LOCAL favourite Joe Porter reckons York City Knights' combative efforts against odds-on title favourites Toronto Wolfpack have set a benchmark for the coming weeks.

The Knights lost Sunday's Betfred Championship opener 14-0 but they remained very much in the game with the score at only 4-0 until the star-studded Wolfpack scored a contentious second try 11 minutes from time.

Toronto boss Brian McDermott, the four-time Super League-winning coach, was among those to hail the Knights' defensive work, and pack star Porter, who had his usual fine impact as a substitute, says the side should not now drop below those standards - starting with Sunday's trip to Dewsbury Rams.

"I think every one of the lads gave it their best," said Porter of the Bootham Crescent battle.

"I think it's a benchmark for where we need to be and what we need to improve on in little areas - little one-per-centers we need to get better at.

"But everyone's effort was there. It was a good dig, we're just obviously disappointed not to get anything out of it."

Ex-York Acorn amateur star Porter, now entering his third season as a professional at his hometown club, has enjoyed a rapid rise in rugby league.

The former York High School student only took up the sport aged 16, having previously been a junior footballer with Hamilton Panthers - "playing anywhere from goalkeeper to striker".

He soon progressed to Acorn's first team and, in 96 appearances for the Blue and Golds in the top two divisions of the National Conference since that league went to a summer season in 2012, he was named man of the match no fewer than 21 times.

He was voted their Player of the Year, too, in 2016 before enjoying a successful trial with the Knights and penning pro terms ahead of the 2017 campaign.

He has since played 46 times for James Ford's team, including catching the nation's eye with two tries in a televised Challenge Cup tie against eventual winners Catalans Dragons last season and going on to sign an improved deal which keeps him at his hometown club until the end of 2020.

A regular performer in last season's League One-winning campaign, notching seven tries in 28 appearances in all in 2018, he reckoned York have kicked off this term where they finished that one.

"We just picked up from last year," he said. "Our defensive efforts last year were just as good.

"I think that's what kind of team we are - we like to get stuck in and the defence is a big part for us.

"They (Toronto) had a few big players in there and I think a few of our lads stepped up to it and didn't take a backwards step from them."

Porter says there can now be no let-up when the Knights go to the Tetley's Stadium this weekend.

"Dewsbury will be another big challenge for us," he said. "It's a lot smaller pitch than we're used to, and they're a big outfit as well, so we expect another tough game.

"We've just got to keep training hard, keep doing what we're doing and improving each week."