FEATHERSTONE ROVERS ended their pre-season campaign without a win, but coach Ryan Carr saw encouraging signs in yesterday’s 32-28 defeat by Leeds Rhinos.
It was their fourth pre-season reverse - after losses to Castleford Tigers, Dewsbury Rams and Hunslet Club Parkside - and they drew with Halifax last week.
Rovers led 22-4 at half-time and Carr said: “I was very pleased with the first half, we defended well and how we wanted to.
“There was a strong wind and I thought we played to the conditions well and built pressure in the first half.
“Probably in the second half we did the complete opposite to what we did in the first.”
Rovers played uphill against the gale after half-time and Carr replaced many of his senior players, with Sunday’s Betfred Championship opener at Bradford Bulls in mind.
There was a strong wind and I thought we played to the conditions well and built pressure in the first half. Probably in the second half we did the complete opposite to what we did in the first.Ryan Carr
“It was our fifth pre-season game in a row heading into Bradford next week,” he added.
“I saw it as a good opportunity to give the young guys a run, as did Leeds.
“We are not blessed with a 35-man squad so I had to do what I did with our starters and get a few of them off because Bradford next week is when we are up for points and that’s the most important thing right now.”
Imports Cameron King and Ase Boas both impressed in the opening stages of their first game for Rovers.
“Kingy arrived 48 hours ago and Ase was about 24 before him,” Carr said.
“I was really stoked they got through some game time because I know how hard it is with the jetlag.
“I was really pleased they got out there and got a run in that first half and they are only going to get better with time around the squad.”
Rovers finished with 12 men after Josh Hardcastle was dismissed for an alleged dangerous tackle on Harry Georgiou three minutes from time.
Carr declined to comment on the tackle, but said: “I’m disappointed for Josh because I thought he had a really good game, he was one of our best.
“That’s probably why you get a few off at the end of the game, because you don’t want stuff like that to happen.”