Five takeaways from York’s win over Bradford in the Championship

Josh McAllister
Andrew Henderson, Championship

Following York’s 32-16 victory on home soil over Bradford in the Championship, here’s our five takeaways from the match at the LNER Community Stadium. 

York pick up first win of 2023 Championship season

Andrew Henderson’s York claimed their first win of the season, having fallen short against Widnes in the opening round.

Liam Harris stepped up and took charge of the side’s attacking options following an injury to Matty Marsh. 37-year-old Danny Kirmond also impressive in the victory.

Injury concerns for the Knights

York’s injury concerns continue as Marsh left the field early on. A full-back by trade, the 27-year-old was named in the halves alongside Harris. However, he was forced from play with an arm injury. 

Viaplay Sports presenter Ross Fiddes confirmed a hyperextension of the elbow on the sidelines for Marsh. 

Ata Hingano missed out through injury, with head coach Henderson hoping to have his half-back back in a “week or two” but insisting he won’t be rushed. 

Jesse Dee was impressive on his Knights debut while Levi Edwards was named at centre following his permanent move from Leeds to the Championship outfit.

Henderson said Marsh’s injury didn’t look great as the player was sent to hospital following the incident.

Party atmosphere in the Championship

A live band could be heard throughout the 80-minute Championship fixture on Viaplay Sports’ coverage from the LNER Community Stadium. It took all of 22 minutes before the band played a crowd favourite in Sweet Caroline. 

It’s something we’ve seen in rugby league in recent times, including at the delayed 2021 World Cup in England.

Battle of the forwards 

It was a battle of the forwards on a chilly Monday night with several players from either side impressing.

Former Huddersfield forward Jon Luke Kirby scored his first try for York in the first half, while the experience Bodene Thompson also crashed over for Bradford. 

Veteran Kirmond put pressure on Bradford’s back-line in defence with several big hits. 

Ireland international Ronan Michael also had a strong first carry from the bench and just minutes later, the 22-year-old went on to score, grounding a kick from Harris. 

Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Jordan Lilley in action at the LNER Community Stadium. Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Bulls their own worst enemy

Bradford were their own worst enemy on the night with constant errors and poor discipline, putting themselves under pressure. 

Filling in at full-back, Holmes had a somewhat bumpy night with several mistakes at the back. Meanwhile, four penalties allowed James Glover to kick an extra eight points in the second 40.

On the other hand, York were pretty clean with their discipline and kept to minimum errors, much to the delight of Henderson.

How it happened

  • 20′ David Foggin-Johnston opens the scoring on the second time of asking for Bradford. Dec Patton misses the conversion. (0-4)
  • 25′ Will Jubb goes himself from short-range to hit back for York. James Glover converts. (6-4)
  • 30′ B.Thompson replies just five minutes later, stretching out to score under the posts. Patton converts (6-10)
  • 32′ Former Huddersfield forward Luke Kirby scores his first try for York, powering his way over. Glover converts. (12-10)
  • 37′ Ireland international Michael extends the home side’s lead just before the break. Glover converts. (18-10)
  • HALF TIME: York 18-10 Bradford
  • 42′ Glover converts a penalty. (20-10)
  • 44′ Glover extends the lead just two minutes later. (22-10)
  • 55′ Kirmond is taken off the ball and Glover converts another penalty. (24-10)
  • 70′ Glover kicks another two. (26-10)
  • 73’ Off-season Australian recruit Josh Daley scores his first for the club from dummy-half. Glover converts to keep his 100% record. (32-10)
  • 76′ Ben Blackmore shown a green card – although the winger wasn’t happy with it. (32-10)
  • 79′ Jordan Lilley scores a consolation try under the posts. Patton converts. (32-16)
  • FULL TIME: York 32-16 Bradford

How they lined up

York: Brown, Towse, Edwards, Glover, Marsh, Harris, Antrobus, Jubb, Fitzsimmons, Dee, Kirmond, J.Thompson. Bench: Luke Kirby, Michael, Daley, Teanby.

Tries: Jubb, Luke Kirby, Michael, Daley.

Bradford: Holmes, Blackmore, Arundel, Gill, Foggin-Johnston, Lilley, Patton, Lawrence, Flanagan Snr, Foster, England, Wallace, B.Thompson. Bench: Roby, Butler, Baldwinson, Rogers.

Tries: Foggin-Johnston, Thompson, Lilley. 

What they said

York head coach Henderson said live on Viaplay Sports: “I’m really delighted for the players and the team. I thought they produced a really good team performance tonight. I was really impressed with our middle unit.

“Overall, I’m really happy with that performance.

“I’ve got to give massive credit to Jesse Dee. He wasn’t expected to be thrown out there so early in the game. Jesse did a solid job for us defensively and managing that left edge. I felt we executed a lot better with the ball tonight than we did last week.”

Bradford boss Mark Dunning commented: “You can’t turn that much ball and possession over against York. You can’t make eight first-play errors against a side of this quality, otherwise you’re not going to come away with anything.

“It’s round two and we’ve got a lot of improvement in us. But you can’t make that many errors on play one.”

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