York City Knights coach James Ford has come out to dismiss accusations that he bent the rules regarding player concussion in the closing stages of his side’s narrow win over Bradford Bulls.

Bulls coach John Kear hit out at Ford and the City Knights after their 25-24 defeat, claiming their opponents had misused the head knock protocol with centre Liam Salter in order to make a late change, which Ford firmly refuted.

“To put the record straight, Liam was genuinely concussed,” Ford said.

“I spoke to the doctor and to put his words in layman’s terms, Liam was ‘heavily concussed’.

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“By no means was this a tactical move. For us, it was far from ideal that Liam went off at the time that he did at such a crucial point in the game.

“I had to bring on Kriss Brining to replace Liam. Why would I replace a centre with a hooker? That’s a position that Kriss has never played before so it certainly didn’t benefit us.”