Featherstone Rovers 12 York City Knights 12 - James Webster happy with display from under-strength Rovers in first pre-season outing

Featherstone Rovers head coach Jamae Webster felt that his side’s draw with York City Knights was a “fair result" as Rovers got their pre-season campaign up and running.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 10:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 9:27 pm
Featherstone Rovers head coach James Webster. PIC: Dec Hayes.

Rovers outscored the Knights three tries to two at the LD Nutrition Stadium and staged a dramatic comeback, scoring two tries in the final four minutes to rescue a draw.

Featherstone were missing the likes Wellington Albert and Luke Cooper due to a sickness bug while James Lockwood had also been affected by the illness but was still named in the hosts’ squad.

Ben Blackmore opened the scoring after nine minutes as he planted down in the corner after taking a pass from Craig Hall.

But tries either side of the interval saw York take a 12-4 advantage.

Connor Robinson dotted down on the stroke of half time before Elliot Wallis scored in the corner on 54 minutes.

With four minutes remaining it looked like the visitors would take the spoils but the home side had other ideas.

Sam Ottewell - one of five players to come out of the club’s 2019 reserves set-up - grabbed a try on 76 minutes before new arrival Louis Jouffret scored in the last minute.

“I think it was a pretty fair result. We scored more tries than them which is a pleasing fact,” said Webster.

“We came into this game really unprepared. We had a lot of people come back late and we had a lot of people out injured with a sickness bug during the week.

“We still have about 12 people to come into the squad but I thought the young players that came in did a really good job.

“We are just happy to get a good run out.”

Webster was pleased with how his makeshift side fronted up against a strong York team, who finished third in the Championship last term.

He added: “York are a good team. I have a lot of respect for them as a club and a team.

“For us to be that competitive throughout the game, especially in that first half, is pleasing.

“I thought we really got our shoulder stuck in and we are only going to get better.

“We have only done one team run together in pre-season, that is down to people being unavailable and in for operations.”

Rovers have three more fixtures before their season opener against Batley Bulldogs and Webster added: "We have still got a lot of friendlies, and our two mains ones will be Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos.

"We have got such a skinny squad at the moment. We are hoping to get three or four back for Hull KR.”