Thorman ready to make his mark

York’s Chris Thorman is determined to make his mark on the Northern Rail Cup as the Knights travel to Keighley Cougars in the quarter-final on Sunday.

Thorman has represented his country, played in a Carnegie Challenge Cup Final and tested himself in the NRL, but admits he has a certain affection for the Northern Rail Cup.

The former England international lifted the trophy with Huddersfield Giants eight years ago winning the man-of-the-match in their final defeat of Hull KR. That year he also set a world record for the fastest hat trick in either code in the same competition, running in three tries inside the first seven minutes against Doncaster.

The York City Knights stand-off said: “I’ve got a bit of history in the competition,”

“I played in the final in 2002 when it was called the Buddies Cup and won the man of the match, and my world record hat trick came in the same competition that year against Doncaster.

“And for me, it’s only kicked on since Northern Rail got involved as a sponsor – they’ve proved to be great backers.

“It’s a great competition. At the top level there are only two pieces of silverware to play for, and it’s the same at our level really.

The Cougars currently occupy bottom spot in the Co-operative Championship, but Thorman insists that the Knights will not underestimating the task in front of them after being beaten by Keighley 32-18 last year in the Co-operative Championship One play-offs.

“They’re doing it tough in their league, but they’ve had some decent performances recently – I’ve watched a few of their games,” Thorman added.

“Keighley will have our utmost respect, especially being coached by a bloke like Barry Eaton. What he’s done in Rugby League has been pretty good, and everyone who speaks about Barry has nothing but praise for him. He’s held in high regard as a young British coach.

“But we’ll be doing the same as we’ve done all season – concentrating on what we can do well.

Thorman, has played a host of big games in his career and admits that playing against higher league opposition is something that the whole squad relish.

“Its chance to test ourselves against slightly higher quality opposition and it’s something we’re looking forward to for sure. Whereas in the league we’re expected to achieve something this year,” said the Knights playmaker.

“In the Northern Rail Cup there’s a bit of pressure off us and it’s the chance for us to perhaps try some different things that we wouldn’t try in the league. We looked at it as a totally separate competition, and it’s another great opportunity to play on a decent stage.

“We’re excited about it.”

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