Doncaster Knights crash despite an improved second half

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DONCASTER Knights produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they crashed to a 52-17 defeat in their opening pre-season friendly away to Championship rivals Newcastle Falcons.

Knights’ boss Brett Davey said that his side ‘didn’t get to grips’ with the home side in the first half and and trailed 38-3 at the break. But he was much happier with their second half performance.

“We didn’t see much of the ball in the first half but we changed most of the team at half-time and the second half was pretty good,” the Welshman told The Star.

“We played a lot better as can be seen by the fact that it was 14-14 in the second half.

“Certain players will have learnt a lot from it and, in addition to fitness, that is what pre-season games are all about,

“We know that a big chunk of our squad are definitely capable of playing Championship rugby, and at a top level, but there are other players who need to get up to speed and reach the standards that we want.

“We pretty much played two different sides, though some players had to play 60 minutes because we only had 26 players.

“We’ve got things to work on, and we are not where we need to be at this moment in time, but we’ve still got another three weeks before the start of the season.

“The next two pre-season games, at home to Cambridge on Saturday, and away to Gloucester the following Saturday, are very important.

“We’ve got a lot of new players at the club and obviously it will take time but there were certain principals that we wanted to put in place that were completely forgotten.”

Adam Kettle and newcomer James Munro shared out the two tries, both converted by Jamie Lennard. Dougie Flockhart kicked a first half penalty.