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Rugby League: Rochdale Hornets match preview

Date published: 09 March 2019


York City Knights have got life in the Championship off to a blistering start. With four wins from their first five fixtures, it was only Toronto Wolfpack in round one that managed to edge past them at Bootham Crescent.

James Ford’s men have since put Barrow to the sword by 56-0, as well as seeing off Bradford and Dewsbury. They then laid down a real marker last week with a one-point win over Leigh Centurions.

History is one sided in this fixture with the City Knights picking up the last five wins, while Hornets have managed just two wins from the last ten.

The last meeting came in the fourth round of the Challenge Cup back in 2017. Newly promoted Hornets were seen off 26-20 at Bootham Crescent to crash out of the Cup at the hands of League One York.

You’ll have to look back as far as 2010 to find Hornets last win over York and that came in the shape of a 44-34 victory at the Crown Oil Arena.

7- Connor Robinson: The influential half-back joined York from Halifax ahead of the 2017 season and has become a firm favourite with the YCK faithful. Playing alongside experienced old head, Ben Cockayne, Robinson’s career has gone to the next level. The record-breaking number seven was named League One player of the year in York’s title winning 2018 season and has continued his impressive form into Championship life.

The skilful middle man has already nudged over 51 points this season with two tries, 21 goals and two drop goals. Impressive.

1 – Matty Marsh: The former Hull Kingston Rovers man made his switch to York City Knights permanent after featuring for the club on dual registration last season.  The full-back has been prominent in the opening portion of the Championship season crossing the whitewash twice. Linking up with Cockayne and Robinson, York pose a real threat going forward, but his efforts in defence have also caught the eye.

11 – Josh Jordan-Roberts: Intelligent second-rower Jordan-Roberts joined the Knights from Leeds Rhinos midway through the 2018 campaign and has impressed since joining the club. He is a big, powerful forward who has featured four times this season, scoring one try. He will be at the heart of York’s forward pack this weekend and Hornets will do well to keep a lid on him.

Coach James Ford was keen to stress York City Knights will be keen to focus on ‘energy and performance’ ahead of Sunday’s game.

Speaking to BBC Radio York, Ford said: “Rochdale have got some good players and Carl has got a good record as a coach. We have got to go there and play well. The conditions will be a challenge for us, but we’ve got to go there and focus on our performance, energy and execution and if we do that I’m sure we will be there or there about.”

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