York City Knights slay the Stags with a late try blitz

Eddie M'baraga suffered a suspected broken leg against York. Picture (c) Kevin Read
Eddie M'baraga suffered a suspected broken leg against York. Picture (c) Kevin Read
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Ben Dent, Kristian Brining and Brad Nicholson scored a brace of tries each as York City Knights secured a 50-10 win over Hemel Stags.

The Knights, currently second in Kingstone Press League 1, made a great start with early tries from Pat Smith, Jordan Howden and Dent.

Alex Anthony crossed for the visitors but Brining scored his first try before Dent went over for his second.

Charlie Lawrence touched down for the Stags in the second period but York finished strongly, scoring another four tries through Nev Morrison, Nicholson (2) and Brining.

Stags coach Troy Perkins said: “I was pleased with the way the lads performed today; we had players playing out of position and for longer spells than would have been ideal.

“We had an 18-year-old making his debut in Kaizer Muroi who has come into the side after stepping up from playing amateur rugby for Milton Keynes, but nobody would have known.

“I’m proud of how everybody performed and when we got on the front foot we looked good.”

Hemel were caught cold at the start as sloppy defending after only two minutes let in hooker Brining for a try converted by Dent.

Howden then collected his own hack through to score on eight minutes, with Dent again adding the extras, before the Knights scored a third try with a fine flowing team move getting Dent over in the far left corner.

Hemel got on the scoreboard at the mid-point in the half; Jymel Coleman intercepted a loose York pass on his 20m line and got the ball away in a looping pass to winger Anthony who cantered over. Lawrence converted to make the score 16-6.

A last tackle power play from York brought a converted try for Brining, but it was Hemel who dominated the last 20 minutes of the half, having what looked a perfectly good try by Chris McNamara ruled out for a forward pass.

Just before the break York scored against the run of play with an interception finished by Dent.

It was Hemel who came out for the second half the brightest and, with just three minutes gone, York fumbled a high ball near their line and Lawrence scooted over from dummy half.

York picked up the pace at this point and Morrison sneaked in at the corner, with Dent making the difficult conversion.

Three more tries came in the last quarter of the game as the Stags defence tired; two tries going to loose forward Nicholson and one to Brining, to give a harsh look to the final score.

What was more of a concern to Perkins was the fact that influential prop forward Eddie M’Baraga went off with a suspected broken leg.

The Stags have a free weekend coming up as it is the Challenge Cup Final at Wembley, but they return to action the following Sunday with a home game against near neighbours Oxford.