A VALIANT defensive effort was not enough to save York City Knights from a 14-0 defeat to Toronto Wolfpack in their first Betfred Championship match.

The Knights rarely looked like scoring but kept damages to a minimum until the closing stages, with Gary Wheeler the only try scorer in the first 69 minutes.

Matty Russell crossed to double the visitors' advantage - albeit contentiously as he finished off a move that looked to have contained a forward pass - and Joe Mellor finished the job at the death.

Wolfpack went into the break 4-0 up thanks to Wheeler’s touchdown in the corner.

It could have been more, but for York’s excellent defending which saw both Adam Sidlow and Ricky Leutele held up over the line, the latter by the determined efforts of Liam Salter, Matty Marsh and Ash Robson.

Directly after Sidlow was denied, however, the ball was played out wide for Wheeler to dive over. Gareth O’Brien’s tricky conversion attempt was short.

At the other end, Knights toiled to break through the visitors’ defence but with little joy.

York's superb defensive effort continued into the second half, twice clearing the ball from behind the try line and once shepherding it safely out.

The closest the Knights came at the other end was with Jack Teanby, who was held by the last man after breaking through from Graeme Horne's reverse pass.

But the visitors broke York's resolve twice in the final 10 minutes, with Russell going over in the left-hand corner before Mellor crossed from Josh McCrone's grubber kick. O'Brien added the late conversion.