Kilshaw wants more sting against Knights

Rochdale Hornets coach Alan Kilshaw is hoping that his team can play some attacking rugby this week, despite the pressure of play-off rugby.

The Hornets beat Keighley 18-4 last week, and Kilshaw felt that his team defended well, but lacked sharpness offensively.

“I was very happy with the defence. Our attack was a bit scratchy but you’ve got to credit Keighley, they scrambled really well,” he said.

“With it being play-off football I think there’s been a shift in mentality. Teams are trying to grind results out and it’s not really pretty to watch.

“We like to feel we can get results but play some attacking rugby so that’s been a bit of a focus this week.

“We’re not going to read too much into York’s recent results. They’re a good side with some experienced players. They slow down the ruck speed, so we need to make sure we overcome that on Sunday.”

Hornets hooker Ryan Maneely is out with an injury to his a/c joint, but back rower Jono Smith will be available for selection.

York City Knights lost 20-6 at home to Barrow Raiders last time out, and coach James Ford felt his team came up against a team in good form.

“They were impressive. They only made two errors coming out of their own half, which was an incredible performance,” he said.

“For 72 minutes it was 6-6; we’ve only played once in nearly four weeks so we were a little bit short of match practice but I’m sure we’ll improve.

“We’ve acknowledged how well Barrow played but we’ve also acknowledged that we were some way off in a number of areas.

“If you’ve not played consistently over the last month, there’s going to be some areas in your performance you need to improve.

“I’m confident that my players will respond and get back to the standards we’ve seen earlier in the season.

“Rochdale are a very good side and they’ve got a good young coach. They’re a good footballing side, similar to ourselves.

“They’ll be a handful in the middle as well, they’re a complete team and I’m sure it will be another great game.”

Prop Mark Applegarth and hooker Harry Carter are doubtful for York, but prop Brett Walker is available.

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