DIRECTOR of rugby Martin Jenkinson says Rotherham Titans can encouragement from Saturday's opening-day defeat at Rosslyn Park.
Titans went down 38-19 on the artificial pitch at The Rock against a team widely tipped to challenge at the top of National One this term.
First-half tries by impressive new full-back Tom Bacon from Wasps and wing Dan Leake cancelled out two scores from the home side as the first half ended 14-14. Simon Hollingsworth, the summer arrival from Birmingham Moseley, slotted both conversions.
The game got away from Rotherham after the break as the hosts ran in three more tries but the Titans still rallied. Jamie Cooke scooted over for their third touchdown and they were pushing for a four-try bonus point when the final whistle blew.
"It is strange to have lost a game 38-19 and have got massive positives from it," said Jenkinson.
"The first thing we learnt is that we can front up against the top sides in the division. The physicality is there in our team. We let ourselves down early in the second half with our exit play. If we put that right then we will get very different results.
"The other thing that let us down in the second half was losing two or three three-quarters in quick time to different injuries but on a different day that could have gone with us.
"I am quite encouraged. We made no secret of the fact this was the last fixture in the league we would have chosen for a first game. With that in mind I'm looking forward to the rest of the season."
Road delays meant some unfortunate travelling fans missed the start but they arrived well in time to see Morgan Bunting, son of Clifton Lane legend Simon, come on for his competitive debut in the second half. He was one of 14 new players in the matchday squad.
Rotherham take on Sale FC in their first home game on Saturday. Sale went down 46-22 at home to Cinderford in their first game.
Check out Friday's Advertiser for a match preview, an interview with new skipper Zak Poole and a look back at the Rosslyn game.