YORK Knights head coach Andrew Henderson was pleased with his side's "ugly win" in the Third Round of the Betfred Challenge Cup at Dewsbury Rams this afternoon.

Second-half tries from Oli Field and Nikau Williams saw the Knights overturn a six-point deficit to run out 14-8 winners at the FLAIR Stadium and book their place in the Fourth Round against Sheffield Eagles in a fortnight's time.

It was far from a vintage performance from Henderson's youthful side - containing eight players aged 22 or younger - with their ill-discipline during the first half presenting the Rams with a raft of opportunities to attack their try-line.

York did improve dramatically after the break, though were indebted to Jordan Thompson for a stunning length of the field try-saving tackle on ex-Knight Lewis Carr before Williams' eventual winner two minutes from time.

"I'd say it's an ugly win if I'm honest!" Henderson said with a smile.

"But I have to give the team some credit for turning things around after the break and ultimately finding a way to win.

"We knew today was always going to be a challenge. As I've said before, when it comes to the Challenge Cup, form goes out of the window. Regardless of how Dewsbury had performed in the previous two weeks, it was irrelevant.

"It's a different challenge for us in terms of the size of the field, the conditions, obviously I've made a couple of positional changes, and some guys are having their first hit-out of the year.

"There were a lot of factors that were not going to make it a clean performance, I should say."

York Press: Oli Field kickstarted the Knights' comeback just after the hour mark.Oli Field kickstarted the Knights' comeback just after the hour mark. (Image: Craig Hawkhead)

Whilst not quite giving his side the infamous hairdryer treatment at the interval, Henderson felt that the Knights' ill-discipline had put them under undue pressure during the opening half, but was impressed with their try-line defence.

"Certainly the way we performed in the first half, we addressed it at half time, we were just not good enough in terms of the ball control or our discipline," he continued.

"I think we conceded eight penalties, we gave away two seven-tackle sets where we kicked it dead, and we gave a few six-again's away as well. We just put ourselves under way too much pressure.

"I thought that there was a lot of effort and endeavour from the team and the way that we defended because we gave Dewsbury a lot of field position and a lot of possession, but I did feel that we defended our try-line really, really well.

"We kept turning up for each other, but ultimately we got broken in the end. That's what happens when you're conceding that much in terms of ball control, not completing your sets, you're giving away silly penalties and six again's, ultimately you're going to come unstuck at some point, and we did.

"Dewsbury got us with a shift play and got us in the corner there before half time.

"We spoke about that at half time, and about how we can help ourselves - if we just get that ball control a little better, get our discipline better and if we start thinking about how to turn the ball over in the right areas, then we'll slowly turn and start to get some field position and some opportunities."

MATCH RECAP:  Dewsbury Rams 8-14 York Knights - Challenge Cup

He also conceded that the game was never likely to be high-scoring due to Dewsbury's narrow pitch dimensions and boggy conditions underfoot.

"It was never going to be a high-scoring affair, you can see the state of the pitch - it's cut up badly, it's heavy and it's boggy. It is like a bog out there.

"It's hard to generate leg speed and it's hard to generate ruck speed, and with the nature of the pitch being so tight, you can't get around them.

"We fell into that trap a couple of times in the first half, trying to go around them and trying to find that long pass wide, and it's just not going to happen in these conditions and on this sort of field. You have to play more direct and through.

"I thought in the second half, we fixed that up a little bit better, we played a little more direct.

"We had to be patient and it was never going to be a high-scoring affair, and we luckily did enough quality work in the second half to come away and snatch it at the end."