YORK City Knights Ladies opened their 2021 Betfred Women's Super League campaign with a 68-14 loss at reigning champions Leeds Rhinos.

Despite the scoreline, the Knights will take plenty of positives from their first competitive outing in more than 18 months.

With a few new faces in the squad, York pushed the Rhinos in the first half and went into the break just 24-10 down after taking a 10-4 lead.

Katie Langan touched down and Mel Halstead added the extras after Leeds notched a fourth-minute try. Ellie Hendry also crossed for an unconverted score.

But Leeds turned on the style in the second half and dominated a now injury-hit York, who added another try through Hendry. Halstead put that kick through the posts.

York host Wakefield Trinity in the Challenge Cup this coming Sunday.

The Knights' new vice captain Alisha Clayton wrote on Twitter: "That felt good putting them boots back on and getting back on that pitch. All the girls put maximum effort in and didn’t give up one bit.

"Congratulations to Leeds Rhinos.

"Now we work towards our cup game next week against Wakefield."