YORK City Knights boss James Ford praised the efforts in the York & District ARL rep team after they gave his League One side a “real good workout” in their opening fixture of pre-season.

Ford left out a quartet of big names and fielded five trialists in a 20-man match-day squad, with one of them – York Acorn’s Matt Chilton – scoring two tries.

New winger Judah Mazive also blasted onto the Knights scene with a brace in the opening 14 minutes.

However, Ford’s side had only led 24-12 after the hour mark – man-of-the-match Antony Chilton scoring all of the District’s points – before going clear in the latter stages with four further tries, including two for Chilton’s younger brother.

“I was reasonably pleased,” said Ford of the run-out overall. “I don’t think the game was ever in doubt but we have to give credit to York & District. They came and played with energy and tenacity.

“I don’t think they made any line breaks but they worked hard enough off the ball to score two tries from kicks. They should be proud of their efforts.”

The game effectively turned after an all-in melee and a yellow card apiece with the score at 24-12, the Knights thereafter lifting the pace.

Ford added: “It was evident the things we’ve been working on and I thought it was obvious the stuff we’ve not worked on a lot. But we’ve only been in training for five or six weeks and you can’t work on everything at once.

“York & District were quite good and put us under some pressure. I thought we did okay and it was a real good workout for us.”

Asked whom of the new boys he thought stood out for the Knights, Ford said: “Judah Mazive was excellent. He was strong, worked hard, scored two tries and took one outstanding catch (under a high ball). He was good defensively too.

“Jake Normington stood out when he came on with his power and ability to break the line, and Dan Hawksworth was pretty good and a real handful when he was on there.”

He added: “Connor Robinson also played with maturity and both hookers (Will Jubb and Harry Carter) were excellent.”