverted try after McColl's pass had hit skipper Michael Hills on the back.

Knights regained the lead on 26 minutes when McColl intercepted a pass on halfway and had the legs to make it to the line for a try which Morath goaled to make it 14-10.

No sooner had the cheers of the Doncaster contingent died down than full-back Joe Luca Smith scored in the corner to give the Exiles a 15-14 lead.

The lead changed hands yet again on 34 minutes, second-rower Nick Civetta rewarding a spell of pressure on the Scottish line from a pick-and-go.

Wilson, who had made a good run earlier in the half, secured Knights a try bonus point shortly before half time when latching onto a good pass by Morath, whose conversion attempt hit the post, and racing in from around 50m out for a superb try.

The Exiles had come good in the second half of several recent games, and when Smith touched down out wide from a ball over the top of the Doncaster defence on 56 minutes, they fancied their chances.

Morath, who had arguably his best game for the club, failed to give his side a bit more breathing space when firing wide with a 40m penalty on 65 minutes, but he made amends two minutes later when his clever crossfield kick set-up the chance for Wilson to dive over in the corner from close range.

Despite Knights being down to 14 men at the time - Cowell having been sin-binned - Morath supplied a try-scoring pass to Wilson following a move from  a ruck.

Knights: Cowell, Wilson, Hayes, Creed, McColl, Morath, James; Hislop, Hunter, Quigley, Challinor, Civetta, Ryan, Hills, Tyrell. Rep: Malcolm, Sproston, List, Eames, Booth, Seniloli, Foley.