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Mick Ramsden hails York City Knights young guns
ASSISTANT-BOSS Mick Ramsden heaped more praise on York City Knights ’ young guns after they came through another rugby league lesson beaten but with pride intact.
A week after the heavily depleted Knights team lost 40-12 to champions Featherstone, they fell 44-12 at Rovers’ title challengers Halifax.
They could also have been ahead at the interval had referee Clint Sharrad not ruled out a try by one of five rookies in the York side, Gareth Poutney, after which Fax went up the other end to make it 22-12 on the half-time hooter.
Additionally, there is a chance even more youngsters will be thrown in at the deep end against Batley Bulldogs next week, after both Tom Bush and Jack Lee exited yesterday’s game injured, with a shoulder and ankle problem respectively, to add to the long list of casualties already on the Huntington Stadium treatment table.
Ramsden said of the novice Knights at The Shay yesterday: “They handled it very well. I thought we did well particularly in that first 40 minutes.
“We were smashed up again on the bench. We had players we could not get back on so we had some players a bit tired in the second half and some of their players, like Sam Barlow, began to open us up around the ruck area.”
As for the “young kids that have come in”, Ramsden said: “I’ve been singing Ben Dent’s praises all season for the work he’s done in reserve grade. This is a step up but it’s good for him. “He can realise the sort of level he’s got to get to, particularly with his fitness.
“Gareth Poutney did okay again, Tyler Craig has a big future and then there’s the new youngest-ever Knights player, Liam Ellis.”
The latter replaced Tim Stubbs – who made his debut last week but was unavailable this weekend – as the youngest-ever Knights player, at the age of 17 years and 19 days. Injuries throughout the squad meant he was also the only recognised prop on the bench. Most teams have two or three props on the bench.
Ramsden said of former Wakefield College player Ellis: “He didn’t look out of place in that line. He’s got a big frame and he did some good things. He’s got good technique – James Ford (under-18s coach) has been coaching him well – and he’s definitely one for the future.
“The speed of the game, the physicality – for a 17-year-old to go up against grown men, it’s a big ask. Hopefully he will learn from it.”
As for the performance of Sharrad, who gave a few questionable decisions, Ramsden said: “I try not to get wrapped up with referees. You’ve got to accept it and get on with the game. Players can get thrown off their game if they get too wrapped up in what referees do.”