Workington boss Dave Clark reckoned his side’s second-half show at in-form York City Knights should give his troops confidence heading into the Super 8s.
Town ended the regular season in eighth place in League One after losing 34-0 at Bootham Crescent, the result confirming the Minster city side in fourth place behind Toronto, Whitehaven and Barrow.
Clark’s men were over-run in the first half and trailed 28-0 at the interval, centre James Haynes scoring a hat-trick, but they upped the fight in the second period and the head coach believes that shows his side can more than compete in the upcoming fixtures.
He also said getting into the 8s meant they had hit their first objective as they rebuild following relegation from the Championship last year.
The silver lining of slipping to eighth, meanwhile, is that it gives them the bonus of meeting west Cumbrian arch-rivals Whitehaven, the second-placed team, at home in the upcoming fixtures. They will also host Toronto and Doncaster, and travel to Barrow, Newcastle, Keighley and back to York.
Clark said: “At half-time, we looked at the stats and what we did with the ball. York had 20 sets and we had 10 sets and made a few errors. We went into touch twice on the first tackle, and that was in those 10 sets.
“We gave them piggybacks and around the ruck we had to work harder to give us a chance.
“We needed to be better defensively and better around the ruck, get our bodies in and slow them down, and not give away penalties, and with the ball complete sets, get up there and play a little bit.
“I take my hat off to the boys for the second half. Our "D" was good and we let them in only once.
“We had some desire and showed character in the second half. We’re a young team and we’re learning every week. We’re giving ourselves a chance to compete with teams in the top eight if we get fifty per cent of the ball.
“We have to learn from it and see what we need to put right.”