York keen to carry form into Cup tie

Lucy Gordon

York City Knights assistant player-coach James Ford wants to see his side continue their impressive form into their Tetley’sChallenge Cup fourth round tie against Swinton Lions at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday.

Ford, 31, is wary of the Lions, who he believes are better than their results suggest, having won just one of their first six Championship matches. By contrast, The Knights lie second in the Championship One table, having won all three of their opening fixtures.

“We are really happy with how we have gone in the league so far,” said Ford. “But I would say Swinton are a much better team than the league table suggests.

“We’ve seen them on tape a few times and been to see them and they have a lot of energetic players and a good kicking game with the likes of Ian Watson and big, strong forwards, so it certainly won’t be easy.

“The pressure is all on them. They are expected to win, they have some big-name players and, despite their form in the league, I’m sure they fancy their chances.

“We’re a young team and we play good Rugby but there is no pressure on us. The only expectation is what we set ourselves – playing to the standards we have set and to improve every week.”

York brought in over a dozen players following their relegation last season, and Ford is delighted with the consistency within the side.

“We have gelled well,” said Ford. “We had a lot of players come through the youth system so there is a lot of solidarity with them and we brought some established names in who have brought a lot of positivity to the club.

“The league is the priority, but the Cup is the Cup. Everyone wants to play in the Challenge Cup as a boy and hopefully we’ll have lady luck on our side, cause an upset, and perhaps draw a Super League side.”