WITH several early season injury concerns, Wharfedale got some strong performances from its youngsters and new signings to upset Rotherham ahead of their first game of the season against Otley this Saturday.

The Greens had a cracking 22-19 win against National League One side Rotherham in their final pre-season game last Saturday, a match that saw them come back from 19-0 down in the first 20 minutes.

Wharfedale coach Jon Feeley said: "We came back into the game and scored two tries before half-time, and then we didn't concede at all going uphill in the second half. It showed how well our defence is coming together.

"It was a terrific day and was a win that few would have predicted given the level of the opposition," said Feeley. "There were a lot of good performances, and the players have given the coaching staff a real headache for selection going into the season.

"The best thing about pre-season is how the coaches have learned about how the new players will challenge for spots."

Given the early season concerns for the Greens, several youngsters from the Wharfedale Colts championship team last season have stepped up, in addition to the new signings who are gelling with the squad.

Former Colts players Madison Hunting, Oscar Canny, Harry McNab, Owen Bullock and Ryan Hodgson all made a significant impact against Rotherham, and two others, Sam Dickinson and Ben Patchett, have played well in pre-season and Feeley believes they all will make an impact in the first team this season.

Feeley said new signings Matt Beesley and Matt Speres were fantastic in the pack on Saturday, and Jonny Moore got some good minutes for the Foresters on Friday.

Feeley is hoping theses good performances will offset some of the early season injuries.

Josh Burridge is out with a head injury until at least December and James Tyson could miss significant time with a concussion.

Matty Houghton has a broken collarbone, Ben Blackwell has a knee injury, George Hedgley is suffering from a dead leg and the experienced Rob Baldwin, who is also the club's director of rugby, was also unavailable last Saturday.

Feeley said that Rotherham's big and physical side was a perfect test to warm up for this Saturday's against Otley.

"Otley are a very heavy and physically demanding group who are direct in their running style.

"Several members of their coaching staff were at the game last Saturday watching us," said Feeley, who added: "But right now we're not focusing too much on the opposition. We're very much getting our own game play right."

This Saturday's match at the Avenue will kick off at 3pm.