|York City Knights30
Cockayne (15) Ellis (53)
Jackson (76) Delaney (76, 80)
Robinson (15, 53) Dagger (76, 79, 80)
York City Knights left it late, but were victorious in their final pre-season friendly after defeating League One rivals Hunslet at Bootham Crescent.
It was a successful ending to pre-season for the Knights, before their blockbuster season opener against Bradford Bulls on February 18th.
Despite it taking over an hour for York to play their best attacking rugby, Head Coach James Ford will take postives from a strong defensive display that only saw the Knights concede once in the whole match.
A game of two halves
It was a close first half and the two sides were only separated by Ben Cockayne’s 15th minute try at half-time.
The veteran full-back took a clever inside ball and went clear to score his first try for the Knights, and Connor Robson made it 6-0 with his conversion.
The second half was all about the Knights, who doubled their advantage on 55 minutes when Andy Ellis strolled through the posts untouched and Robson converted once more.
Hunslet pulled it back in the last ten minutes, when George Flanagan barged over from close range and Danny Grimshaw converted for 12-6. However, three Knights tries in the last four minutes would settle the home side’s blushes.
New signing Liam Jackson stepped inside and crossed over to score his first try for the club on 77 minutes. Brad Delaney then grabbed the first of two tries for the scrum-half moments later, when he took advantage of some tired Hunslet defending to score from close range.
Delaney’s second came in the final minute, when Jake Butler-Fleming put Cockayne in the clear and he kicked on for Delaney to score.
Substitute full-back Will Dagger converted on all three occasions to put the score beyond doubt and the game finished 30-6 to the Knights.
Room for improvement
Knights Head Coach James Ford was not best pleased with the Knights performance, despite acknowledging that his team were comfortable for most of the match.
It was York’s first victory over professional opposition this winter, losing out to Super League Hull KR and Featherstone Rovers from the Championship.
However, speaking to the York Press after the game, Ford had mixed emotions.
We handled it pretty comfortably, which was pleasing, but we’re not overly pleased with the performance.
It looked like we were going through the motions in parts, it had no speed and we lacked bite in contact, certainly in the first half.
Overall, it’s another part of our progression of being ready for Bradford Bulls on February 18.