YORK Knights must get their own house in order if they are to claim victory at Barrow Raiders this afternoon (3pm), warns head coach Andrew Henderson.

Both sides will go in search of their first points of the new Betfred Championship season at the third time of asking at the Northern Competitions Stadium after a disappointing start to the league campaign.

The Knights’ 36-20 opening day defeat at Doncaster was followed by a 20-14 loss against 11-man Toulouse Olympique last Sunday, whilst Barrow were thrashed 44-8 by Widnes Vikings before losing out by just a single point in their 23-22 Cumbrian derby defeat to Whitehaven last weekend.

And Henderson admits that both sides will be hungry to get themselves off the mark in Round Three.

“They’re in a similar position to us where they probably aren’t playing their best rugby league football at this time, but we understand that they are a good side,” he admitted to The Press.

“They are strong at home and they are certainly going to challenge us on Sunday. 

“You’re going to see two highly motivated teams, we’re both in the same position and we both haven’t had the best of starts to the Championship season so far. 

“We will both want to come away with the victory.”

York Press: Ronan Michael scored on the Knights' last visit to Barrow in September, but will miss out after failing a HIA during last weekend's defeat to Toulouse.Ronan Michael scored on the Knights' last visit to Barrow in September, but will miss out after failing a HIA during last weekend's defeat to Toulouse.

The Knights will be without Ronan Michael for the long trip to Cumbria, with the Irish prop recovering under the sport’s return to play protocol after being knocked out by Toulouse’s Sitaleki Akauola last weekend.

However, they will be bolstered by the returns of both full-back Will Dagger and loose forward Jordan Thompson, with the pair returning from their respective two-match suspensions.


With three wins and four losses in their seven matches in 2024, the Knights boss concedes that his side are not focusing too much on their opposition - but on instilling some consistency.

“We’re just going to focus on us at the moment,” he explained. “That’s what we spoke about on Tuesday in training. 

“We’re not going to worry too much about the opposition, we’ve got to get our own house in order at the moment. 

“There are some good bits about what we are doing at the minute, whilst there are other bits in other areas that we need to improve. 

“We just haven’t had that consistency if I am being honest.

“I thought we saw some progress made defensively against Toulouse compared to what we saw against Doncaster, I feel that we sort of had more energy and intent in our defensive actions, which is great. We just probably lacked a little bit of smarts and we missed a few opportunities with the ball. 

“It’s something we need to improve but I felt that we made progress from Round One to Round Two. We have to be better in Round Three and that’s what the focus is. 

“Individually and collectively, we have to be making those improvements to deliver a performance. 

“We can only control what we can control, we’ve got an away trip to Barrow and we will prepare the players the best we can for that trip and for when we’re there. 

“Ultimately, it’s about us as a group and making sure we do our jobs to the best of our ability, hopefully we perform well on the day and come away with a result.”