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The York City Knights publicity team scented an upset as a woefully out of sorts Catalans Dragons rolled into town on the back of just two wins in a disappointing 2018. There was the whiff of a cup giant-killing in the air and the Knights wouldn’t leave any question unasked.


Steve McNamara was taking no chances and named a very strong side for the trip to Bootham Crescent knowing that their Championship One opponents would capitalise on any mistake in front of a great turnout.


The bookies didn’t think so, but was it possible that the Knights could slay the Dragons?

The Dragons kicked off and there was little between the two sides in the opening exchanges but on four minutes Fouad Yaha found a gap wide left to score in the corner. The conversion from Lucas Albert went wide  of the uprights.


Great pressure from York forced two successive dropouts from the Dragons but both came to nothing and on eighteen minutes Jason Baitieri made the most of a penalty and burrowed under the York defence to ground. Albert added the conversion for 10-0.


On twenty-seven a Paul Aiton kick looked to have given Tony Gigot the Dragons third but referee Kendall ruled offside.


On the half hour Joe Porter scored for the Knights two tackles after the Dragons failed to gather a kick through and gifted the home side possession. The conversion attempt hit the right upright leaving York six points adrift.


A great break from Connor Robinson almost earned York their second of the afternoon before the Dragons conceded a penalty and then York yet another drop out. Three tackles into the return and Porter got his second, as Dragons players looked despairingly on. Connor Robinson kicked the goal to level the scores at 10-10.


Fifteen seconds before the interval Paul Aiton put a neat inside ball to Mickael Simon to walk through a big gap in a tired defence to score from five metres out. Albert added the extras and the Dragons took a 16-10 lead into the break.


Seven minutes after the restart Albert extended the Dragons lead with a try by the right upright and simple conversion for 22-10.


On fifty-two Ben Cockayne tormented the Dragons defence before passing to Sam Scott who offloaded brilliantly into the hands of Kieron Moss to go two metres and ground under the sticks. Robinson added the goal for 16-22.


The Dragons were increasingly making mistakes, but when York were caught offside five out from their own line, the Dragons kicked the penalty through Albert to open a 24-16 leading margin.


On seventy a left to right passing move ended with the ball in Jodie Broughton‘s hands who dived over in the corner. Albert couldn’t add the extras, the leading margin now twelve points.


On seventy-three Greg Bird span out of a tackle and managed to drop over the line on his back and ground. Albert added the conversion for 34-16 to seal the Dragons progression into the sixth round.


Great determination from Joe Batchelor saw the York second rower get over for the home sides fourth of the game. Robinson added the extras to reduce the arrears to twelve points.


This was a terrifically determined effort from York City Knights who gave their all for eighty minutes and pushed the professionals from the Catalans Dragons all the way to the final hooter. They did themselves and the Betfred Championship One proud and can all hold their heads high in front of a tremendous home support.


City Knights: Moss (T), Robson, Butler-Fleming, Hey, Mazive, Cockayne, Robinson C (3G), Robinson A, Ellis, Siddons, Batchelor (T), Scott, Spears. Subs: Hawksworth, Normington, Dixon, Porter (2T).


Dragons: Mead, Broughton (T), Gigot, Duport, Yaha (T), Langi, Albert (T, 5G), Maria, McIlorum, Moa, Bird (T), Garcia, Baitieri (T). Subs: Aiton, Bousquet, Simon (T), Margalet.


Half Time: 10-16.


Full Time: 22-34.


Referee: Chris Kendall.


Attendance: 3,081.


Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Sun 22nd Apr 2018 4:54 PM | Views : 1607 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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