YORK Knights boss Andrew Henderson believes that this afternoon’s victory against Halifax Panthers encapsulated just what his side are about.

The Knights moved out of the Betfred Championship relegation zone with a 40-18 triumph at the LNER Community Stadium on a day as glorious as the weather – building on a fast start to earn just their second win of the league season.

AJ Towse profited from a Louis Jouffret mistake to break the deadlock before Ukuma Ta’ai and Josh Daley added their names to the scoresheet as York found themselves with a 16-point lead early on – the same amount they had given away to Sheffield Eagles in their AB Sundecks 1895 Cup semi-final last weekend.

Halifax did hit back on the stroke of half time but the Knights crucially widened the gap after the break, with late tries from Panthers pair Ed Barber and Zack McComb proving a mere consolation on a day that firmly belonged to their opponents.

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Henderson admits Hull FC duo Franklin Pele and Davy Litten added a much-needed boost to his side after joining earlier in the week and had little to complain about from a performance in which his side were on top across the pitch.

“It was a good performance, wasn’t it!” Henderson beamed. “I’m really, really pleased with what we produced today.

“It was a lot better to watch than what we’ve seen in recent weeks, so I’m just really pleased for the playing group.

“I thought today’s result, for me, was an epitome of what we’re about. We were together, and we were tight.

“Our coaching staff and support staff this week have been first class in supporting the players and getting them ready. I thought our non-players or the guys that weren’t selected really played their part as well in trying to help prepare the team.

“I felt like this week was a really good week, I felt it through from Tuesday right through to today. Having numbers on the field helped as well obviously, and we brought that energy in a couple of new faces too.

“But there was a real sort of bit between the teeth and I could sense that from the players this week. They’ve come out and delivered a performance that we know that they’re capable of, which I’m really, really pleased with.

“They can enjoy tonight now, which is great.”

York Press: The Knights were left celebrating after a dominant performance against fellow early-season strugglers Halifax.The Knights were left celebrating after a dominant performance against fellow early-season strugglers Halifax. (Image: Alan Milner/Milner Creative/York RLFC)

Having seen themselves left with a mountain to climb after conceding early points to Batley, Whitehaven and Sheffield over recent weeks, the Knights came out like a train, with Halifax never really looking like recovering from their early deficit.

And that was not lost on the head coach, who explained: “I thought the way we started, our middle unit boys did a fantastic job at laying a great platform, but also equally, defensively, showed some intent and purpose.

“I thought our edges and those sprint-based effort areas were outstanding. I thought that left edge looked really good – obviously Jesse Dee back in the back-row with Jimmy Keinhorst, [Ata] Hingano and Towse - it was a potent left edge that not only caused some issues with the ball, but were defensive too.

“I thought we attacked with our defence today and I was really pleased to see that, but obviously I’m a little bit disappointed we conceded those couple of tries in the second half at the back end, I thought it maybe flattered the opposition a bit.

“We’ll have to make sure that we can fix those areas up moving forward, but I can’t be too hard on the players today. I think from where we’ve been to what we produced today; it was really encouraging.”