Doncaster RLFC wasted no time in throwing down the gauntlet to their Betfred League One promotion rivals, beating fancied Newcastle Thunder 32-26.
The Keepmoat Stadium side found themselves 22-4 down at the break but roared back on the opening day of the season at Kingston Park.
“I think they had 22 sets and we had ten so they had most of the ball in the first half and they looked quite strong and we knew there was room for a lot of improvement in the second half,” said assistant coach Pete Green.
“We’d trained all week on the 3G pitch at Castle Park but it’s different from playing an actual game and they were obviously more used to it.
“We still felt that we could get back into the game in the second half if we could get more of the ball and be more adventurous when we got it.
“We’d played a bit too much one-out football in the first half and they had been tight down the middle and strong physically.
“Because we were chasing the game we knew we would have to throw the ball about more in the second and we looked a lot better when we did that. Our shape was better and we caused them more problems and scored some good tries.”
The game saw Hull FC duo Connor Wynne and Danny Langtree, Oldham’s top try-scorer Danny Langtree make their league debuts for the club.
“Danny got through a lot of work and Connor was really quick and really brave and had a really good game for us at full-back.”
Among the others to catch Green’s eye was Australian loose-forward Jordie Hedges and last season’s top try-scorer Jason Tali, who both capped hard-working displays with a try.
“We’ve got a tough start – we’ve got Hunslet at home this weekend - so to beat Newcastle, who have spent a lot of money strengthening their side, is a massive confidence boost.”