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Brace of aces join Knights
YORK City Knights will have not one but two Championship Grand Final winners in their ranks next year after they announced the capture of Sam Scott from Sheffield on a one-year deal.
The 22-year-old second-row follows Eagles team-mate Simon Brown in signing for Gary Thornton’s new-look Knights – the switch confirming rumours they were to bring in a second player from the new champions.
Both players signed off their Sheffield careers in yesterday’s pulsating showdown against Featherstone in Warrington, in which the Eagles avenged a heavy 2011 Grand Final defeat with a 20-16 win.
Thornton had coached Scott during his brief time in Wakefield’s boot-room, when the player was in the Wildcats’ academy.
The Knights boss said: “Following on from the signing of Jason Golden we believe we have two outstanding back-rowers.
“He’s exactly the type of player we want – tough, hardworking, skilful – and he has the experience of playing in big games.”
Knights general manager Ian Wilson said: “We thought it important to bring in proven experience.
“Sam’s not very experienced in terms of age but he’s played in play-offs and two grand finals.
“He’s showed up really well in big games. In the final two thirds of the season, he’s been pretty much an ever-present for Sheffield and he’s kept some good players out of that team.”
Asked if Scott had chosen York above Sheffield for financial reasons, Wilson said talk of big money being banded about was wide of the mark.
“We’ve no idea what Sheffield offered,” he added.
“It’s a new challenge for him. Gary has done a good job selling the club to him, with the exciting plans. Sam wanted to be a part of that.”
Wilson was optimistic Brown and Scott could have another play-off campaign in 2013.
“That’s what we aspire to,” he said. “We want to become a team that gets to the latter stages of competitions.
“Bringing in players like Sam and Simon, who have done that, is really important. Experience of that level and those games hopefully rubs off. They know what it takes to get there.
“We think Sam will be an important player and we hope even though he's only 22 he’ll establish himself as one of the leaders in the team.”
New Knights scrum-half-cum-hooker Jonny Presley watched from the stands yesterday as his potential half-back partner Brown, renowned for superb kicking, booted two from five goal attempts.
Scott also started the final – scoring from a superb reverse kick by Brown only for the try to be ruled out for offside.
Sheffield still led 10-8 at half-time to tries by Scott Turner and Quentin Laulu-Togagae, finishing a fluent move.
Table-toppers Rovers replied through Ian Hardman plus two goals by Liam Finn. Tommy Saxton also had a try ruled out.
Finn levelled after half-time with a second penalty but tries by Dane McDonald and Misi Taulapapa, sandwiching a converted Jon Hepworth try for Rovers, gave Sheffield a four-point advantage.
Brown missed a late penalty but Eagles held out for a famous win – becoming the first club to come from fourth in the table and lift the Championship title.
• Ex-Knights centre Lee Waterman scored his 35th try of the season as Doncaster came from 7-4 down at half-time to beat Barrow 17-13 in the Championship One Grand Final. Waterman won this Grand Final with York in 2010.