Monday, 30 November 2009

The Sponsors come to visit

From left to right: Mark Hillyer, Autoglass® territory manager
for the north, captain BJ and vice-captain Oliver
(receiving their shirts), SJ Khebbal, Onedrywash CEO

Ben applauds man of the match Jack

One Drywash and Autoglass®-sponsored Doncaster Knights under 9’s match report

Sunday saw SJ make one of his now famous waterlogged trips North. Everytime he has been to see the boys over the last couple of seasons, it has rained, been cold and generally very unwelcoming!

Fear not – the boys decided to make it a day to remember, and with the visit of Sheffield Tigers who act as a feeder club to the first team, they set about putting the many pieces of the jigsaw together all in one game. All season, we have done different things really well as a team, but today – as if to honour the water logged SJ, the boys put everything together in one game, and it was fabulous to watch.

Eventual player of the week – Jack - scored his first, and then second tries of the season.

Jack finally crosses the line

Top Tackler, Dan, lead by example. Harry and Lewi celebrated their birthdays with a massive effort for the team, and the Captain himself – BJ, seems to be settling into his new role at Stand Off, and at last finding some space to open the backs up for a run.

BJ tiptoes through the land of the giants!

Thomas (pictured below) is so used to beating opposition players, he has now mastered it with his eyes shut!

He's so good, Thomas can do it with his eyes closed

It was a cold, wet and muddy day for everyone, particularly our visitor from the South, but we were all warmed through by this massive effort from the boys, who never once moaned about the conditions, and did everything that was asked of them. Days like this are what rugby is made of, and we, as coaches, were proud to be a part of it.

Well done boys !!

Mark Howe
Central Support Manager, Retail Repair

Monday, 23 November 2009

A day in the country

Thomas checks the grounding!


Conor hangs on

BJ launches his back line

Sunday saw the One Drywash and Autoglass®-sponsored Doncaster Knights under 9’s head out to the countryside with a first-ever trip to Market Rasen.

Having squeezed into the smallest changing room on record, the boys couldn’t wait to get out into the country air and get stuck in. After a thorough warm up, the boys set about trying to overturn the unwanted record of losing the first game each week! Last week's training really looked to have paid off as the forwards set about doing the work that had earned them the nickname of the ‘donkies’ and they worked hard to secure plenty of ball to make the backs look good and, but for a couple of missed tackles, the knights gave their best performance of the season but were once again just edged out.

We made several changes for the second game, including some positional ones but were able to pick up where we left off, and for the first time this season, we rolled the ball through several phases and took the lead in a game.

Not for long though. As the boys were still patting each other on the back and enjoying their moment, the Rasen boys picked up the tempo and again a couple of missed tackles cost the Knights. The game continued to go back and forth, but some excellent handling and brilliant running saw Conor go close, before Thomas ran almost onto the next door pitch to score and secure another game-2 win.

Next week sees the visit of Sheffield Tigers to Castle Park and I know we are all looking forward to more of the great attacking play we saw today, especially as SJ is coming to watch!! Well done to everyone, and a special mention to Thomas as top tackler, Conor as top metre maker, Owain for an outstanding effort for the team and BJ who was player of the week.

Good luck for next week boys.

Mark Howe
Central Support Manager, Retail Repair

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Auto Express: Seven ways to stay green


"1) Clean your car more efficiently

Eco warriors hate to see water wasted – and if you wash your car regularly, thousands of litres end up going down the drain every year.

There are alternatives, though, such as OneDryWash. This no-rinse formula is simply sprayed on to the bodywork, spread around and then wiped off with a clean cloth – not a drop of water is required!"

Monday, 16 November 2009

Knights update

Stand clear - forwards on the loose!

Ease up Jack, I'm on your side!

Sunday was due to see the One Drywash and Autoglass®-sponsored Doncaster Knights under 9’s take on big local rivals Rotherham Titans in an attempt to overturn the first team's narrow loss the previous day. Unfortunately, the Titans were unable to field a team, and the Knights got the opportunity to take on a tough training session under the autumn sun.

