Mirfield Stags head coach Richard Silverwood has reflected on his side’s hard-fought victory against East Leeds on Saturday.

The Stags posted tries in the closing stages to seal victory and ensure they start the new Pennine League Division 1 season in a positive manner.

But they face another tough test this Saturday, when they travel to face Illingworth.

Silverwood said: “I thought we showed some character on Saturday to come from behind a few times and grind out a good win against a very impressive East Leeds team.

“There is plenty to work on in training this week but to win a game like that will do us the world of good going forward.

“I certainly think it gave us a taste of what this league is going to be like.”

Silverwood was complimentary of their visitors’ effort and picked out the contribution of one of their key play-makers.

“East Leeds were in our faces, very aggressive, and they have a half in Luke Littlewood who caused no end of problems.

“But we adjusted as the game went along and played to our strengths, which was pleasing.”

The Stags boss expects a tough game against Illingworth this weekend, despite seeing his side emerge comfortable winners against the same opponent during pre-season.

“Illingworth on Saturday will be a very tough game and we need to be a whole lot better than we were this past Saturday, otherwise we will be on for a long afternoon.

“We will take nothing from the friendly two weeks ago as I believe they have plenty of players to come into their side.

“We will prepare for a very strong Illingworth team who will want to get one back over us.”

The players return to training this evening and Silverwood will check on the fitness of several squad members ahead of Saturday’s game.

He added: “We have a few niggles and injuries from the weekend so we will see what training brings this week and then select a side I feel can get the job done.”