York City Knights coach James Ford was disappointed with his side’s performance at Newcastle. “We didn’t turn up and execute anywhere near the way we have done previously,” he said. “We fell well short of our standards but the good thing about Rugby League is, most often, you get the opportunity to put things right the week after.
“One or two things have been said about us as a group this week and we’re not too happy about that. It’s good that we get the opportunity to play Rochdale and show what we’re about.
“They are a good team and we’ll have to be at our very best to come away with the points. I’m sure that if we execute anywhere near what we’re capable of we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end.
“There will be numerous changes from last week, we can’t continually start the game in that fashion and players need to be ready to play from minute one. Against South Wales and Newcastle we gifted too much territory and too much possession and I expect a response this week.”
The game will take place at Featherstone’s BigFellas Stadium on Sunday.
Ian Talbot’s Rochdale Hornets side currently sit at the top of the table: “We’re going alright at the minute,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of less-challenging games to rack up a few points but now there’s a few games that will really test our mettle and we’ll see where we really are. If we’re top of the league at the end of next month, we’ll be happy.
“York were the most consistent side in this competition last year but fell at the final hurdle of the play-offs, which is tough to take. I got to see them first hand a couple of weeks ago at St Helens in the Cup and was impressed with what they tried to do. They’ve got a few quality players, I’ve always been an admirer of Mark Applegarth, he’s a great go-forward player for them and the halves Jonny Presley and Pat Smith. There’s some good players there and they’ve depth across the park.”