YORK City Knights booked their spot in the Betfred Challenge Cup third round and the AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-finals with a 14-2 win at London Broncos.

Here are five things we learnt from an enthralling cup tie.

1. Knights look solid in defence

Head coach James Ford could scarcely have wished for a greater start from his defence than has been witnessed in these opening two Cup matches.

York conceded just one try at Sheffield Eagles in round one and denied London Broncos - on paper, arguably tougher opposition given their full-time status - a single four-pointer.

The Knights conceded far too many penalties and six-agains - 15 by our calculations - yet still they would not be broken on their goal-line.

It is perhaps unrealistic to expect such statistics throughout the season, but it is a perfect base from which to build.

2. Cuthbertson classy on debut

Of all of the big-name signings that the Knights recruited over the off-season, Adam Cuthbertson was perhaps the most high-profile.

Formerly of the NRL, a winner of five major trophies at Leeds Rhinos and a former Steve Prescott Man of Steel nominee in Super League, his reputation is huge.

After missing out through injury last week, he made an immediate impact at The Rock, assisting Joe Porter’s try and causing havoc with his trademark offloads.

Expect even better displays in the future as he gets back to full fitness following his lengthy shoulder problems.

3. Spears back with a bang

It is very hard to argue with Tim Spears being the recipient of the club’s man-of-the-match award.

Making his first appearance of the season, Spears was everywhere in his opening 20-minute stint

and barely missed a tackle.

The loose forward pairing of Cuthbertson, a classy offload machine, and Spears, a workhorse tackler and defensive enforcer, (which may unfairly characterise their respective games) should be interesting to see progress throughout 2020.

4. The 1895 Cup is a great concept

The Rugby Football League deserve credit for the launch of the 1895 Cup.

It was fairly criticised in 2019 due to the midweek kick-offs, the final’s placing after the Challenge Cup final and the less-than-glamorous sponsor.

This year, it is a concept that has been well delivered, with matches not interfering with a packed schedule and giving lower-league sides a realistic chance of playing at Wembley Stadium.

If York can avoid Championship favourites Featherstone Rovers in the last four, they’ll probably be favourites to qualify for the national ground.

5. Behind-closed-doors makes entertaining viewing

It goes without saying that everyone involved in rugby league wants to see the return of supporters as early as possible.

But one of the benefits of behind-closed-doors matches is the ability to listen in to exactly what is said by coaches, backroom staff and directors over the course of 80 minutes.

At The Rock, an old-school ground with wooden benches in place at the only seated stand, this was multiplied, with every instruction, cheer and infuriated remark all audible to the nearby press benches.

The roller-coaster ride on the field is shared off it too.