Paul Anderson has no regrets over the Huddersfield Giants side he fielded at Bradford Bulls in the final game of the regular Super League XVIII season.
The newly-crowned minor champions ended the campaign with a heavy 58-6 defeat at Odsal, with the Huddersfield chief taking the opportunity to rest his entire first-choice starting line-up ahead of Thursday’s opening home play-off clash against Wigan.
But even though four of Saturday’s squad were making their Super League debuts and a further four were making only their second, Anderson stood by his decision.
And he feels the clubs will reap the rewards further down the line.
“This was our opportunity to take a good look at the kids coming through and wanting to compete at this level,” said coach Anderson, who singled out prop Jack Blagborough for his contribution off the substitutes’ bench, as well as some of the quality touches from England Youth full-back Jake Connor.
“Some people had their opportunity and took it, some didn’t.
“And some of the boys who thought they have been training hard have found out they’ve been kidding themselves. They now have more of an idea of what’s required at this level, so they know to expect a long and hard pre-season.
“In that respect alone, we’ve no regrets in what we’ve done. This was our chance to finally ‘blood’ some of our young players.
“It’s obviously given some of the senior players who didn’t play the chance to get over their knocks.
“That’s the advantage of finishing top with one game to spare.”