Well last week we played our first game for a full year.

It could have gone better, for sure, but against a very strong Featherstone team, who will certainly be challenging for promotion to Super League this year and with 13 new signings on show it was never going to be easy.

Despite that we know, not unexpectedly, that we still have plenty to work to do before we play Barrow in the first competitive match on March 20.

The lads have been working hard in training to make sure this Saturday against another very good team in Halifax we will show a marked improvement.

The whole matchday operation was different to what we are all used to – even from being socially distanced on the team coach and wearing a face covering for the journey to not being able to eat any food at the ground.

All of these things are, of course, designed to mitigate the risk spreading Covid-19.

It was very different on the field as well with that being the first game the lads have played without scrums. There were certainly some lungs doing overtime!

This week it is our turn to host a home game and although we have had all of our paperwork signed off by the RFL there is still an enormous amount to do to enable the match to go ahead safely.

It was very strange playing in front of no fans and of course you could hear a lot more of what was going on during the game and this week will be no different.

It goes without saying that although we are starting on the journey back to normality by being allowed to play behind closed door matches nothing will be normal until you, the fans, are back in grounds and watching your team.

We will be using this game, our last pre-season friendly, to again give everybody a run out and just as importantly to give Matt Diskin a chance to see how they all perform.

From the players' perspective it is the last opportunity to force their way into the 17 for next week's game. There is no replacement, no matter how much training you do, for match fitness so these games are really important in that respect.

Talking to the lads this week there were certainly a few sore bodies last Sunday as they got to grips with the physicality of a match situation but they are a resilient bunch, rugby league players, and they will be itching for some more of the same by 4pm on Saturday.

This week's match is available to buy on per-per-view and if bought before midnight tonight will only cost you £4.95. Details are on our website roughyeds.co.uk.