DESPITE FIVE successive defeats, boss Jon Sharp insists Featherstone Rovers are taking positives from the middle-eights.
Rovers are bottom of the First Utility Qualifiers table and were crushed 70-16 at Salford Red Devils two days ago.
Their other meetings with Super League opposition ended in a 62-6 loss to Leeds Rhinos and 62-16 defeat at Huddersfield Giants, but Sharp reckons his men are learning valuable lessons which will stand them in good stead for future campaigns.
“It is not all doom and gloom,” insisted the coach, whose side also lost 30-18 to Leigh Centurions and 11-10 at Batley Bulldogs.
“There’s lots of positives in there that need to be addressed and built upon.”
Sharp said: “As a group of coaches we are getting an opportunity to see our players playing at another level. The club has ambitions to keep progressing and improving and we are getting an opportunity to see players coming up against some full-time players who have been there and done that in Super League.
“I think the experience for those players is absolutely invaluable. It is difficult, it is not tangible, you can’t quite see the improvement I am sure the players will get from this, but there are lessons to be learned.
“The fact we have conceded so many points against the full-time teams is probably a reflection of the gulf in the class between three really good full-time teams and a part-time team that’s got a busted roster at the minute, but I wouldn’t say we are disheartened at all.
“I would say we are a little bit disappointed we’re not playing as well as we can do and we aren’t able to field the team that got us into the middle-eights.”
Rovers face Super League opposition again on Sunday, at home to Hull KR and finish their campaign a week later at London Broncos.
Sharp added: “The experience young players like Luke Day, Sam Cooper and Brad Tagg are gaining is invaluable for them and their development.
“We have got two pivots in Kyle Briggs and Anthony Thackery who are getting to test their nous and their intelligence against good defensive teams.
“We are getting opportunities to see how staff handle things as well and how they work when they are put under a different type of pressure when they’re coming up against a team and a club who have been there and done that at that next level.
“It is not just about the two points or whether we have won, lost or drawn.
“It’s about developing the players and giving them an opportunity to play against some really good players and seeing whether they can go to that next level.”