Charlie Cavanaugh and Will Tate were the standout youngsters as Hull KR reserves came from behind to beat Wakefield Trinity last weekend.
That’s according to reserves head coach Kevin Deighton, who was able to call upon eight first-team players for the opening game of the new competition.
After going into half-time 22-4 down, Rovers scored 22 unanswered points in the second half to claim a gutsy win.
It was an encouraging start for a team that had only one training session together and Deighton was particularly impressed with two of his juniors.
“I thought Charlie Cavanaugh and Will Tate both stepped up really well from the 18s,” Deighton told Hull Live.
“They’ve only had one competitive game in about five months – the friendly against Hull the week before. It was nice to see Charlie get on the scoresheet and there was a try for Will as well.
“Will is what coaches call a sponge. He absorbs and absorbs all the information and education you give him.
“It’s about challenging Will now at the level we think he is. Physically he can play reserves and we’ll keep working on his skill.
“There’s lots and lots of potential there. He got invited to train with the first team for a week at the back end of last year and I think that’s what his goal is now.
“It’s up to us coaches in the middle step to make sure he’s ready for when Tony says come to train with us.”
The rest of the team was made up of players on dual-registration from Dewsbury Rams and part-timers, including ex-academy captain Marvin Lee and former first-team centre Joe Wardill.
Persistent hip problems forced Wardill to retire at the age of 21 last April but he is fit enough to play on a part-time basis.
“I think it’s a win-win for both parties,” said Deighton.
“Joe is still only a young kid – you don’t realise that – and full-time repetitive training took a toll on his body.
“What we can offer him now is a part-time environment where he isn’t putting his body through all that stress continuously but can push it when he wants to.
“We’ve done a lot of work together with the academy and the ladies team and he’d been chomping at the bit to have another crack at it.
“We were talking after the game on Saturday and he was saying he felt sore but it was a great feeling.”