Plucky Scorpions hit by on-song Doncaster
PROMOTION favourites Doncaster were too good for South Wales Scorpions at The Gnoll as they ran out 44-30 winners.
The result was rarely in doubt but the Scorpions didn't give up without a fight, especially in the early stages of the second half when they scored two fine tries.
But the visitors' experience showed as they cemented their position in the top four.
Doncaster took the lead on three minutes through a fine individual run from Lee Waterman. They extended on nine minutes when Dean O'Loughlin fed Stuart Sanderson to go over in the corner. Tom Hodson converted.
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Scorpions struck back on 16 minutes when Nathan Mossop charged through from dummy half after good work from Steve Parry. Shaun Owens converted.
Kyle Keswick continued to cause trouble for Doncaster. He almost set up a third try but the Scorpions were strong in defence, stopping Nathan Powley in his tracks on a final tackle of a set.
Then after winning a scrum, Doncaster went over for their third. Hodson fed Waterman to run under the sticks before the creator converted.
Hodson almost scored a try of his own but the pass he received from Paul Cooke was forward.
But just before half-time, Michael Butterfield went over in the corner for an unconverted try to bring the score to 20-6.
Scorpions got back into the game in the first minute of the second period. Joe Burke created a gap for Shaun Owens who scored under the sticks, converting his own try.
Straight from kick-off they scored their third thanks to an individual effort by Dalton Grant from 60 metres. Owens converted again.
However, Doncaster extended their advantage again as soon as they regained the ball. Carl Hughes opened up play for Craig Fawcett to run home and Hodson converted.
Alex Rowe was held up over the line and from the next play Butterfield grounded. The referee awarded the try after consulting with the touch judge as there was a suspicion that the full-back dropped the ball.
Hodson goaled to give Doncaster a 32-18 lead.
Carl Hughes rolled over to score Doncaster's seventh which Hodson converted.
Scorpions hit back again. Grant made another fine run, then cleverly passed the ball over to David James who ran unchallenged to the line. Courtney Davies converted.
But instead of looking for a bonus point, Scorpions conceded again on 72 minutes thanks to Fawcett's second try, scored under the sticks with Hodson converting.
There was a final chapter to the story. Debutant Courtney Davies celebrated his 18th birthday in style by breaking through to score a try that he converted himself, but it wasn't enough to secure a bonus point for the Welsh side.