Tony Smith and Christ Chester gave their thoughts after an impressive display from a new look Hull KR ran out 30-12 winners over Wakefield.
Much has been made of the Robins recruitment in the off-season, who have recruited virtually an entirely new squad, but Smith’s men were full of spirit and effort in difficult condition, with Ben Crooks scoring four of the host’s six tries.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Smith was hugely proud of his players, and dedicated the win to Mose Masoe, who was recently forced to retire after suffering a serious spinal injury against Trinity in pre-season.
“He will be smiling for us. He sent us a lovely message earlier in the week. He’s with us every week, he’s part of us,” he said.
“He will be with us when we win, and he will be with us when we lose. Some of the spirit of Mose is always going to be there. We play with spirit and it can take you a long way.”
Smith was particularly happy with his players’ efforts without the ball.
“I liked the defence we came up with. We’re disappointed we let in one soft try, a dummy-half try. I thought our goal-line defence was pretty good,” he said.
“They made a lot of errors, we made a lot of errors. A few stray passes. It was tough to play rugby league, it was windy. It’s really hard to play when you’ve got the wind behind you, the ball floats away from you.
There was a special mention for Ben Crooks, who ran riot with four tries in the opening game of the season.
“Crooks has come up with four tries and that is something special and I’m pleased about that. Some boys stepped up and they are finding out how good they can be,” he added.
Conversely, Chester was extremely frustrated with his side’s performance, made even worse by the potential season ending injury to key man Danny Brough.
“It’s potentially an ACL. He did it at the back of the first half. He thought he could run if off,” he said.
“It’s not great for Broughy but it certainly looks like an ACL. I’m really disappointed for Broughy who has been great in pre-season and was looking in great shape.
“(I was) very disappointed in the effort of some individuals tonight. I thought we just got outmuscled.
“I was disappointed with the errors, 16 errors, you can’t win any games playing like that.
“Guys were just probably trying too hard, guys just making stuff up. It looked like we were a group of players just thrown together. We need to be a lot better so I expect a big reaction next week,” he added.