Preview: Stags search for first win of the campaign against York City Knights

Hemel Stags will be looking to kick-start their season when they take on York City Knights at Pennine Way on Sunday (2.30pm).

Friday, 8th April 2016, 2:14 pm
Updated Friday, 8th April 2016, 2:17 pm
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Hemel lost 38-12 at home to London Skolars on Good Friday and are still chasing their first win.

Coach Troy Perkins said: “I thought we started the game against Skolars really well. We were on the front foot and scored first but a few crucial errors gave them field position and a couple of soft tries from kicks.

“There were some positives from the game but we weren’t ruthless enough when we were in the right areas of the field. I was encouraged by the performance but disappointed we didn’t get the result.

“On Sunday against York we’ve just got to build on what we did against Skolars. York are unbeaten and they’ll be coming down to build on their wins.

“We just have to put in a performance and see where that takes us. We’ve played well for 40 minutes; we need to play well for 80 minutes to give ourselves a chance of competing against a good York team.”

York won 46-16 at Doncaster on Good Friday and beat Rochdale in the iPro Sport Cup last week.

Coach James Ford said: “I’m really happy with what we’re doing at the minute. It’s a new group and the players are getting better game by game.

“Hemel will be a different kind of challenge. We’ll go into the game as favourites and will be there to be shot at.

“I’m sure they’ll be up for it; we’ve had some tough games against them over the last couple of years.

“It’s a difficult place to go with the field being so narrow and there’s the long bus journey. We’ll have to make sure we focus on ourselves and our standards and hopefully we’ll come away with the points.”

Second row Ryan Mallinder is likely to be out for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. Prop Brett Waller and scrum-half Richie Wilson come back into the squad.