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Report: Knights 12-30 Featherstone

York City Knights got their Betfred Championship season underway in front of a 3602 crowd at the LNER Community Stadium but fell to a spirited 12-30 defeat against Featherstone Rovers.

A war of attrition was in order during the first twenty minutes with both sides defences standing strong but it was the visiting Rovers fans who celebrated, with ex-Knight Morgan Smith able to break through the Knights goal-line defence and power his way over the try line.

Sustained pressure on the defence came from both sides with Rovers finding the try line once again five minutes later when loose forward Jack Bussey crashed over the line following a short ball from James Lockwood.

An entertaining first half saw the Knights onto the scoresheet after a wide kick by Jamie Ellis was caught by Joe Brown who passed inside to James Glover on his 100th career appearance to make it 6-12 and give the Knights fans high hopes – hopes which, seconds before the hooter, saw the Knights threaten to level the scores with Brown again winning in the air on the right only for the hooter to sound as Pauli Pauli was trapped with the ball.

The visitors led at the interval by six and it was the Knights who looked set to open the scoring in the second half when Chris Clarkson was stopped from scoring thanks to a last-ditch tackle by Smith.

Rovers turned their solid defence in to a swift attack creating an overlap that saw Josh Hardcastle scramble over the line.

Luke Briscoe stamped his way onto the scoresheet for Featherstone moments with a flying effort in the corner, keeping Will Oakes’ attentions at bay, however York kept on showing fight with Will Jubb managing to find a gap and power himself over the line.

This try proved to be in vain as Rovers put the nail in the coffin on 72 minutes when winger Craig Hall wiggled his way past the Knights defence to make it 28-12.

Hall then kicked a penalty as the hooter sounded to make it 30-12 and give Rovers the opening two points of the Championship season.

Up next for the Knights is the visit of the Dewsbury Rams to the LNER Community Stadium on Sunday 6th February with tickets priced at £20 for adults, £15 for concessions and free for under-16s. Fans can get tickets from the York Stadium Management Company Ticket Office at,in person from the Ticket Office within the LNER Community Stadium or over the phone on 01904 942232.

York City Knights: Myles Harrison, Joe Brown, James Glover, Jack Logan, Will Oakes, Matty Marsh, Jamie Ellis, Masi Matongo, Will Jubb, Ronan Michael, Chris Clarkson, Danny Kirmond, Jordan Thompson.

Interchanges: Kriss Brining, Jack Teanby, Marcus Stock, Pauli Pauli.

Tries: Glover (30) Jubb (67)

Goals: Ellis 2/2

Featherstone Rovers: Brandon Pickersgill, Luke Briscoe, Josh Hardcastle, Craig Hall, Gareth Gale, Tom Holmes, Morgan Smith, Luke Cooper, Matty Wilde, James Lockwood, Junior Moors, Jesse Sene-Lefao, Jack Bussey.

Interchanges: Connor Jones, John Davies, Kyle Trout, Callum Field.

Tries: Smith (20), Bussey (24) Hardcastle (48), Briscoe (53) Hall (71)

Goals: Hall 5/6


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