Sunday, 16 June 2019

An Ode to Nothing


York 60 - Hornets 0

Zero, zilch, de nada.
Nought, nowt, a blank, a duck.
This trip to York proved pointless
As the Knights just ran amok.

All optimism faded
Fans put through the mill
As at the end the scoreboard read
York sixty Hornets nil.

Not so much a contest
More a hard-to-watch procession,
As Hornets shipped eleven tries
Two weeks in succession.

Ten minutes, nothing in it
The City Knights contained,
We never thought we'd win it
But nil-nil it remained.

But two dropped balls proved fatal
(One last tackle, one the first)
And when Salter ran through Williams
You kind of feared the worst.

The next time York came down the field
We thought their chance had gone
But Mr Moore gave Marsh the score
And not the clear knock-on.

Hornets got two penalties
Infringements back to back
Which brought an opportunity,
A platform to attack, but

They couldn't make a breakthrough
As Oscar Thomas let
himself get tackled in possession
On the last play of the set.

York's response, a huge break
Up the left edge, three on one.
Marsh in for his second,
The game had all but gone.

Confirmed two minutes later
A cheap penalty; quick hands
Whiteley scoring by the flag and
Bedlam in the stands.

An awful half brought to a close
With defence of some concern.
Stock slumping in to score
Off an 80 metre kick-return.

Half-time twenty six nil.
Hornets in reverse.
But what had gone so badly
Was to get a whole lot worse.

On forty two a walk-in try
That made the home fans laugh
After Hornets went and knocked-on
In the first set of the half.

Then Hornets put the kick-off dead
An error - pretty poor
The fans shook their collective head
And braced themselves for more.

On fifty Callum Marriot teased
So close, held-up in-goal.
Hornets kicked high for the corner
But Whiteley saw the hole

Out-jumping Shaun Ainscough
He fed the ball to Vaivai
Who hit the afterburners
As Hornets waved him bye-bye.

Then Teanby on the hour -
A walk in by the posts -
Cue the heavy shower
And Hornets chasing ghosts.

Five minutes later Vaivai
Sent in Whiteley from a scrum, before
A huge break up the guts saw Scott
Add four more to the sum

Then a carbon copy scrum-move
With Vaivai feeding Whiteley
For the easiest of hat-tricks -
And we don't say that lightly.

In the end, this was a shocker
A battering. A rout.
Two weeks and twenty two tries shipped.
All confidence blown-out.

And the Hornets fans left shellshocked
This was a bitter pill,
As at the end the scoreboard read
York sixty Hornets nil.















Friday, 14 June 2019

Sunday's Coming: York


And so the Hornets summer roadshow heads to York. The Knights are a bona-fide, 24 carat bogey team that over the years even good Hornets sides have struggled against. And this season the respective trajectories of both clubs are heading in opposite directions.

On the last five occasions the clubs have met, Hornets haven't come up with a single win - and it includes a challenge Cup defeat when York were in a division lower. The average is a 17-32 defeat benchmark. And, given our recent form, we'd take that.

York come into Sunday's game tucked into the Championship's chasing pack behind Toronto and Toulouse. Sitting fifth on points difference behind Leigh and Featherstone, York have been the competition's shock package - 10 wins under their belt already and impressively narrow defeats to both Toronto and, last week, a weakened Toulouse. The French side were missing big hitters Johnathon Ford, Bastien Ader and Rhys Curran - with Mark Kheirallah removed in the 15th minute with a shoulder injury.

York led deep into the game, but a controversial refereeing decision from James Child effectively handed the French side the points.

For a brief period last month, Knights coach James Ford was much fancied for the vacant Hull KR job. But now without that distraction, his eyes are focused on Championship playoff glory, indicating this week that his side are 'not far away' from usurping Toulouse as a serious challenger.

Speaking in the York Press this week he said: "Ultimately we just need to be able to beat Toulouse in a one-off game, don't we." We can confirm that this is eminently possible.

Hornets fans would take beating anyone in a one-off game at the moment. But going into Sunday's contest on the back of a new season-low defeat at Dewsbury, confidence is on the floor.

We appreciate that re-shaping a team mid-season is a tough task, but we seem no closer to a win now than we ever did. All we can hope for are signs of improvement, that the spine of the side gets settled and that everyone within the club - and those outwith - continue to pull in the same direction.

If Dewsbury was the nadir, York is the first step back. See you Sunday.