Hull KR boss Tony Smith said Mose Masoe "will always be with us" as his squad delivered an impressive win on the opening night of the season.
READ MORE: Full report of Hull KR's victory
The Robins beat Wakefield Trinity 30-12 win on an emotional night at Hull College Craven Park.
Their prop Masoe suffered a career-ending spinal injury against the same opponents last month and there are fears he may not walk again.
But Masoe, 30, sent a message to the squad from his hospital bed and another for the fans - who have helped raised more than £45,000 to aid the New Zealander's recovery - was aired over the tannoy before kick-off.
Winger Ben Crooks duly scored our tries to get Rovers off to a flying start but the win was built on some impressive defence.
"He will be smiling for us," Smith said of Masoe,
"He sent us a lovely message earlier in the week. He's with us every week, he's part of us.
"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."
Many people have tipped Rovers for relegation but if they continue in this vein there will be no worries about that.
Smith said: "I liked the defence we came up with.
"We're disappointed we let in one soft try, a dummy-half try. But I thought our goal-line defence was pretty good.
"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.
"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.
"Some have been some of the best performances from then since I've been here.
"I thought it was George Lawler's best game since I've been at Hull KR. He was terrific; strong and played smart and carried well."
Ex-Castleford winger Greg Minikin and Ryan Brierley both crossed on debut with Jamie Ellis converting three tries.