YORK City Knights were “outplayed man for man” by Whitehaven in their 38-12 defeat at the Recreation Ground, according to head coach James Ford.

York were effectively out of the Betfred Challenge Cup tie at half-time, when trailing 28-0, and the heavy loss continued a 30-year wait for a win at Whitehaven.

The Knights showed heart in the second half but were largely second-best to a dominant Haven.

“Congratulations to Whitehaven, I thought they were the better team and deserved to progress into the next round of the Cup,” said Ford.

‘I certainly don’t want to make any excuses about the players that we didn’t select because we had 17 men out there like Whitehaven did and I thought they outplayed us man for man.”

“I was pretty happy with the first five sets of the game, I thought we were on top but then we gave away a ridiculous penalty, that gave Whitehaven territory and possession that they didn’t really deserve.

“We will learn from that as a team and as individuals. The next 20 minutes was not great. We knocked on playing the ball, we gave high tackles away, we gave away six-agains, when we got penalties, we missed touch.

“We just invited a lot of pressure on ourselves. We talk a lot about not releasing pressure from our opponents, but we didn’t release pressure on Whitehaven, we heaped it on us.

“You could say they scored fortune tries, off of ricochet kicks and loose passes. But we also talk about being first and not giving up on stuff and when your opponents get there before you, they’re working harder than you.

“We’ve got to focus on ourselves and that first half was far from the levels that we aspire to.”