Match Report: Doncaster Knights vs Cornish Pirates

Greene King IPA Championship

Castle Park


Doncaster Knights




Cornish Pirates


TOM Lawday scored two tries as Cornish Pirates stunned their fourth-placed hosts with an excellent Greene King IPA Championship display at Castle Park.

After five very narrow defeats in their opening six league games, the Pirates were determined to show what they are really made of in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

They did that in some style, running in six tries, with dual-registered Exeter Chiefs No.8 Lawday collecting the satellite broadcaster’s man of the match award.

The only slight downside was they shipped four tries in the final 19 minutes, allowing the Knights to pick up a bonus point, but it was still a great way to go into a few days’ holiday as they have a blank in their fixture list next weekend.

Doncaster had to make a late reshuffle in their back line, with centre Will Owen failing a fitness test on a knee injury, while Pirates made seven changes from their British and Irish Cup victory over Ulster A seven days before.

No doubt buoyed by memories of their victory at the venue last season, the Pirates produced a very impressive first-half display to lead 17-5 at the break.

It could have been more if Kiwi centre Dan Koster had been able to hold on to a pass from impressive scrum-half Alex Day, with the line at his mercy, right on the stroke of half-time.

The two tries they did score both came as a result of Pirates player bursting through tackles.

Lawday escaped the clutches of Donny winger Junior Bulumakau to break clear and set up the first, which was eventually scored by full-back Toby May after a nice dummy close to the line.

Day got the second following more lacklustre defending from Bulumakau, putting in supporting winger Moyle for his eighth try in eight games this season.
Cargill converted both after getting the ball rolling with a 15th-minute penalty, but Donny did manage to hit back before the break with a try by hooker Ben Hunter after a clever move at the front of a close-range line-out.

Donny started the second half brightly, putting the Pirates under pressure, but they were left stunned when No.8 Alex Shaw incredibly passed straight to Pirates winger Alex O’Meara as they attacked the short side, and he raced 80 metres to gleefully accept the gift.

The visitors almost scored again as Declan Cusack stopped a breakaway by Kiwi centre Koster, but the former Plymouth Albion full-back prevented the Pirate from releasing the ball and was sin-binned.

While the Irishman was off, the Cornishmen added two more tries, with Lawday crossing after breaking off a five-metre scrum, and Argentinean Nic Coronel scoring his first try for the club only moments after coming on, with replacement fly-half Laurence May improving both.

A close-range score from Donny back rower Matt Challinor was sandwiched in between those touchdowns, and the hosts ran in three more tries before the end, through centre Lloyd Hayes and replacement backs Tom James and James Wright, with two converted by Simon Humberstone, as the Pirates took their foot off the pedal in the closing stages.

However, there was never any danger of the visitors throwing away the win, with Moyle setting up Lawday for his second try of the game, and Laurence May converting that and kicking a penalty to stretch his unbroken run of successful kicks at goal in the Championship to 26.

Doncaster: D Cusack, J Bulumukau, A Bulumakau, L Hayes, T Lewis (J Wright 80), S Humberstone, M Heaney (T James 57), R List (Evans 57), B Hunter (J Bergmanas 62), C Quigley (I Williams 57), N Civetta, T Hicks (S Jones 57), M Challinor, M Hills (capt), A Shaw (J Hill 59).

Pirates: T May, A O’Meara, D Koster (N Coronel 62), P Laverick, K Moyle, W Cargill (L May 49), A Day (M Pope 71), M Walker (B Keast 62), T Cowan-Dickie (T Channon 49), J Andrew (C Judge 62), T Freeman, B Beukeboom (capt), J Caulfield, R Cooper (C Fuca 69), T Lawday.

Doncaster: Tries: Hunter, Challinor, Hayes, James, Wright; Cons: Humberstone (2).

Cornish Pirates: Tries: T May, Moyle, O’Meara, Lawday (2), Coronel; Cons: Cargill (2), L May (3); Pens: Cargill, L May.

Yellow cards: Doncaster: Cusack 54.

Referee: Christophe Ridley (RFU).

Attendance: 1,897.

Online Indhy content.