Early pressure by the English visitors took them right up to the home line, with the Ponty defence grafting hard to stem the tide of attack. Following a series of drives a decisive midfield break set up Knights’ flanker Andrew Boyd for a try which was converted by James Brooks, with twelve minutes gone.
Having spent much of the first quarter on the back foot, Ponty probed into enemy territory, but with Doncaster still looking menacing on the counter attack. As the home team were serially penalised there was another blow as prop Ryan Harford was dispatched to the sin bin. The inevitable pushover try from a five metre scrum ensued, with Doncaster back rower Adam Kettle claiming the score which was converted by Brooks.
Although under pressure in the set pieces, Ponty gamely pushed forward and were rewarded as a clever cross kick from Matt Hutchings was gathered by no8 Nathan Strong to dart in for a try. A dynamic break from Hutchings almost set up a try in the corner for Matthew Nuthall, with Ponty now far more competitive, going into the break trailing by 5pts to 14.
Making a positive start to the second period, Ponty edged their way back into contention through a Kristian Baller penalty, but Doncaster countering at pace, creating an overlap for Dougie Flockhart to cross for a try wide out.
Another Baller penalty once more narrowed the deficit, with the game evenly balanced - Pontypridd working hard to apply pressure and Doncaster looking pacey and powerful on the counter.
As the home team yielded possession in their efforts to chase the game, Doncaster turned the screw with a late period of pressure. A maul set up from a driving line out crossed the line for Knights’ hooker Steve Lawrie to claim a decisive bonus point try, and a winning margin of 11pts to 24.
15.Matthew Nuthall (Gavin Morris). 14.Owen Williams. 13.Adam Thomas. 12.Gary Williams (Lee Thorne). 11.Chris Clayton (Lewis Williams). 10.Matthew Hutchings. 9.Kristian Baller.
1.Stuart Williams (Jon Williams). 2.Tom Hetherington. 3.Ryan Harford. 4.Grant Harrington (Craig Locke). 5.Ryan Savage. 6.Chris Dicomidis. 7.Sam Studley (Wayne O’Connor). 8.Nathan Strong – cpt.
“Golden Bob” man of the match – Nathan Strong
|Try: Strong (30)||Tries: Boyd (12); Kettle (23); Flockhart (54); Lawrie (75)|
|Pens: Baller (44, 57)||Cons: Brooks (12, 23)|