HEAD coach James Webster revealed he was down to his last 18 fit players as depleted Hull KR at last won their first game of the season.
They defeated Salford Red Devils 44-30 to finally get up and running despite missing a raft of first-teamers.
Furthermore, they lost forwards James Greenwood and Graeme Horne to injuries during the game which puts them in doubt for Friday’s derby against Hull FC, while Webster says he must wait until Wednesday to see if half-back Albert Kelly and hooker Shaun Lunt are fit enough to return in that crucial fixture.
“It’s been a disruptive week with injuries but that was a good, solid performance that we can build on,” he added.
“We only had 18 fit players; Kieran Dixon was the only one in our squad who didn’t play that was fit.
“It was good to get Josh (Mantellato) back because he’s an inspirational player for us and he brings a high level of experience to the group.
“And it’s good to get a win. Any time is. We played a really good side in Salford there who are travelling well; everyone can see that.
“Our first 40 was a lot better than our second 40 clearly, but I thought we took massive strides forward from last week.”
Webster lost his first game in charge against Huddersfield Giants but Rovers were sensational in the first period versus Salford building up a 30-6 interval lead before almost throwing it away.
“The completion rate was 100 per cent in the first half; you’re comparing that to the low 60s recently that we’ve been dishing out so the improvement is obvious,” he added.
“Rugby league is all about energy and last week was a good example of that; we hung in at Huddersfield but they had so much more ball than us the dam was always going to burst.
“If you work out your game-plan and stick to it, it goes a long way towards winning games.”
Maurice Blair, the Australian second-row filling in at stand-off, was outstanding taking control in that first period.
Webster added: “I spoke to Maurice Blair during the week and said we’ve got to play to his strengths.
“He’s not an Andrew Johns or a Johnathan Thurston; he’s a back-rower who’s being forced to play in the halves so it’s no coincidence we’re better when we let him run the ball.
“He did that a lot today and it was also the best game I’ve seen Mitch Allgood play yet.”
Hull defeated Wakefield Trinity 22-4 on Friday night to end their three-game losing run.
Webster added: “Next week is another special occasion for us and it’s one we’re really looking forward to.
“We’ll be ready for an impressive Hull FC side who are big and powerful.”
On the injuries, he said: “Shaun Lunt hasn’t trained with us yet, but we’re hoping he will during the week.
“It’s a short turnaround; we’re two days behind Hull because they played Friday and we’ll need to make a call on everyone come Wednesday.
“It gives us three days to prepare.
“Albert Kelly has done some training but not with us, and he’s another one that we’ll have to wait on until Wednesday.
“James Greenwood and Graeme Horne both came off so they’re inevitably doubts for the game too.”