The Coastline Mariners lost their first representative fixture of the season, but coach Jock Nicholson has taken plenty of positives from the defeat.
Coastline were beaten 36-24 by Waikato South on Saturday, ending a one-year hiatus from representative competition.
Coastline, which includes players from Ōtūmoetai Eels and Pāpāmoa Bulldogs, were removed from representative competition last season after defaults in 2017.
But, after proving they could field a team in two exhibition games last year, Coastline returned to action with the game against Waikato South at Ōtūmoetai's Mitchell Park on Saturday.
Coastline's next fixture will be against Waikato North on July 6 and coach Jock Nicholson says the representative fixtures are a good chance for young players to step up.
"It was a first good hit out, it was definitely a game of two halves. We had some unforced errors, like dropped balls, but more importantly we missed some pretty easy one-on-one tackles and they capitalised on that."
Coastline were 30-6 down at halftime before they rallied to outscore Waikato in the second half.
"I had a few stern words for them at halftime, for us it was just about holding the ball. We really put some pressure on them and won the second half.
"There are quite a lot of young kids in this team. It was a mixture of players that were available to play and had some potential. It is a positive to have the opportunity to see some of these players at this level."
Nicholson says late call up Danny Holmes was a standout while Hata Mason was impressive in his representative debut.
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Putting his Bulldogs coach hat on, Nicholson says the transition back to club competition is easy.
Pāpāmoa are away to Turangawaewae in the fourth round of the Waikato Rugby League Competition this Saturday, while Ōtūmoetai have the bye.
"We just get back into training mode. Those guys that have played rep footy, there is a good little vibe so they will bring that back to the club."
Pāpāmoa were beaten by Hukanui in round three and Nicholson wants to see his team improve.
"We were a little bit all over the place, our completion was just over 50 per cent and we have to make sure we are not giving away penalties or giving away possession easily. We have to complete our sets and really muscle them. For us it is about getting that consistency."
Waikato Rugby League Competition fourth round draw for Saturday, May 18
Hamilton Hornets v College Old Boys
Turangawaewae v Pāpāmoa Bulldogs
Taniwharau v Hamilton City Tigers
Ngaruawahia Panthers v Hukanui
Ōtūmoetai the bye