JAMES FORD felt the result was secondary to the performance of his side following York City Knights’ 12-12 draw at Featherstone Rovers.

York led the game from the cusp of half-time to the latter stages at the LD Nutrition Stadium with scores from Connor Robinson and Elliot Wallis putting them in front.

But Featherstone managed to conjure two late tries to earn a draw from the game - the first pre-season friendly for both sides this year.

With four trialists featuring and six new additions making their debuts, the performance of the side was more important than the result of the match itself.

Match report: Featherstone Rovers 12 York City Knights 12

“The result, I’ve not really reflected on,” said Ford.

“I’m just really pleased with lots of the performances, considering that it was game one and that we’re in early January.

“I thought that at times we looked pretty cohesive with the ball and defensively we stood up to some pressure.

“I thought in the first half, we could have kicked the ball better, but I can’t be too hard on the players because it is January 5.

“It wasn’t disappointing at all,” added Ford of Featherstone’s late fight-back.

“Featherstone are a good side and they had some academy internationals, some who I have worked with before.

“At that point, we had Washy (Danny Washbrook) at centre and AJ (Towse) on the wing, Myles (Harrison) at full back and Lewis (Brown) in the halves.

“One of the criticisms of myself is that in trial games I haven’t given every player an opportunity.

“Today I felt like I did that and I’ve seen that they’ve had a taste of what it is like to play at this level and they’ll be better for it.

“That was what’s important rather than the result.

“For 80 minutes of the game, I didn’t look at the scoreboard once because I was watching my players and what they were doing.”

Four trialists featured for York in the form of 16-year-old duo Myles Harrison and AJ Towse as well as Harry Bardle and Lewis Brown.

Of their performances, the boss said: “There were a number of young players who played for us today. We had two 16-year-olds, who are young 16-year-olds as well.

“I thought that they handled themselves really well and I hope that they’re really proud of their efforts. I think that they did a lot better than I would have done at 16. I hope they read that and hope that they genuinely believe it.

“A couple of times Featherstone targeted AJ to get 40/20s and why wouldn’t you?

“That’s not a dig at Featherstone, but it’s a common sense thing from their perspective. I think he’ll learn from that and I think that he’s got a chance of being a good player.

“And I thought Myles did well. It’s much harder to come into the side as a full-back or a half-back or a hooker, and I thought that he did some good things.

Connor Robinson was York’s key man during the 80 minutes with his fine try the first of York’s two. He also assisted Elliot Wallis for the second and added a couple of conversions too.

“It was good to see Connor being a running threat,” added Ford.

“I thought that he looked hard to handle and he had some good shape around him.

“He was unlucky not to be more effective than what he was.

“For the first hit out of the season, I was really pleased with his combination with Ben. Ben is a really good reactive player and he nearly got away on a number of occasions.

“You’ve got to credit Featherstone’s scramble defence and their effort. Johno kicked the ball short pretty well and effectively, apart from on one occasion.

“And I’m not worried about Connor’s long kicking game because it’s normally excellent and I’m sure we’ll get there.”