Rugby League: York give rusty Eagles a stern test

Rugby League: News, reports and more.
Rugby League: News, reports and more.
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Sheffield Eagles staged a late rally to edge out York City Knights 24-18 in their warm-up game before the season kicks-off.

Andrew Henderson’s testimonial at the Huntington Stadium was a test as relegated York took the game to a rusty looking Championship title-holders.

Coach Mark Aston it was what was needed with the first league game at Owlerton next Sunday. He said: “We haven’t got our rhythm going yet but the lads stuck out there and won. A couple of the young kids came on and did really well.”

Aston named a squad of 21 with forward Will Hope and back Jon Ford on the bench after signing on loan from Salford Reds.

There was an edge to the game with Eagles’ Peter Green and York’s Jack Aldous sent to the sin bin after exchanging punches.

York took the lead with a try from centre Greg Minikin with Ben Crane adding the goal.

Winger Misi Taulapapa got the Eagles first points taking a long pass from Quentin Laulu-Togagae.

The fullback then sent in centre Corey Hanson for a try and an 8-6 lead which the Eagles held to the end of a scrappy first 40 minutes.

York dominated after the restart with back rower Ryan Mallinder forcing his way over and half-back Benn Hardcastle side-stepping the cover to score their third try before adding both goals.

Eagles stepped up a gear with substitute hooker Greg Burns providing the pass for Mitch Stringer to touch down under the posts. Brambani added the goal to cut the deficit to four points.

Eagles snatched the win with testimonial man Henderson back into the action off the bench with a pass across the posts for Connor Scott to crash over. Brambani added the goal. Menzie Yere pushed out the lead with a 50-metre break in the final minute.

York: Haynes, Elliott, James Ford, Minikin, Luke Hardcastle; Pat Smith, Presley; Joynt, Lee, Aldous, Mallinder, Crane, Bell. Subs: Brining, Ed Smith, Benn Hardcastle, Pickles, Moreland.

Tries: Minikin, 12, Mallinder 47, Hardcastle 55. Goals: Crane 1/1, Benn Hardcastle 2/2.

Eagles: Laulu-Togagae; Turner, Yere, Hanson, Taulapapa; Walker, Brambani; Scott, Henderson, Stringer, Garside, Green, Knowles. Subs: Burns, Blagbrough, Hope, Straugheir, Hadden, Jon Ford, Palmer, Squire.

Tries: Taulapapa, 19, Hanson 23, Stringer 60, Scott 77, Yere 79.

Goals: Brambani 3/ 4, Walker 0/1.

Referee: Tom Crashley