Knights go joint top with Newcastle victory: Sunday 8th April - League 1
York City Knights produced another big defensive performance to record their sixth straight victory at Newcastle Thunder and move joint-top of the Betfred League 1 table after five rounds.
The Knights welcomed Will Oakes, Matty Marsh and Josh Johnson into the team and all three produced positive contributions on a chilly but dry day in the North East.
York immediately started on the front foot with Thunder full back Tee Ritson spilling the kick off, and enjoyed the majority of possession and territory throughout the opening stages, before experienced hooker Andy Ellis opened the scoring with a classic close range scoot from dummy half. The excellent Connor Robinson was faultless with the boot all afternoon, and kicked the first of his five conversions for a 0-6 lead after ten minutes.
Thunder felt their way back into the game and equalised after 24 minutes, as former Knight Tuoyo Egodo produced a powerful finish down the left edge for the first of his two tries. Scrum half Tom Shaw kicked a superb conversion from the touch line and we were level at 6-6.
The Knights regained their lead shortly after the half hour mark as Connor Robinson delayed his pass perfectly to allow Joe Batchelor to stroll over untouched. Robinson added the extras for a 6-12 lead.
On the stroke of half time, Thunder were penalised by referee Billy Pearson for dissent. Robinson duly kicked the penalty for an important 8 point lead at the break.
The hosts got back in the game five minutes into the second half – Knights centre Jake Normington was adamant that the ball was illegally ripped from his grasp, but the referee waved play on and Egodo acrobatically leapt for the corner for a spectacular second try.
York hit back almost instantly to settle any possible nerves. Thunder spilled another kick off, nd from the resulting scrum winger Judah Mazive raced home to score and the Knights lead by ten.
The second half was dominated by Newcastle as a combination of poor handling and discipline from the Knights regularly coughed up possession, but York’s resolute defence was outstanding – not for the first time this season.
The Knights finally sealed an important victory in the 75th minute as Kieren Moss was on hand to finish another Connor Robinson break, and despite Thunder grabbing a late consolation try through hooker Evan Simons, the loud and proud Knights fans went back down the A1 happy.
York now turn their attentions to the London Skolars, as they take on a rejuvenated team from the capital in an important game at Bootham Crescent this Sunday (3pm)…
Newcastle Thunder: Tee Ritson, Mo Agoro, Joe Brown, Tuoyo Egodo, Ben Calland, Lewis Young, Tom Shaw, Liam McAvoy, Evan Simons, Jack Aldous, Sam Luckley, Aaron Ollett, Conor Fitzsimmons, Rhys Clarke, Harry Aldous, Vincent Rennie, Ben Pointer
Tries: Egodo (24, 47), Simons (80)
Goals: Shaw 2/3
York City Knights: Kieren Moss, Ben Cockayne, Will Oakes, Jake Normington, Judah Mazive, Matthew Marsh, Connor Robinson, Joshua Johnson. Andrew Ellis, Graeme Horne, Joe Batchelor, Sam Scott, Tim Spears, Adam Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Joseph Porter, William Jubb
Tries: Ellis (9), Batchelor (33), Mazive (47), Moss (75)
Goals: Robinson 5/5
Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Connor Robinson