both coaches were in upbeat mood after Wakefield Trinity Wildcats’ 22-18 pre-season win at Featherstone Rovers.
The Super League side had to battle back from 18-6 behind in the first half and Rovers boss Jon Sharp was “really pleased” with the way his part-timers performed.
“We made some steps forward from our game against Castleford,” said Sharp, whose team were beaten 42-28 in their opening practice game at the Jungle.
“I thought we played well against Cas for 60 minutes and we got an 80-minute performance this time.
“We defended better and our attack also was threatening, in difficult conditions. I thought we got a really good workout.”
Sharp fielded 19 players and added: “There was a spell when we had a lot of young blokes on and a lot of experienced guys off. But we need to expose them to that type of football.
“Wakefield took advantage of that and looked really quick around the ruck. Reece Lyne was outstanding, he was probably the difference between the sides, but overall I thought both coaches should get a lot out of it.”
Sharp’s Wakefield rival Brian Smith was also happy. He was pleased with how strongly his men finished the game and credited that to the preparation they’ve been able to do using Featherstone’s training facilities.
Smith said: “Our boys looked fit and strong and we came back with 16 unanswered points to win it, which was encouraging.
“It was difficult circumstances, the ground was so heavy and to be fair Featherstone were terrific. They played really enthusiastically and I am pleased for them.
“We are neighbours and we share the training facility [at Big fellas Stadium] with them. I am long-term mates with Jon Sharp from my days of coaching him at Hull, Mark Campbell, their owner, is a tremendous guy and we have a great relationship.
“I hope it is the start of a really big season for Fev as well. We would like them to see them do well.
“There’s a lot to be admired about their club, their setup and the passion within the club.”