Batley Bulldogs coach John Kear was delighted with his side’s 11-10 victory over Featherstone Rovers last Sunday, which earned their first points in the middle eights.
Wayne Reittie’s try 11 minutes from full-time was the difference between the two part time sides and could be worth as much as £50,000 in prize money to the Bulldogs.
The team finishing seventh in the qualifiers earn £550,000, as opposed to £500,000 for finishing eighth.
Kear said: “We built that one up as the battle of the part-time teams in the Qualifiers.
“We have come out on top and I am absolutely delighted for the players.”
Kear also offered praise to Bulldogs half-back Dominic Brambani for landing a crucial drop goal on the stroke of half-time.
Kear added: “He is a clever player and it would have been 8-4 (without the drop goal)so you may as well take it and claw something back.”
The game hinged around Batley’s decision to kick a penalty goal when trailing 10-5, while Rovers twice turned down chances in kickable positions.
On Patch Walker’s decision to slot over a penalty goal, Kear said: “It meant if we scored in the corner it doesn’t put the pressure on the kicker, you are still in front.
“You have got to have faith in your players that they will come up with the try. I did have that faith and it has worked out great for us.”
In contrast, Rovers boss Jon Sharp was furious with his side’s decision to twice turn down the chance to kick penalties, when they held a slender three point lead.
Sharp said: “We committed hari-kari. The (kicking) cone got sent on and it was sent off by the players.
“I was disappointed with that and absolutely furious that the cone goes back on and gets sent back off again.
“That would have given us a five-point buffer and meant they had to kick the goal. Low and behold, they score a try in the corner and miss the goal kick.
“We would have won the game 12-11. People have got to be held accountable for that. I think it’s a lack of respect to Batley and a lack of understanding about games and pressure situations.”