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Thorman left red-faced as Knights lose at Swinton
CHRIS THORMAN admitted frustrations got the better of him at the end of York City Knights’ latest defeat – but stressed he would fight tooth and nail to get his side off the mark in the Co-operative Championship.
The Knights have now lost all six league games in the wake of a promising Northern Rail Cup campaign, following yesterday’s 32-12 defeat away to Swinton, and they remain bottom with only one bonus point.
Towards the end of the game, player-boss Thorman, who gave an inconsistent display at stand-off, was penalised for tripping Lions hooker Mark Smith after a tackle went wrong, and it summed up his vexation.
“I was embarrassed when I kicked Mark and I apologised, and I was thankful the referee understood and players around me understood,” he said.
“I was going to grab his collar and use the legs to bring him down, which is a legal tackle, but I didn’t get the collar but followed through with the legs anyway. It was a brain explosion.”
As for his coaching quandary in what is his first year at the helm, he said: “I am frustrated, obviously. I’ve not really been in this position before.
“But anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a hard-working bloke and I give 100 per cent. I’d like to think I’m intelligent enough to know about rugby league, but for one reason or another it’s not quite happening for us. There are a lot of variables that it’s down to.
“But from me you will get 100 per cent commitment and as much hard work as possible to get that win and hopefully get us on a little streak, and make sure the hard work we are putting in isn’t for nothing.
“It’s a tough time but whenever I get onto that training field or whenever I work, I will work hard and give 100 per cent.”
Thorman suggested he had to share the blame of this latest defeat, as the creative players, such as himself, did not make the most of territory gained.
“At the start of the game we completed sets and had field position but we just clicked off to allow them to score the first try. We had our fair share of possession though,” he said.
“We had 51 play-the-balls in their half in the second half. They only had 16. For me, that means we need to start taking opportunities. We created them but that final pass or kick let us down.
“If they only had 16 play-the-balls in our half but they score two tries and have two disallowed, that also says we need to stop conceding soft tries. We conceded a couple of them (yesterday).
“I need to look at the video again but it looked like people were coming out of the (defensive) line unnecessarily. We’ve worked on solving it together not feeling like you have to solve it on your own with a big play.
“For the most part we do that. We dominate the ruck, we slow them down. But when it comes to them throwing a couple of smart plays on us, individuals come up or come in rather than hold their line and solve it together as a team or as a unit.
“If they only had 16 plays in our half in the second half, we have to defend it better.”
As for the offence, he hoped more would come of his new half-back partnership with Ben Johnson, the dual-reg Castleford scrum-half who was making his debut.
“We were close on a few occasions and were camped on their line for periods,” he said.
“I thought Ben went well. He was an attacking threat when running the ball. He said he felt a bit lost at times but he’s only had one training session with us. You’ve got to understand your role, particularly in such an important position as Ben’s.
“Hopefully once that’s fixed and we solve these little things defensively, we’ll be on our way to getting a run of results.”