YORK City Knights head coach James Ford believes that Sam Hallas’ challenge on Jacob Ogden was a “dead-set red card”.

Bradford Bulls loose forward Hallas was shown a sin-bin in the first half of the Odsal clash for a high shot on Ogden.

The York centre had to leave the field for a head injury assessment and played no further part in the match, which the Knights won 20-6.

“I spoke to Robert (Hicks, referee) about it and he only gets one look at it, as do I, and he was a lot closer than I was and he’s in a better position to make the call,” said Ford.

“But to me, it’s a dead set red card. He’s hit him in the head with intent and the player has had to leave the field.

“I don’t know how that cannot be a red card. Some of the red cards I’ve seen this year in Super League, they’re from players falling over and being touched minimally.

“But we come to Odsal, there’s blatant contact with the head and it’s a sin-bin.

“Have we changed the rules again?

“I’d imagine that whatever the (current) directive is when you hit somebody in the head that hard, it’s a red card.”

Prop forward Masi Matongo also joined Ogden on the injury list, with a calf problem, while Danny Kirmond went off for a HIA in the first half, although he later recovered to return to the field.

“We’re going to be in a tough spot next week,” admitted Ford on the injury issues.

“(But) Bailey Antrobus will be available (as will) AJ (Towse), Myles (Harrison) Wardy (Brad Ward) and Sam Davis.

It is what it is, this is a squad competition so some players will get an opportunity and let’s see them rip in.”

The aforementioned Antrobus, an Australian back-rower, joined York from St George Illawarra Dragons last week and could make his Knights debut on Sunday (3pm) at home to Halifax Panthers.

Explaining how the deal came out, Ford replied: “Via Clint (Goodchild, chairman).

“We were looking for a back-rower and Clint spoke to his agent. We looked at three or four of his games, where he played at a similar level as Brendan O’Hagan played in in Australia.

“He’s very athletic, he’s got good leg-speed and he’s an absolute specimen of a young man. We’re excited to get to work with him.”

The meeting between York and Halifax sees third and fourth respectively face off in the Betfred Championship.

The Knights currently hold a four-point gap over the Panthers and a 10th league victory of the season could see them take a further step in strengthening their play-off place.

“They’re a great team are Halifax,” hailed Ford. “They’ve got some big strong forwards and three outstanding halves and pace on the edges.

“Grixy (Simon Grix, coach) has done a good job there and it’ll be a real challenge for us.

“I’m not sure how we’ll line up yet but the 17 we put out there, I know that they’ll be absolutely full of effort.”