Knights impress at freezing Featherstone: - Pre-Season
York City Knights were edged out 22-12 at Betfred Championship big guns Featherstone Rovers in horrendous conditions at the LD Nutrition Stadium yesterday – but the game was only put to bed with an 80th minute Frankie Mariano try thanks to a monumental defensive effort from from James Ford’s improving team.
The Knights were dealt a huge blow just two minutes into the game as Andy Ellis & Joe Batchelor went off after a head clash – and lost other hooker Harry Carter (also to a head knock) after half an hour, forcing the impressive Connor Robinson into the hooking role for a large part of the slugfest.
On his first appearance of the season, powerful prop Adam Robinson crashed over from close range to open the scoring after just 4 minutes, with Connor Robinson goaling for an early 0-6 lead.
York then spent much of the first half pinned back in their own half as the Championship side imposed themselves, but the visitors defence was resolute throughout – Luke Briscoe crashed through a stretched Knights defence 17 minutes in, and a Connor Farrell try converted by Martin Ridyard on the stroke of half time gave Rovers a 10-6 lead going into the break – where a much needed cup of hot tea was waiting!
A sustained period of Featherstone pressure ended when Connor Robinson picked off a Ridyard pass and raced 60 meters uphill to clear the lines, and York Acorn Trialist Matt Chilton scored his third try in three games 55 minutes in as the Knights regain a 10-12 lead.
Conditions worsened and the pitch deteriorated, making it difficult for either team to play any kind of expansive rugby, and the game boiled down to a real war of attrition. With 15 minutes remaining Connor Farrell scored his second try as Rovers regained a slender lead, and the game was in the balance until the final minute when Frankie Mariano crashed over by the posts.
The Knights wrap up their pre-season programme next Sunday when Betfred League 1 rivals Hunslet visit Bootham Crescent, with plenty of shirts still up for grabs ahead of the huge Round One game at home to Bradford Bulls on Sunday 18th September.
ROVERS: Thackeray, Briscoe, Hardcastle, Gale, Robinson, Ridyard, Holmes, Wheeldon, Wildie, Moore, Farrell, Davies, Knowles. Subs: Taulapapa, Hardman, Brooks, Maskill, Cooper, Mariano.
TRIES: Briscoe (17), Farrell (39, 65), Mariano (78).
GOALS: Ridyard 3/4.
KNIGHTS: Robson, Cockayne, Butler-Fleming, Hey, Mazive, C Robinson, Delaney, A Robinson, Ellis, Horne, Batchelor, Scott, Spears. Subs: Carter, Siddons, Dixon, Normington, Clavering, Chilton, Jackson, Hawkesworth, Douglas.
TRIES: A Robinson (3), Chilton (56).
GOALS: C Robinson 2/2.
REFEREE: Liam Staveley
MAN OF THE MATCH: Connor Farrell