Newcastle Thunder chairman responds to York Knights drubbing with impassioned release

NEWCASTLE THUNDER chairman Keith Christie has issued a passionate response to his side’s 114-10 drubbing by York Knights at the weekend.

It’s fair to say that the northeast club has endured a difficult number of months after initially pulling out of the League One competition towards the back end of last year.

Financial issues were cited as the reason, with Thunder – and particularly chairman Christie – doing their best to ensure a club survived.

They did just that and with head coach Chris Thorman agreeing to take the reins and with Kingston Park still Thunder’s home, they took to the field over the weekend for the first time in their 1895 Cup clash against York.

However, Newcastle went conceded 114 points in what was the competition’s record loss, but, for Christie, it was a successful afternoon.

“I’m over the moon, we got the reaction from both the York and Newcastle fans that we wanted,” Christie told League Express.

“We scored two reasonably good tries but the experience of the York guys, they had a job in front of them and they did it with professionalism.

“They were very humble and it was a great day all round. I think it was the epitome of how rugby league should be with two sets of fans mingling. It was a successful day. I was really impressed and happy with it.

“The York fans understood and hats off to Clint Goodchild (York’s owner) and Andy Henderson (York’s head coach) who were both very amicable.

“They identified there was a job they had to do and we both understand where we are. The York fans turned up in good numbers.”

Christie is certain that Thunder can build on the weekend and he can’t wait to see more of Thorman’s young side stand up to be counted.

“We’ve got a club, we had fans that came away and saw young lads – with an average age of about 20 – from the northeast playing rugby league.

“There were students and amateurs who stood up and were proud to put the shirt on. We need more structure and time, we’ve only had one contact session against another university and three training sessions overall.

“The players weren’t fit, they haven’t had a pre-season. We are coming late to the party but we are using these games as a useful exercise.

“They will help us identify where we are weak and where we need to be stronger and you can only do that against good teams.”

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