Knights ace Colton Roche lauds leaders’ tough defence

York City Knights’ Colton Roche in barnstorming action against Hunslet

York City Knights’ Colton Roche in barnstorming action against Hunslet

First published in Sport
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DEFENCE is the best form of attack for York City Knights ace Colton Roche.

The 21-year-old former Featherstone forward reckons the hard-to-break-down Huntington Stadium outfit are starting to dominate Championship One precisely because teams are struggling to score against them.

Roche, who signed for the Knights in May until the end of the campaign, also believes York have the best pack in the division - and proved it as they put Oldham's big unit to the sword in a 54-12 thrashing last weekend.

Reflecting on that performance, Roche said: "We wanted to start well. They beat us away from home and we needed to start well to challenge them. They have got a big pack of forwards so we had to go toe-to-toe with them for the first 20 minutes and we did that.

"There aren't that many games left and then we go into the play-offs. We've talked about starting really well and hitting really hard. All our forwards have that dominant sense now to go and get their forwards. That's the difference. This next few weeks are going to really pump us up and really push us into the play-offs.

"If you look at us on the pitch, we are not the biggest pack but we have been dominant in the league and we do rank ourselves as the best pack.

"As long as we can go out there and show it then I think we are.

"We are hitting peak form and that is down to the coaches keeping us very grounded as well. We are very defence focused because we all know we can score points. When we went down to Gloucestershire last time, we did leak a few points and we have focused on defence.

"I think that's why we are winning by such big amounts - we are really defending and we are going to bring that into these next few games now."

A return trip to the All Golds a week on Sunday is next up for the Knights and Roche has stressed the Cheltenham outfit will not be treated lightly following York's 24-22 reverse there last month.

"They are a good team as well," he said. "We have got to go down there and we do owe them one. It's not personal but is there in the back of our minds that we do owe them one.

"We are going to have be really good mentally on the trip down because last time we got everything totally wrong. We underestimated them and they have got a good coach and a good set of forwards as well.

"We will really need to be on the ball for that Gloucestershire game. We can't get too far ahead of ourselves. Anything can happen on any day - it is a tough league. People don't realise that you can hammer someone one week and you have to be then mentally tough.

"But that's what we pride ourselves on."

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