Wigan boss Adrian Lam was full of praise for York City Knights after their battling performance in the Betfred Challenge Cup third-round last night.
The Super League team defeated the Knights 26-0.
Lam, spoke of his admiration for York and praised his opponents’ display despite shutting them out.
“Credit to York, they were courageous and never gave in, they had plenty of effort and certainly their coach should be happy,” he said. “York fans, players and staff should be proud tonight.”
York head coach James Ford was happy with his side’s performance and felt they were unlucky not to get on the scoreboard as they kept the 2020 Grand Final runners-up at bay until Hardaker’s opening try in the 20th minute.
When asked if he was proud of York’s display, he said: “Yeah I am to be honest. Wigan are an outstanding Super League team. I thought we showed a lot of character in there.
“We did more of what we wanted to do (with the ball compared to the Championship defeat to Toulouse).
“We want to be challenged, it’s been a tough start but that’s how we want it.”
Zak Hardaker, Harry Smith and Sam Halsall’s first senior try put the Warriors into a 14-0 half-time lead, with further scores from Umyla Hanley – son of rugby league great Ellery – and Tony Clubb wrapping up victory at the LNER Community Stadium.
Despite coming out of the bruising encounter unscathed, Lam was disappointed at his side’s ill-discipline in a professional display against the Championship side.
The Super League outfit racked up 12 penalties compared to the home side’s three as they were made to work hard for their place in the quarter-final.
Lam said: “I was frustrated at times, I think we had ourselves to blame.
“The penalties were out of control, it’s something we’re not used to.
“I didn’t know what some of the penalties were for at some stage, it’s something we’ll bring up in the week and address it and move on.
“It was our own discipline without a doubt. I’m not blaming the referee (Marcus Griffiths), it was one of those games… the sooner we got through it the better.
“We got through injury-free, we’re in the quarter-finals and we held opponents to nil, which was another highlight.
“Holding our opposition to zero and giving opportunities to players who haven’t played a lot this season (was a positive).”
Hardaker finished with 10 points in York as he pushes his claim for the England full-back slot at this year’s Rugby League World Cup, and Lam was impressed with the performances of the 29-year-old and half-back Jackson Hastings.
“I thought Zak was outstanding, he’s been brilliant in all three games,” Lam added.
“Jackson Hastings stepped up and as the season unfolds he’ll run the ball a bit more.”