Match reaction: Doncaster Knights 10-28 Newcastle Falcons

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Tuesday 1 January 2013 – 2.30pm
Castle Park, Doncaster
RFU Championship #13

Just skimming around the unoffy message board before I write this, there seems the justified discontent after the London Scottish game is continuing.

It’s understandable that people want us to put 50 points on the team at the bottom of the table.

But personally I think today’s performance was so much better than last time out.

We played the windy conditions well, dominated up front and used the backs at the right times. The boot was used far more sparingly and intelligently for the most part.

Yes we may have hoped to score more points but we were by a mile the more threatening team and bar some errors could have scored more.

I am told Ryan Shortland was very much infield when he had a try chalked off for a foot in touch too.

We seemed to be doing the right things even if they didn’t always come off, and that is not something we could say after Scottish.

The Falcons pack had Doncaster’s scrum on toast and Kieran Brookes was completely outplayed by Jonny Golding before sadly retiring due to what is apparently a broken collarbone.

Although Zach Kibirige had limited opportunities with the ball, both of his tries were remarkable for the fact that in times past they might not have been scored, at least in the way they were.

For the first he chased Luke Fielden’s kick even though Luke looked favourite to get to it first, and was rewarded as the ball went just out of the reach of Fielden and a defender. Such commitment and heart was not always evident before Gary Gold’s time.

The second, a beautiful race down the wing, had me thinking back to Tom Biggs and Charlie Amesbury. The latter would have changed direction to try to get tackled, the former would never have even got the ball.

Beyond these positives there is obviously a lot to work on – converting domination into points primarily.

But I am thinking again that we are on the right track and that as long as we keep playing intelligently, practice will make perfect come the play-offs.

Finally, Doncaster’s ground is lovely, blending new and modern facilities well with the feel of a traditional rugby club. Everybody was friendly, the beer was cheap (for a rugby ground), the atmosphere was good.

Oh, and the cow pie was quite something. Compared to the mass-produced and processed burgers and hot dogs at most grounds, the steak was good quality and tasted excellent.

As much as I want us to get back to the Premiership, if the season goes as we hope, I will miss places like Doncaster. Roll on Cross Keys!

Thanks finally to the Geordie doctor and his son who happily shared taxis to and from the ground with myself, wor lass and Ruck despite not knowing us from Rob Andrew. #falconsfamily in action.

(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)

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