Thunder ready for their big night

The Magic Weekend in Newcastle gets underway on Friday night when Newcastle Thunder host York City Knights in a game that is expected to attract one of the clubs’ biggest crowds. And coach Stanley Gene knows the crowd deserve to see a good performance from his side.

“It’s a massive occasion for us,” said Gene.

“The club have worked really hard so the pressure is on us. After all the work off the field, it’s up to me and my coaching staff on the field to get it right come Friday night.

“York are a really good side. They pushed St Helens to the wire in the CHallenge Cup so they’ll get a lot of confidence from that and last Friday they beat South Wales by 70 points. We know they are a good side but we’ll be ready.”

James Ford, the York City Knights coach, was pleased with his side’s 70-0 victory over South Wales Scorpions last time out and said: “We went about our business with a professional attitude.

“Credit to South Wales they came up and had a real dig at us in the first 20 minutes but we’re all very aware that it’s going to be a very different kettle of fish for us on Friday up at Newcastle.

“They’ve got some high profile players and we’ll need to raise our game. To play in front of a couple of thousand supporters on Friday would mean the world to the players, I’m sure they’ll be impressed with the brand of rugby we play.”

Stand-off Jonny Presley and hooker Harry Carter could return for the Knights.

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