YORK City Knights fell to a 37-18 defeat against Betfred Championship play-off rivals Bradford Bulls, who returned to Odsal after almost two years away.

Here are five things we learnt from the game.

1. Penalties prove to be very costly for York

The ill-discipline of the Knights felt like one of the prevailing factors in their defeat to Bradford. They conceded ten penalties in total, the second most for any Championship side over the course of round eight.

Of those ten, three were within kickable distance for Bulls talisman Danny Brough to add three penalty goals to his impeccable streak with the boot. He finished with eight goals from as many attempts and added a second-half drop goal too.

York went into half time trailing 24-12, with a scoreline and performance that seemed to reflect their long-running struggles in the opening half of matches.

From their last ten matches, only twice have the Knights gone into the interval with a lead - leading 12-6 against Featherstone Rovers and being 34-0 up at Swinton Lions.

While York have tended to finish games strongly, namely against London Broncos and Dewsbury Rams, starting games in a strong position looks to be an area for improvement moving forward.

2. Bulls defeat will be a test of York’s character

Over the course of some hugely successful recent seasons for York, defeats by significant margins have been few and far between.

In regular season league matches, the Knights have only conceded more than the 37 points they shipped against Bradford four times since 2017.

And, in testament to the mental strength of the group, on each occasion they have responded with big wins against tough opposition.

In 2019, York were twice beaten by Featherstone, by 42-12 and 42-10 scorelines, but, on both occasions, the replied the following week by beating Widnes Vikings, winning the first 17-10 and the latter 16-12.

Similarly, after taking a bruising 56-6 hammering by Toronto Wolfpack in Canada, James Ford’s side sealed a play-off spot by winning 22-18 against Featherstone.

And, last year, York won at London Broncos in the Challenge Cup a week on from the 34-0 defeat at Leigh Centurions.

It remains to be seen if York can make a similar reply in the 1895 Cup semi-final clash against Swinton on Sunday (2pm).

3. Welcome returns for Jack Teanby and Brendan O’Hagan

After over a month away for the pair, it was pleasing to see Teanby and O’Hagan restored to the side.

As you may expect after a long while away, neither was quite at their best but their displays will surely improve with more game time.

It brings York to near full-fitness, which can only be a positive after such a tough run of injuries this year.

4. Danny Brough runs the show

Even at 38, Brough can still run the show at the top end of the Championship, almost 20 years on from his debut for York.

His perfect goal kicking and organisational play was key to Bradford’s victory.

5. Great to see big crowd at Odsal

It was fantastic to see a crowd of 3,742 at Odsal. Despite being an old-school ground and a world away from the LNER Community Stadium, its atmosphere is among the best in the division.