HEAD coach James Ford insists he would happily have James Child refereeing his York City Knights side every week - despite the controversial late call that handed Toulouse Olympique victory at Bootham Crescent.

The Knights, knowing a win would put them level on points with the French outfit in second place in the Betfred Championship, led three times only for an error on each restart to see the visitors hit back.

The third occasion was contentious, with Joe Porter adamant he had not knocked-on as Child - a Super League official - awarded Toulouse an attacking scrum.

Olympique then got the decisive try seven minutes from time through Mathieu Jussaume, although video clips suggested Paul Marcon had knocked-on under a kick.

The home support jeered the officials as a late penalty and drop-goal sealed a 25-18 result, but Ford was more magnanimous.

"The boys love playing in York with the supporters getting behind them as they do," he said.

"They (the fans) are not going to be happy - they want us to win.

"But it's a tough gig, refereeing.

"You're never going to get everything right and if you get something wrong that has an impact on the outcome of the game then obviously there's going to be a lot of unhappy people.

"It's a tough occupation and they've got to have mental resilience too.

"Over the course of a season, would I be happy to have James Child every week? Yes I would.

"I'm not saying he got everything right but I think he's one of the better officials and I certainly don't have an issue with him. If he gets assigned to us next week I'd be happy."

The first half was played in constant rain and, while that abated in the second period, the conditions remained wet and greasy.

Ford said: "I'm really proud of my boys' effort, in challenging conditions against a very good side.

"I thought we were good enough to get a win. We got out in front but then we've come up with an error and they pegged us back, and that pattern repeated itself on two or three occasions.

"But I did fancy us if we could just get a little more field position. We did look like opening them up a couple of times.

"But you've got to credit Toulouse for getting back and making those defensive plays. They controlled the ball a little bit better than we did, certainly off kick-offs. That ultimately was the difference.

"There were two good sides with not a lot between them. It's fine margins at this level.

"Obviously we're immensely gutted. We put a lot into this game. But it won't define our season."

Ford bemoaned the errors his team came up with immediately after going ahead, as well as the occasional rub of the green.

He explained: "We were going through five or 10-minute blocks to get that territory (in order to score a try), working really hard for it. Then we get out in front but come up with a really soft error or a bit of sloppy play in our process.

"You can't do that at this level. Toulouse are a tremendous side, with lots of speed and a very high attacking rugby IQ and they will punish you if you give them too much opportunity.

"The effort and endeavour across the side was right up there.

"I don't like saying it but occasionally there were little bounces of the ball that didn't favour us - a ricocheted kick that could have gone either way, the (decisive) try in the corner. There were two or three 50-50s.

"I'm certainly not putting any blame on the officials - that's not my intention at all. I'm just saying in a parallel universe that ball goes the other way and we come out victorious.

"We're gutted but we have to take confidence from large parts of that. They're probably second favourites for the competition and we probably feel a little bit hard done by that we've not got the points."