Doncaster 29 Coventry 13

Injury-hit Coventry came away from Castle Park with pride restored but nothing to show for a valiant rearguard action as they suffered a third successive National Division One defeat.

Trailing to a converted try inside three minutes, they lost prop Richard Siveter with a medial knee ligament injury two minutes later and lock Hendry Rheeders, who went to hospital for an X-ray on his right foot, on the quarter-hour.

With centre Donovan Sanders also departing before half time with a hamstring pull, the visitors had their backs to the wall throughout and defended for long periods.

That they made Doncaster look an ordinary side was, however, to their great credit and Mike Umaga had nothing but praise for his diminishing squad who had winger Sam Montague playing the last nine minutes in the back row when Tom Johnson was forced off.

Coventry's head coach said: "We are being very unlucky at the moment but I'm proud of the lads and they could walk off the pitch today with their heads held high.

"After last week's poor display at home I needed to see a performance to be proud of, and I think we went a long way towards that. Our bravery couldn't be questioned today and I can't fault their effort.

"They never gave up and the effort in negating Doncaster's driving line-out was outstanding.

"I'm sure we are not as bad as these last three results and it is certainly not a case of doom and gloom. My worry is just the mounting injury list and we will have to see how people come through the next 24 to 48 hours."

Coventry fell behind from the home side's opening thrust, centre Spencer Davey crossing between the posts for Mark Woodrow to convert,

and it was all Doncaster until the 26th minute when Duncan James took a quick penalty and Sanders sent Montague away for his maiden Coventry try which Ben Russell converted.

Three minutes later home winger Donavan Van Vuuren squeezed over on the right but Russell kicked a fine 40-metre penalty on 37 minutes after a quick counter-attack launched by James from his own 22.

Woodrow responded with a penalty in the sixth minute of injury time for 15-10 but Coventry were close enough for the early exchanges in the second half to be decisive.

Montague was adamant that he had grounded the ball in the left corner for his second try but referee James Jones ruled that it had gone forward. When Coventry's fired-up pack pinched the ensuing scrum against the head, a miss-move in mid-field went horribly wrong as Woodrow intercepted and sprinted 80 metres for a try which he also converted.

Russell kicked another long-range penalty midway through the third quarter but Coventry, although manfully standing up to an increasingly one-dimensional Doncaster forward barrage, conceded again on 71 minutes when home skipper Jason Forster picked up a loose ball behind a maul and dived over in the corner, Woodrow converting.