Jim Roberson saluted the courage of his Portsmouth Dreadnoughts side as they refused to throw in the towel in their 47-0 loss to Gloucester Centurions.
The new team, playing only their second competitive game, suffered a clutch of injuries in the fourth quarter.
But after being given the option to end the game early, the Dreadnoughts kept going.
Head coach Roberson said: ‘These guys are brand, spanking new to football.
‘We picked up some injuries, we were short on numbers and we had a chance to call the game off in the fourth quarter but they wanted to finish.
‘To me, that speaks volumes.
‘There will be some tough times this season and there will be some bumps and bruises but we will get there in the end. It will take some work, though.’
The Dreadnoughts host Swindon Storm at Victory Field this weekend.