HEAD coach James Ford has warned his York City Knights players they need to work as hard this week as they did against Toronto Wolfpack - else they will "get stung".

Ford's troops battled bravely to a 14-0 defeat to the star-studded full-time outfit on the opening day of the Betfred Championship season on Sunday and duly earned plaudits aplenty, especially for their defensive efforts.

However, Ford was quick to point out that the last time his team were lauded for a mighty effort against Toronto - stunning the rugby league world in July 2017 by ending the Wolfpack's unbeaten record that year - they quickly fell back down to earth with a heavy bump in an "awful" defeat at Keighley Cougars the following weekend.

They go to Dewsbury Rams next Sunday obviously wanting to get off the mark in the second division sooner rather than later. The Rams' opening game of term, away to Rochdale, was postponed due to snow.

“We need to strive for consistency," said Ford. "The effort and endeavour needs to be replicated this week. If it’s not, Dewsbury are more than capable of beating us.

“The last time we played Toronto we were fantastic and the effort was great, but the week after we served up probably the worst performance I’ve ever seen any team produce, away at Keighley. We were awful.

“And I saw it all week in training. I wasn’t a good enough coach or smart enough or brave enough to make the changes I needed to."

Only six of the side that defeated Toronto 19 months ago were in the team for Sunday's 2019 opener - namely Ash Robson, Brad Hey, Connor Robinson, Ronan Dixon, Will Jubb and Joe Porter. All barring Robson featured in the shocker at Cougar Park seven days later.

Ford added: "There is some pressure on the players. They need to train well this week and make sure I’m confident they’re ready to go again.

“If they’re not, in this division you will get stung, whether it’s by Toronto or anyone else in the competition.”