YORK City Knights’ run in the Betfred Challenge Cup came to an end on Friday evening when they were beaten 26-0 by Betfred Super League giants Wigan Warriors.

Here are five things we learnt from the cup tie.

1. Huge positives to be taken despite defeat

Head coach James Ford expressed his pride in his side’s performance after the match, and rightly so.

Despite the huge injury list that York were faced with in the build-up - 12 players were unavailable in total - added to the world-class quality of the opposition, the Knights were well within the contest throughout the 80 minutes.

Once Wigan rolled into a three-score lead by half-time the result never looked in doubt, it must be said, but at no point did the Warriors ever manage to get a roll on the Knights, who performed admirably under the circumstances.

The character of this York side has been feted over recent seasons and this showing was another example of just why that reputation has been garnered.

2. Major improvement from Toulouse defeat

After York’s Championship opener defeat to Toulouse, the post-match consensus squared the blame on the consistent errors and lack of set completion.

It was evident they had leant from such mistakes and against Wigan, it was the Super League who produced more errors.

The Knights’ offload selection was far smarter and, despite being without any recognised half-backs, their end-of-set kicks had composure and organisation.

If York can maintain this discipline when league action resumes, they will be justly favourites over much of the division.

3. Attack will be far stronger with fit-again stars

The only fair accusation that could be made against the Knights surrounds their attack.

On numerous occasions, they had sets in the Wigan half and through some astute short-kicking from stand-in half Matty Marsh managed to build some pressure in the Warriors 20-metre line.

Wigan, though, dealt rather comfortably with everything that was thrown at them and chances were few and far between.

In some ways, this was to be expected, given the calibre of the opposition and the sheer number of regular starters missing for York, including first-choice halves Brendan O’Hagan and Riley Dean.

Next up for York are Sheffield Eagles, Swinton Lions and Dewsbury Rams - all sides they are expected to beat. If they can get consistency in selection, it’s a real chance to see the attack in full flow.

4. Dream debut for Harrison…

Making your professional debut as a teenager in the Challenge Cup against Wigan Warriors is the stuff of dreams but it became the reality for Myles Harrison and AJ Towse.

Signed on long-term deals earlier in the day, the pair showed genuine promise in their first appearances.

Harrison looked a composed presence at full-back and, surprisingly, took on some of the early kicks and didn’t look at all phased by the pressure that Wigan threw at him.

He would later be named as the club’s man of the match after a social media poll among supporters - and deservedly so.

5. … and for Towse

Equally, Towse’s few minutes on the wing saw him produce a try-saving tackle to stop Wigan winger Umyla Hanley touching down in the corner.

While both he and Harrison may be limited in their minutes later this year, with numerous players set for recalls this week, their prospects appear bright.

The pair even drew praise from Wigan stars Zak Hardaker and Jackson Hastings afterwards on Twitter.