Rovers and Knights produce entertaining pre-season draw – highlights included: Sunday 5th January - Pre-Season

Published: 6 January, 2020 - 1:12 pm

Two tries in the last three minutes saw Featherstone Rovers come back to earn a 12-12 draw against York City Knights at the LD Nutrition Stadium in an entertaining start to both clubs’ pre-season programmes.

For the Knights ex Halifax pair Will Sharp and Ben Johnston were given starts while forward trio Danny Washbrook, James Green and Chris Clarkson as well as Hull KR loanee Elliot Wallis all began the match on the bench. Jimmy Keinhorst sat this one out.

Four trialists were included too with AJ Towse starting on the wing and Myles Harrison, Lewis Brown and Harry Bardle featuring from the bench. 16 year olds Towse & Harrison showed plenty of potential.

Playing up the hill but with a strong wind behind their backs, Featherstone enjoyed most of the territory and possession in the opening ten minutes as the Knights’ defensive patterns were given a stern early workout, and eventually broke the deadlock when debutant Ben Blackmore spun out of a tackle to score by the left edge corner flag. Chisholm missed the touchline conversion.

The Knights settled into the game with Sharp and Johnston looking lively, and the imposing James Green punching holes up the middle of the field with his impact off the bench. Will Jubb went close to scoring after half an hour, but was held up over the line.

York took a 4-6 lead on the stroke of half time when Connor Robinson produced a trademark show and go close to the line, which he converted. The half back combination of Robinson & Johnston showing plenty of signs of a promising partnership throughout the afternoon.

Featherstone fielded a much younger side in the second half including a number of Leeds Rhinos Academy starlets on dual-registration, and the more experienced York team soon took control of possession and territory. They extended their lead in the 54th minute thanks to an excellent break upfield from Elliot Wallis, the Hull KR season-long loanee then stayed alive on the next play to score a well-taken winger’s try down the left edge. Robinson expertly added the extras from the touchline for a 4-12 lead.

Washbrook and Clarkson – with over 500 Super League games between them – showed what they will bring to the Knights with some good touches as York continued to press. Their lead was almost extended further when Robinson laid on a try-scoring pass to Joe Porter, who agonisingly dropped the ball over the line.

Featherstone hit back with a double sucker punch in the last five minutes of the game, first Gareth Gale produced an excellent break cutting in from the left, with Sam Ottewell grounding on the next play. Robinson’s restart went out on the full and on the last tackle of the final set of the game, Louis Jouffret twisted over to level the scores. Featherstone’s new French half back put both conversions wide in the face of a stiff breeze, but both Head Coaches will no doubt take plenty of positives from the first game of 2020.

The Knights are next in action on Sunday, 19th January (3pm) against Halifax at Bootham Crescent. Tickets are £15 Adults, £10 Concessions and FREE for under 16’s.

2020 season tickets and memberships are available now. Secure your place in the brand new LNER Community Stadium today by emailing Zillah Ingledew at or call 01904 876527 for further details!

Featherstone: Hall, Blackmore, Hardcastle, Worthington, Gale, Jouffret, Chisholm, Dupree, Bussey, Susino, Harrison, O’Connor, Ferguson.

Subs (all used): Sweeting, Wright, Ottewell, Beckett, Spence, Richardson, French, Lockwood, Whitton, McConnell, Wright, Waite-Pullan.

Tries: Blackmore (10), Ottewell (77), Jouffret (79). 

Goals: Chisholm 0/1, Jouffret 0/2.

Knights: Marsh, Sharp, Salter, Bass, Towse, Johnston, Robinson, Teanby, Jubb, Baldwinson, Porter, Scott, Spears.

Subs (all used): Washbrook, Green, Clarkson, Stock, Wallis, Harrison, Brown, Bardle.

Tries: Robinson (39), Wallis (54).

Goals: Robinson 2/2.

Isaac Poad Man of the Match: Elliot Wallis

Attendance: 1,500 est.