Hard lessons to learn for York City Knights youngsters after 50-0 defeat at Batley (From York Press)
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Hard lessons to learn for York City Knights youngsters after 50-0 defeat at Batley
MICK RAMSDEN admitted York City Knights ’ latest defeat was “hard to watch” but said the bunch of youngsters in the line-up will benefit from lessons learned.
The Knights fell 50-0 at Batley yesterday – failing to score a point for the first time in a league match since the club re-formed ahead of the 2003 season. Only twice have they been nilled, but both times by teams in higher tiers – when losing 62-0 at St Helens in the Challenge Cup in May 2005, and 32-0 at Hull KR in the Arriva Trains Cup semi-final of June 2004.
Never have the club been so depleted by injury, though, and they suffered further blows, too, as Ben Dent was stretchered off with his neck in a brace, teenage stand-in half-back Tyler Craig was helped off with concussion, John Davies departed with a sternum problem and Ed Smith, so unlucky with injuries this year, exited with a dead leg.
Among the five rookies, hooker Harry Carter made his debut and centre Gareth Poutney his full debut. Dent – who was later given the all-clear from hospital after X-rays – was also playing for the first time at full-back.
Another teenager, Kriss Brining, started at hooker and later filled in at half-back in Craig’s stead.
“It was hard to watch at times,” said assistant-boss Ramsden, as his side trailed 28-0 at half-time, despite having played down the Mount Pleasant slope, and conceded three tries in as many sets at the start of the second half.
“Most of the players worked hard but physically they were just beaten all the way throughout the game.
“We played too close to the ruck and we didn’t ramp onto the ball enough to be effective with our carries.
“There were a whole lot of things really. Maybe the lads were fatigued from the defending but we didn’t play very smart. Batley’s line speed was phenomenal, though, so you end up playing one-up rugby a bit because of that.
“In the second half we probably played a bit better, and started to get a bit wider occasionally, but on the whole we were beaten in every department. They were physically too strong.”
However, Ramsden had mitigation. “Batley have had a very consistent team throughout the year,” he said. “We’ve had to change so much – the team now is so different to the one at the start of the year, and we’ve got kids in key positions.
“How can you compete with one of the top teams in the league with that much inexperience? The positive is these young kids will get experience from it. We’ve got a bunch of lads with good attitudes. They will respond.
“They’ll learn about the speed of the game and that you’ve got to be fit enough to play long minutes at this pace and intensity. Ben Dent, Liam Ellis, Harry Carter – they’ve got to find out what the levels are like and that the collisions are a lot bigger.
“These under-18s lads have jumped from U18s straight to first team. It’s a huge ask. But at least they’ve got a feel for what it’s like.”
Ramsden had particular praise for Carter. He said: “I don’t think he missed a tackle. He put his body on the line, and his service from acting-half was good.
“For me he was the positive from the game. He’s only a small kid as well.”
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