Coach Richard Marshall said Sunday’s 38-24 Super 8s Qualifiers reverse at Hull KR had left him with more positive emotions than some of his side’s Championship victories.
Fax, win-less in the Qualifiers and coming off the back of last weekend’s 62-4 thrashing by Salford, looked to be in for another torrid afternoon when Rovers raced into a 20-0 lead after 19 minutes.
But the visitors stuck doggedly to their task, limiting the half time damage to 24-0 and emerging after half time finally looking like the side that out performed all expectations to clinch a Qualifiers berth in the first place.
“We’ve won games this year and I’ve felt worse than this,” admitted Marshall.
“I think with last week in mind, we needed to come here and improve.
“We didn’t do that in the first half, but we did in the second.
“I was elated towards the end with our effort and desire.
“After last week and conceding 60 points, we looked far and away a better team than that and I’ll go away proud and pleased to be associated with that group of players.
“We came and put a real dogged effort in.
“As a coach, you want a response and we got one.
“We were at 94 per cent completion in that second half, which is fantastic.
“Todd Carney kicked that 40/20 with 20 minutes to go and that took the sting out of our game a little bit.
“We were on fire in that second half until that point and we scored some wonderful points.
“We’ve not scored a lot of tries since the competition split, so that will give us some confidence.
“For the young players, to come here and play in front of a good crowd and compete is a great experience and we’ll be better for that game.”
Fax, already without several key players - including Rovers’ on loan full back Kieren Moss and loose forward Simon Grix - were further hampered by the loss of captain Scott Murrell, the former KR star breaking his thumb in the first set of the game.
“We think Scott has broken his thumb and he did it in the first tackle of the match,” said Marshall, who shunted Will Sharp back to full back, with James Woodburn-Hall moving into the halves.
“He’s a champion player and he played through until half time with it, but we decided to get him out of there at that point.
“Will was outstanding when he went to full back and James and Ben Johnston did a real good job.
“I thought Chester Butler had a fantastic game, along with Adam Tangata.
“There were plenty of positives in that second half.”