YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE are on a roll after completing a second win over Doncaster Knights in eight days.
Carnegie followed their 33-20 success at Hull Ionians with a closer, but equally impressive, 20-18 victory in the return at Castle Park.
It was Carnegie’s third win from four Championship Cup ties and form and confidence is building ahead of their return to league action – at Doncaster – on December 29.
“We’ve gone into this cup with a mindset of being where we need to be when we get back into the Championship rounds,” Carnegie’s director of rugby Chris Stirling admitted.
“We are moving okay at the moment, it bodes well for us. There’s a long way to go, but the exciting thing is the guys care and they are tight as a bunch.”
As in the first cup meeting, Yorkshire received three yellow cards, but this time Doncaster were similarly punished and for a spell in the second half they had 12 men to the visitors’ 13. The key incident came on 65 minutes when Knights seemed about to receive a penalty, but their winger Curtis Wilson got involved in a set-to with Yorkshire fly-half Jade Te Rure and the free kick went against the hosts.
Yorkshire kicked to touch and drove over from the lineout, allowing Dylan Donnellan to touch down for his second, identical, try of the game.
That levelled the scores at 18-18 and impressive centre Jacob Umaga’s conversion won the match for Carnegie.
The double sin-binning came seconds after Doncaster’s Josh Tyrell had been yellow carded for deliberate offside, an offence which Carnegie’s Faatiga Lemalu had been banished for just before the break.
Five minutes from time rival front-rowers Sam Nixon and Doncaster’s Robin Hislop were also sent to the sidelines by referee Dean Richards.
Carnegie showed tremendous spirit to hit back from 10-0 down after 23 minutes and 18-10 adrift at the break.
Kurt Morath kicked Knights ahead with an early penalty and then converted a try by Will Owen before Donnellan opened Carnegie’s account.
Umaga converted and exchanged penalties with Morath, but Doncaster grabbed a second touchdown on the final play of the half, following Lemalu’s card.
Umaga – who landed six goals in the previous meeting – maintained his 100 per cent kicking record to open the second-half scoring.
Stirling reflected: “It is a tough place to come, so I am extremely happy. In the first half we felt we had contributed to their score building, with our discipline and giving them opportunities.
“We focused on a couple of things in the second half and I thought we were quite clinical in certain areas.”
Doncaster Knights: Jarvis, Wilson, Creed, Owen, Lewis, Morath, Williams (Hislop 61), Hunter (Mayhew 61), Sproston (Quigley 56), Eames, Challinor (Ryan 73), Tyrell, Hills, Stedman. Yorkshire Carnegie: Thoroughgood, Davey, Elder, Umaga, Brown, Te Rure, Wolstenholme (Buckle 70), Hill (Thomas 56), Donnellan (Bruzulier 70), Foster (Nixon 58), Britton (Myerscough 61), Lemalu (Smith 56), Romaine, Bainbridge, Temm.
Referee: Dean Richards.