YORK City Knights kicked off 2022 with a convincing 46-6 pre-season victory over Midlands Hurricanes at the LNER Community Stadium on Friday night.

Here are five things that we learnt from the game.

1. Putting the scoreline and the manner of the victory in context is key

As with so many pre-season friendlies, putting the match into context is important. York’s attack looked scintillating in the first half, but it is only fair to point out that their opposition are two months away from their League One campaign kicking off.

And while the Knights struggled to replicate their first-half dominance after the interval, equally this was their first hit-out since September with almost a dozen new faces included.

2. Recognised half-backs are already making a difference

The Knights’ problems at half-back last year were well-documented as injury, coronavirus and recalled loan players allowed for little consistency from January to September.

The sight of two top-quality recognised halves, in Liam Harris and Jamie Ellis, was a very welcome one for York and, without over-reading a pre-season friendly, they swiftly made an impact.

Harris was the deserved man-of-the-match award winner, having scored two tries and assisted a couple too, while Ellis was a controlling central presence and looks more than handy from the kicking tee.

Throw Brendan O’Hagan into the mix too and York have genuine strength in the role.

3. Jack Teanby plays a starring role in the forward pack

Prop forward Teanby was one of York’s stand-out players during the back end of last season and was a major player in the run of five wins from the final seven matches.

And it seems like the ex-Dewsbury Ram has picked up from where he left off with a bright showing against Midlands.

Often utilising his strength to good effect, Teanby was strong in attack and defence, and the competition brought by off-season prop additions Masi Matongo and Ronan Michael seems to have brought more to his game.

Having been restricted to just two starts in the first 10 games last year, Teanby will be hoping to continue a promising start in 2022.

4. Cruel blow to pair of trialists

Pre-season friendlies are often the ideal for clubs outside of the Betfred Super League to field trialists with a view to keeping them on a permanent basis.

While not strictly trialists, Myles Harrison and AJ Towse impressed while on community dual-registration terms from Heworth in 2020 before later going on to pen long-term deals.

The Knights handed chances to former Hull KR academy back Bradley Ward and ex-Newcastle Thunder forward Rory Nettleton against Midlands.

Cruelly, Nettleton left the field injured after just 15 minutes, having come on at half-time, while Ward went down hurt in the final seconds.

One hopes that neither blow is serious and that they will have fresh chances to prove their talents injury-free.

5. A positive first showing for Midlands

Outside of York circles, the headline story of this friendly was the first outing of Midlands Hurricanes since rebranding from its previous incarnation as Coventry Bears.

Given that their league season does not begin until late March, the Hurricanes stood up well on the field, particularly in the second half.

To relocate and overhaul your identity is a brave move for any club and given rugby league’s need to expand outside of its heartlands, plenty in the sport will wish the project great success.