Doncaster Knights 18 Yorkshire Carnegie 20
Doncaster were first to open the scoring from a penalty after Yorkshire Carnegie were penalised at the scrum on their own put in. Kurt Morath had no hesitation in pointing the posts and was successful from 38 metres out.
The teams had warmed up in drizzly conditions but the rain relented for the game however it meant handling was a challenge for both sets of players. Yorkshire had two half chances the first coming after Jade Te Rure had his kick blocked into the path of Chris Elder, but he was hauled down, and then Dan Temm nearly put Harry Davey away down the touchline but the youngster ran out of space and was forced into touch.
Doncaster had the chance to extend their lead when Cian Romaine was penalised for offside as he dived on a loose ball but Morath was off target on this occasion.
However, Clive Griffith’s side did increase the advantage when centre Will Owen took Ben Hunter’s short passed and bulldozed his way through an attempted tackle by Louis Brown before going over from ten metres out. Morath added the conversion to give his side a 10-0 lead after 25 minutes.
Carnegie responded almost immediately and reverted to route one for their opening try. Having gained a penalty in the Doncaster half, the line out was taken cleanly and driven over before Dylan Donnellan touched down for the try. Jacob Umaga added an excellent conversion to make it 10-7 on the half hour.
Morath and Umaga traded penalties after that before Doncaster struck for a second try on the stroke of half time. Yorkshire were reduced to 14 men when Fa’atinga Lemalu was sin binned for deliberate offside as he knocked the ball away from a Knights ruck on the Carnegie line. The home side made their numerical advantage count in the forwards as they drove over from the ensuing line out and former Carnegie forward Ollie Stedman touched down. Morath was off target with his conversion attempt with the last kick of the half but his side now led 18-10.
Carnegie started the second half the stronger of the two sides despite having a man less and could have got a try back from a nice move involving Elder but Doncaster muscled up in defence. Eventually the pressure brought a penalty and Umaga cut the gap to 18-13 just before Lemalu returned to the field.
Doncaster were reduced to 14 men when back row Josh Tyrell was sin binned after 62 minutes for deliberate offside at the ruck as the visitors looked to force their way over. Yorkshire made a mess of the line out drive however and were grateful to receive a penalty after an altercation off the ball between Jade Te Rure and Curtis Wilson that saw both men sent to the sin bin.
Carnegie made no mistake this time as they powered their way over and Donnellan collected his second try of the game after 68 minutes. Umaga added an excellent touchline conversion to give his side a 20-18 lead with ten minutes to go.
The game became farcical in the final ten minutes as referee Dean Richard decided to stamp his authority on the game. With three players already in the bin, replacement front rowers Sam Nixon and Robin Hislop were both shown yellow cards. The loss of the front rowers, meant more technical changes to ensure the scrum could take place and to add to the confusion, Yorkshire were forced to take off both their replacement second rows due to head clash.
Doncaster had a late line out to try and win the game but the ball was pinched by the visitors and Yorkshire Carnegie held on for victory.