HARTLEPOOL Rovers put a dreadful week behind them as they recorded a try-scoring bonus point win over a tough and hard-working Ryton.
The previous seven days had seen Rovers suffer a humiliating 12-11 injury-time defeat at Guisborough and the departure from West View Road of skipper Michael Thubron and the experienced James Masshedar.
An immediate and positive reaction was needed and though the 28-13 result seems comfortable enough, the win came by way of a mixed performance, the highlight being a hat-trick for Steve Jones.
Nothing had gone right for Rovers, who also saw second-rower Mark Power forced from the pitch with a dislocated knee that is likely to sideline him for two months.
Coming on top of the loss of Thubron, it leaves a huge hole in the second row, especially with a crunch clash at Darlington on Saturday.
Matters picked up in the second half, but it was still anyone’s game until the awarding of a penalty try after 67 minutes gave Rovers the fillip they badly needed.
Saturday was a winning start for new captain Jonny Cushlow who, together with player-coach Alan Brown, was under pressure to deliver four – but preferably five – points, so it was mission accomplished for week one.
More difficult challenges are to come but a start has been made.
Read the full match report in today’s Sportmail.