YORK City Knights Ladies are hopeful a good win over Widnes Vikings in the Challenge Cup tomorrow will justify their Women’s Super League status.

In the shorter term, coach Daryl North also believes victory at Haxby Road (2pm) would give them a necessary confidence boost ahead of next weekend’s trip to Wigan Warriors.

The Knights have struggled in the top tier of women’s rugby league and remain without a point from their four games this term.

But they are feeling confident about the test against Widnes, who lie second bottom in the Championship, with the gulf in intensity between the two divisions the main factor.

The Knights also have a strong squad from which to pick for this fixture, while the addition of ex-Great Britain international Bev Langan - coming out of retirement - will bring much-needed experience.

North hailed his side’s "best performance by a country mile" after their 40-12 home defeat to Featherstone Rovers, and he believes the confidence from that should carry them through in the cup which, in turn, will help them in the league the following Sunday.

He said: “It’s been very difficult to pick a team this week. We’ve got 34 girls signed on and there’s only one not available.

“That leaves 24 very, very strong players to choose from, without throwing players in when they’re not ready.

“We’re very excited. Without being too rude, it’s going to be an easier challenge than the Super League sides we’ve been competing against.

“It’s still going to be a tough game, but the main difference is going to be the speed of the game – against Super League sides it’s a high level all game, but this won’t be at that.

“We’re feeling very confident.

“I think it’s our turn to prove that, by getting a good result and the tries we need, we belong in Super League and not the Championship.

“The performance against Featherstone gives the girls confidence going into this game. We’d been beaten badly in games before that, but we put in a really good performance there.

“We’ve got a tough game the week after against Wigan Warriors, so we need to get everything we can get out of this game.

“Widnes are a brand new team, similar to us in that they have girls who haven’t even played before but also have some really experienced players.

“We’ll be more organised, but it’s how you perform on the day.”

Likely to make the side are the “absolutely fantastic” outside-backs Nat Carr, Ashleigh Hyde and Ellie Hendry, while Ellie Powell, a 16-year-old prospect, is in with a look-in.

On Langan, North added: "She's been around a while. She's a very good player and a big strong girl who knows the game well. She has what we're missing at the minute - that bit of experience."