York City Knights coach Paul March said he was proud of how his young side stood up to Halifax after the League Two side's 12-34 Challenge Cup loss.
March's side battled hard against a stronger Halifax team
Mark Applegarth, Johnny Waldron and Steve Grundy scored tries for the Knights to boost their hopes for the forthcoming League Two campaign.
"We're playing National League One sides week-in week-out every week and we're competing," March said.
"I'm just so proud of them, they stuck to their guns."
March's side went 16-0 down in the opening 15 minutes and they would have gone in just 16-8 down at the break but for a Halifax try right on half-time.
They can only get better from here
Halifax recently put more than 80 points past Workington and the Knights were playing their third game in eight days.
"We looked at Halifax and we knew we could score points and we defended pretty well."
The Knights are still looking for their first win since March took charge.
Their best result was a draw against Featherstone in the Northern Rail Cup, but the coach believes the Halifax display bodes well for the future.
"We've worked hard these last eight days, even for a Superleague squad that's tough, so for the lads to go to work and perform like they have done...they can only get better from here."
Danny Ekis and David March, who is Paul March's twin brother, came off with slight injuries but the coach expects both to be fit for next Sunday's Northern Rail Cup tie at home to Batley.