JAMES FORD praised the “resilience” shown by York City Knights in their 27-18 win over Newcastle Thunder after being “man-handled” by their opponents during the Summer Bash match-up.

York appeared in command at 20-8 up just shy of the hour but back-to-back tries saw Newcastle close the gap to just two points.

Danny Kirmond’s late score eventually settled matters, strengthening the Knights’ place in the Betfred Championship play-offs, in the narrow contest.

“I thought parts of the performance were good and when we had good ball, I thought we looked like a team with our regular full-back in there and Marshy (Matty Marsh) came up with some really key plays for us,” said head coach Ford.

“I thought we had some better shape in yardage, I thought we kicked the ball to the corners pretty well.

“But I thought we got man-handled at times and lost the physical battle at times.

“With that said, there’s some really young men in our outside backs and they’ll be better for that and they’ll understand what I’m preaching at week after week.”

The Knights had to show fight given that they lost prop forward Jack Teanby to a head injury assessment inside the opening quarter.

“Losing Teanby early was a real challenge for our middles,” Ford added. “Jordy Thompson has not been at the club all week, he’s been ill.

“The plan was to give him two 20-minute stints and he’s done 77 minutes and he went back on when we needed to see it out.

"He’s an absolute champion of a bloke and I’m glad we signed him.

“The amount of work that those forwards do defensively and the amount of control they give us is absolutely central for us.

“I know people want to watch exciting tries but if the opposition just pours through your middles, you can have as many of those players as you want, but you’re not going to get to use them because you’re going to spend a lot of time kicking off.

“We showed resilience to hang in there and complete our sets. That’s what York teams are about.

"We’re not always trying to score off every play, we’re looking to build pressure and invest in the process, which has seen us through."