Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Match report: York City Knights 30, Hull 32 - pre-season friendly
PAUL KING gave a few glimpses of his Super League class on his York City Knights bow – but it was a night when player-boss Chris Thorman was given stark reminders that this coaching lark won’t be easy.
Positives had far outweighed negatives in the Knights’ two previous friendlies, against Keighley and Leeds Under-20s, but not so Saturday night’s 32-30 Huntington Stadium defeat to a talented young Hull team.
Thorman fielded probably his strongest side, on paper, to date, but defenders fell off tackles – especially in the second half – while attacks were disjointed and littered with inaccurate passes, not helped by a typically difficult Huntington Stadium wind which the new recruits might have to get used to over the coming months.
Still, several players were having their first hit-outs of the year, among them Thorman himself, who looked as rusty as anyone, Tommy Haughey, whose excellent finish is hopefully a sign of things to come from the much-travelled back-rower, and former Hull favourite King.
The latter, who perhaps looked a bit heftier than in years past, was the sponsors’ man of the match and probably deserved it for a number of decent hit-ups and, more so, off-loads that caused his old club problems.
His display was one of only a few bright spots, though, others being the fact York scored five tries without having built much pressure, and that this, after all, is still pre-season where such issues can be ironed out without cost.
The first half was actually an entertaining affair, with both sides playing some decent rugby league in awkward – cold and windy – conditions.
Hull’s former Knights winger, Tom Lineham, showed the blistering pace York fans already knew about as he flew upfield for the opening try from a 20-metre restart.
Young Lineham – who left York for a shot at Super League last summer, although on this showing York fans wouldn’t mind him back on dual-registration – left his old club-mates for dead, with impressive centre Ben Crooks, the son of former Hull and Great Britain star and one-time York Wasps coach Lee, adding the first of his four goals.
Tom Bush then did his hopes of being York’s first-choice full-back a disservice when failing to deal with a bobbling kick in his own in-goal area, allowing Jack Briscoe, younger brother of England ace Tom, to make it 10-0.
Haughey got York back in the game with a try out of nothing, cleaning up Jordan Tansey’s pass to the floor and promptly cutting back against the grain to beat three men.
But Hull’s new half-back, Jamie Ellis, the 2011 Championship Player of the Year with Leigh, superbly sent centre Liam Cunningham home for a fine riposte.
York quickly came back as King crossed from close-range before Jack Lee’s wonderful run from dummy-half – more of that please, Jack – had the visitors scrambling, with the ball being spread right where Matt Garside cut back into space and to the line.
Lineham had a try ruled out for a foot in touch – he should know how narrow this pitch is – while both sides had counter-attacks snuffed out by good cover defence.
Impressive Hull full-back Jamie Shaul fielded a Tansey kick but was halted downfield by James Haynes coming over from the opposite wing, while scrum-half Tansey picked off a Jamie Cunningham pass but was forced across field and into defenders by the speedy Shaul.
A 40-20 was another highlight from York’s marquee signing, Tansey, although he followed last week’s startling introduction with generally an inconsistent display against the club that sacked him a year ago.
Opposite number Ellis was expected to play only 40 minutes on Saturday due to having a run for Hull’s first team against Hull KR yesterday, but remained on the field for 17 more minutes, in which time he helped to create a try for Crooks and touched down a grubber kick which should have been cleared by Tansey.
Crooks also streaked home when Hull sliced through York’s right-side defence, a try which summed up the Black and Whites’ second-half superiority.
York – for whom teenage hooker Kris Brining made a few decent runs upon re-entering the fray after having a dislocated finger popped back in pitch-side – at least ended the half on a high.
Thorman’s delayed pass took out a defender for James Ford to take the ball on the run and send in Tansey, before a 70-metre intercept from Ben Hellewell set the field position for Haynes’ jinking finish on the final hooter, Thorman ending with all five conversions.
York: Bush, Pryce, Ford, Garside, Haynes, Thorman, Tansey, Sullivan, Lee, King, Clarke, Haughey, Aldous.
Subs (all used): Brining, Hemmings, Houston, Broughton, Benson, Smith, Hellewell.
Tries: Haughey 14; King 20; Garside 26; Tansey 74; Haynes 80.
Goals: Thorman 5/5.
Hull: Shaul, Lineham, L Cunningham, Crooks, Briscoe, Ellis, Nicklas, Bowden, Newton, Green, Kent, Hadley, Brown.
Subs (all used): J Cunningham, C Matthews, Gay, Crane, Platt, Starling, Kingdom, Jackson, Wilson, Penrose.
Tries: Lineham 4; Briscoe 8; L Cunningham 17; Crooks 43, 53; Ellis 48.
Goals: Crooks 4/6.
Referee: Steve Ganson (St Helens).