GIANTS coach Jon Sharp declared himself well satisfied after watching his young side suffer a narrow 22-21 Infirmary Cup defeat at neighbours Halifax last night.
A combined Super League and Academy side built up an 18-0 interval lead before falling to their hosts, who introduced several top-line stars after the break.
That changed the complexion of the game but failed to dampen Sharp's enthusiasm over the way the contest had unfolded.
"Winning would have topped it all off, but losing certainly isn't the end of the world," he said.
"The main priority last night was to give the players a hit-out and come through the game injury-free.
"Both objectives were achieved and I'm sure those who played will have benefited from the experience. There's nothing to beat match fitness.
"And I was delighted with some of the execution of plays in the first half when we scored some great tries.
"During that time the boys said they felt strong and quick, which is great news for the conditioning staff to hear.
"Obviously, our challenge was led by the senior players, but I also felt some of the younger blokes made a significant contribution.
"Forward Scott Housten made a big impact from the bench and I was encouraged by the way (rugby union trialist) Stephen Jones shaped up.
"Their performances were two extra positives to take."
But Sharp also revealed that illness in the camp had a detrimental effect on the overall display.
"Paul Smith and Iain Morrison were suffering flu-like symptoms, which restricted their contributions," explained the coach.
"I think they did very well to play for as long as they did."