Richmond 17 Doncaster Knights 28: Knights’ late show seals hard fought win

Lloyd Hayes scored a late try for Knights.
Lloyd Hayes scored a late try for Knights.

Doncaster Knights made it back-to-back Championship wins with a hard-fought 28-17 victory over Richmond at the Athletic Ground.

Two late tries saw Knights, who trailed 17-16 with just over ten minutes to go, avoid a third successive defeat at the hands of the London side.

Knights got off to the worst possible start when scrum-half Tom James’ attempted clearance kick was charged down in his own 22 in the first minute by No 8 Ed Milne.

Rob Kirby added the extras but failed to hit the target with a seventh-minute penalty.

Wing Steve McColl, who was handed the kicking duties in the absence of both Charlie Foley and Kurt Murtagh, opened Doncaster’s account with a long-range penalty on ten minutes.

The Scot was wide with a subsequent penalty attempt.

Knights started to get a grip on the game in the closing stages of the first quarter and Richmond did well to deny them a try during a prolonged spell of pressure close to their line.

Knights didn’t come away empty-handed, however, and McColl reduced the deficit to a point with a 20th minute penalty.

The home side briefly regained the initiative and opened up a 14-6 lead on 24 minutes when Ronnie McLean-Dents rewarded a spell of pressure going over for a second converted try.

McColl found touch close to the Richmond line from a penalty with hooker Ben Hunter touching down from a well-executed catch-and-drive routine.

McColl added the extras to leave just one point separating the two sides in a first half which had seen Knights enjoy the better of the territorial exchanges.

That’s the way it remained until the break despite Richmond having being reduced to 14 men on 35 minutes when wing Jono Woodward was sin-binned.

Knights got their noses in front for the first time five minutes after the restart when McColl converted his third penalty of the game to make it 16-14.

Speedy wing Curtis Wilson, who was making his first appearance of the season, looked set to add to Knights’ lead shortly after before being nailed inside the Richmond 22.

Doncaster centre Lloyd Hayes pulled off an equally important tackle on former Doncaster team-mate Sam Edgerley.

The home side posed far more problems for the Doncaster defence in the second half and but for some poor handling in and around their 22 would have had more to show for their efforts.

Kirby made amends for an earlier miss in the half when kicking his side into a 17-16 lead on 68 minutes after chances at both ends.

Knights regained the lead two minutes later when centre Lloyd Hayes managed to reach out of a tackle on the line to score.

With centre Will Warden being sin-binned in the build-up to the try the home side again found themselves down to 14 men.

But the game remained in the balance until the dying moments when James grabbed an interception try, which McColl converted, to seal Richmond’s fate.

Knights: Jarvis, McColl, Hayes, Matavesi, Wilson, Cowell, James; Hislop, Hunter, Quigley, Civetta, Hicks, Ryan, Calladine, Tyrell. Rep: Challinor, List, Eames, Malcolm, Seniloli, Creed.