HALIFAX back rower Ross Divorty believes getting “smashed” by his former teammates in last Friday’s under 23 fixture at Featherstone was the ideal way to return from his fractured vertebrae.
Divorty, who left Rovers last autumn to join the club where his father - the ball-playing loose forward Gary - played in the 1990s, was making his first appearance in the blue and white after a potentially disastrous gym accident just before Christmas sidelined him for three months.
And on a tough night at Post Office Road, Fax going down 44-4, Divorty attracted some especially brutal attention in defence.
“Playing against them, I got a couple of hidings at various points, which I expected,” said Divorty, who featured in Rovers’ 2011 Grand Final win over Sheffield Eagles.
“It was probably the perfect game for me, I know their coaches would have been telling the players to get at me.
“To be fair, that was probably just what I needed to get my mental attitude right for the next game and the games down the track.
“I’ve been smashed, I know the back will take it and be fine, and deep down that is what I needed to know.
“It was the ideal test in that sense.
“I went alright, got 80 minutes under my belt, which was the aim.
“I was a bit scratchy, but for a first game it was okay.”
Divorty, who was a spectator at the Huntington Stadium on Sunday as Fax beat his hometown club York 24-18 to make it two-from-two in the Co-operative Champonship, is now hoping for a first team start in this weekend’s third round Challenge Cup date with Humberside amateurs Myton at the Shay.
“It’s a building process: I’ve played 23s, then Myton, hopefully,” said Divorty.
“My fitness is okay, I just need to get through a bit more gym work to build some strength.
“It would have been nice to play against York because it’s my hometown club, but there’ll be another chance when we play them at home so it’s not the end of the world.
“It’s still a long season with plenty of games to go, so there was no point trying to rush back for it.
“I didn’t want to mess it up.
“I’m blowing the cobwebs off and the Challenge Cup would probably be a good stepping stone before playing in the Championship.
“I don’t know much about Myton, but they’ll be up for the challenge and I expect the first 40 to be pretty tough, certainly.
“After that, if we play as we should do, then we should be okay.”