Whilst the boys love to play, it is important during this massive year of transition that they get the chance to work on the new skills without the pressure of an opposition, and that’s exactly what we did.

Today was about getting the team working for each other, understanding more about the different roles of forwards and backs – the main one being the pretty coloured boots and the great looking hair sported by most of the backs, as opposed to the up and at ‘em mentality of the forwards.

We spent the morning looking at how the forwards could win, steal, and/or secure ball and give the backs the best opportunity to show their lovely boots to the crowd as they ran past. We included a couple of the Rotherham players who had turned up, and they introduced some exciting new thoughts which helped the Knights fire up. After an hour, we re-introduced the backs to the forwards, and ran through some game scenarios. The forwards rucked and mauled for all their worth, and the backs had space to run and let the wind whistle through their flowing locks.

Fraser celebrates his Player of the Day Award with a small blackcurrant!

This was an important session for the boys in terms of understanding the differences in the roles but more importantly how they fit together on game day, and we as coaches were really proud of their achievements.

Bring on game day next week so we can put it into practice.

Well done boys

Mark Howe
Central Support Manager, Retail Repair

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remembrance Sunday at Castle Park

Lest we forget....

Sunday saw the One Drywash and Autoglass®-sponsored Doncaster Knights under 9’s host local rivals, Sheffield. The boys started with a minute's silence at 11am and a moment to remember those who have given their lives for our country.

Once the game got started, Doncaster did their best to hold onto a free-flowing hard-running Sheffield side, but seemed to come off second best in contact, and the one-man breaks from a very experienced looking scrum half were hard to track. Credit to the boys though; they battled right the way to the end of the game and gave their all for the cause.

Strictly Come Rugby!

The coaches spent some time talking about working as a team, and the pride of walking from the field with their heads held high, and being able to say they had given their all. We then made some changes and set about the task. The boys worked tirelessly and not for the first time this season (infact it's becoming a weekly event!!), the boys turned the defeat around, and the all-winning Sheffield side were held to their first draw of the season. The boys played with real passion and worked for each other, and it was great to see Ethan stand tall as player of the day, having rucked and mauled his way to near exhaustion !!!!

The effort from everyone in and around the team is really starting to pay off, and I am really proud to say I have been a part of the boys' development until now – good luck boys; keep working hard.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Winter rugby at last !

Get off me foot !!

Oh no you dont !!

World Gnome fishing championships - Hull 2009

We have been spoilt so far this season, playing deep into October in fabulous sunshine and balmy temperatures. But Sunday saw the first Winter rugby for the season, and for many of our new players, yet another step in their long rugby roads!

We headed down the M62 to Hull Ionians, and after 30 minutes in the dressing rooms, we decided we could hide no more and headed out on our expedition to the pitches. Not sure whether to run, paddle or swim, the boys reluctantly headed out. We had a good warm up and, despite the weather, we looked promising with some really slick handling – always a worry to the coaches when we look this good in warm up!

Eventually, Hull found their way to the pitch and we got started on the first of our 2 games for the day. The boys worked really hard and played exactly how they had been taught; just a shame that the opposition, and at times the referee, seemed to be playing a different game! It was a very physical and a very wet game, and I am only glad it wasn’t my turn to wash the shirts this week!

The boys battled well and kept plugging to the end, but weren’t really given the space to play by a ‘keen’ Hull side on a very small pitch, and we came off second best.

With water in places not to be mentioned, it would have been easy to call it a day and head back to the warm, but after a short huddle together, most of the knees had stopped knocking and the teeth stopped chattering so we decided to give it another go! This time, we offered to referee and the boys slotted back into the routine they know best – knocking down the big men and running hard and straight at the opposition. Some great team work and good passing saw the Onedrywash and Autoglass®-sponsored Knights under 9’s record another great victory and, for the second game in a row, turn defeat into victory against a powerful opposition. It was an outstanding effort by everyone, with the pieces of the jigsaw slowly starting to come together – watch this space!

Well done to 'Player of the Day': Oliver, 'Most Effort for the Team': Luis, 'Top Metre Maker': Thomas and 'Top Tackler': BJ.

Here’s hoping for less rain next week and a chance to show off some of those great skills.