York City Knights head coach James Ford credited an ‘aggressive’ Wigan Warriors side as his side went down 26-0 in the third round of the Betfred Challenge Cup.
The Knights were vast underdogs heading into this game and were unfortunately unable to pierce Wigan’s watertight defence on the night.
Speaking on the 26-0 defeat, Ford said: “You are not going to play Wigan and not be under pressure. They are a very physical team and ruthless with their aggression.
“That is not a ‘dig’ at them by the way. That is good rugby league in my opinion, being aggressive.
“You can test people physically and Myles (Harrison) was tested and he stood up to it and that is another tick on the sheet for him.”
Despite the result, Ford did praise the efforts of his side as they challenged the former Super League champions for large periods of the match.
He added: “Wigan are a good team but speaking about us, we need more on what we want to do.
“We took the metres on offer. We built more pressure with good ball but Wigan scored in the blocks where we fell short a little bit at like 60% for a ten minute block.
“But in the blocks where we were at 80-90%, the game was in the balance.
“To be fair, Wigan were shaking us in most areas, most of the time, but we showed a lot of character to hang in there and that will reinforce the lesson we have been trying to preach for a number of weeks now.”
In addition, Ford gave two debut appearances to youngsters Myles Harrison and AJ Towse.
Harrison started at full-back whereas Towse came off the bench during the second half.
Reflecting on their inclusion, Ford shared: “I think that giving two debuts tonight shows that we do care about the community game in York.
“We want the game to thrive because, ultimately, that supplies us with players like Myles Harrison and AJ Towse.
“We want some more to come through. We would like a full team of York lads in there but, unfortunately, that is a little bit unrealistic.
“But, we want the kids of York to know that there is a pathway and that we do want them in our team and hopefully, we can get some more in.”