JAMES FORD admits that dealing with significant injury issues have become the “new normal” at York City Knights, as they finished without their entire front row in the 36-18 defeat to Bradford Bulls.

York lost prop Jack Teanby in the warm-up before fellow middle Jordan Baldwinson and hooker Will Jubb both left the field earlier than planned through injury and concussion respectively.

Having suffered several injuries and coronavirus issues throughout the season, Knights head coach Ford has said that this latest setback is becoming commonplace for the club at present.

“It has been the new normal of 2021. We start with 17 and then finish with about 13.

“I don’t know what to say other than that I hope we’re having all of our bad luck this year and hopefully we can have all of our luck next year.

“Teanby picked his injury up last week but we were hoping that we would be able to manage it and he could play.

“But at the last minute we pulled him out because he looked uncomfortable in the warm-up.

“He’s been in great form. I think that Bradford got on top of us around the middle when we had our eight and 10 in the side today.

“I don’t want to make any excuses and I want to congratulate Bradford on the victory.”

Ford added that Bradford fully merited the victory and singled out star man Danny Brough for individual praise having dominated vast proceedings of the match.

He said: “I thought that Bradford deserved to win and that they were better than us in and around the ruck, in both attack and defence, and on the back of that they dominated the tempo of the game.

“That gave Danny Brough plenty of opportunity to kick on the front foot and he kicked really well, certainly in the first half.

“He kicks the ball tremendously well and they’re a challenge for any back three. But we didn’t get enough kick pressure on them because we didn’t control the ruck.

“Markers were setting late and defensive energy is down because it’s a bit quick and we can’t put them under enough pressure to help our back three.

“For me, it all starts in and around Bradford being better than us in the tackle management side of the game.”

Danny Kirmond’s try saw York reduce the Bulls’ lead to just eight points heading into the final minutes.

But David Foggin-Johnston’s controversial try - with fans appealing for a forward pass and a knock on in the build up - wrapped up the victory for the visitors.

“I thought that he was appalling today, absolutely appalling,” lamented Ford of referee Jack Smith.

"I don’t mind Jack, I like him as a bloke, he’s normally a good ref and I was really pleased to see him appointed to the game.

“But some of the things that he came up with in the game were just rubbish."