Clarke calls for control against York

Newcastle Thunder vice-captain Rhys Clarke will continue his comeback from injury this weekend, when he and his team-mates face York City Knights at Kingston Park Stadium (KO 3pm)

Clarke was a doubt for the season at the turn of the year following surgery on a micro fracture in his knee, but the Thunder stalwart defied the prognosis by taking took to the field against Doncaster with just three months elapsed.

Having announced his return with a typically ebullient try in the narrow 20-22 loss against the then league leaders, the Gateshead lad is backing his side in Sunday’s game against the third placed Knights

“I don’t think we’re in a bad spot at the moment. We’re in the right area of the table at this early stage with two wins from three and a game in hand.

“We had the narrow loss over Doncaster and a scrappy win against Coventry last week and I think what we’ve learned from those is we just need to control the ball better and stay in the grind. If we do that, I’m sure we will keep getting the results.”

With the side from the Minster City making its way to Kingston Park for the first time away from the Dacia Magic Weekend since 2014, with Bradford Bulls providing Thunder’s opposition before Super League’s big weekend at St James’ Park this season, Clarke is eagerly anticipating another test against a team who are, as expected, are featuring at the sharp end of Betfred League 1.

Clarke said, “We know York are going to be one of the top teams this year so it’s going to be a good test to see where we are at.

“I’m really looking forward to playing them at the weekend because it’s always a tough game and we’ve had some good battles with them over the years.

“At one point we thought I was going to miss most of this season after the operation, so to only miss two games and be back for York is a bit of a bonus really. I’m looking to get fitter and sharper over the next few game hopefully drop a few kilos and I’ll be flying in no time.”