York City Knights Preview
In-form Bears travel to York
York City Knights v Coventry Bears League 1 Sunday Bootham Crescent York
Match Preview by Mike Hyde
On Sunday two teams who have been in the news and doing great things in League 1 play each other for the second time this season.
Last time around the game was at Butts Park and the Bears were in the midst of a miserable run of 13 consecutive league defeats.
No wonder then that York, with their strong support and determination to get into the Championship beat the Bears 18-58 that day back in May. Indeed to score 18 points against them was a remarkable achievement looking back.
Since then the Knights have become stronger and the title race is now very much one with two teams in it, and last week York confirmed their credentials and ambition by beating favourites Bradford Bulls at Odsall Stadium 28-30 in what looks like the game of the season in the third tier of Rugby League. That result puts York on level points with Bradford, but behind on points difference.
Some pundits predict the several outcomes at the end of the season, from first place down to sixth could be decided on points difference, and some of those heavy scores against West Wales Raiders, Hemel Stags, and at times even ourselvesmay have a bearing on who goes up and who stays down.
So while York were overcoming the Bulls last weekend, the Bears were on game three of their four match winning run, beating strong Northern team Keighley Cougars 30-20 on the hallowed, if somewhat scorched, turf at the Butts.
One amazing fact about this is that the Bears overturned a humiliating 98-6 scoreline inflicted by Keighley in the previous game between the two sides.
And that 30-20 result was bettered on Wednesday as the Bears handed out a 64-6 thrashing to West Wales Raiders.
Confidence at the Bears is high, they have clearly differentiated themselves from the strugglers at the bottom, and now sit with the Skolars, Thunder and Crusaders in the table.
A few weeks ago, few would have given the Bears chance of not conceding a cricket score against York. But then nobody would have dreamt they would be going into this game on the back of four consecutive league wins!
Yes it will still be tough, but expect those Bears to be full of confidence, playing good rugby and surprising a few more folk
Final Squad vs York Away
1 Jason Bass
2 Hayden Freeman
3 Jacob Ogden
4 Kam Pearce Paul
5 Dante Morley-samuels
6 Liam Rice Wilson
7 Ben Stead
8 Chris Vitalini
9 Zak Williams
10 Mal Lloyd Jones
11 Kieran Sherratt
12 Chris Barratt
13 Ash Bateman
14 Sam Davies
15 James Geurtjens
16 James Mason
17 Dan Gover
18 Peter Ryan
19 Harry Chapman