Boss Mike Cudmore singled out debutant Jack Pattinson for praise after an eye-catching performance and said the second row, along with several other fringe players, had staked a serious claim for a regular starting place.
Ealing Trailfinders lost their second British & Irish cup pool game to Cross Keys 25-14, but the second half performance delighted the director of rugby, who was without many injured regulars.
“I told the players before the match that they were not just filling in and could stake a claim to play again next week against Bedford in the league and they rose to the challenge,” Cudmore said.
“Some of them did very well, particularly Jack Pattinson, who was excellent on his debut. He's a young guy just out of university and he played with great maturity.
“I was really pleased with the way he and the team as a whole played, considering we had a prop playing at hooker and had so many out.
“Apart from the first 20 minutes, where we didn't control the game very well and allowed them three tries, we did very well in the next 60 minutes and 'won' the second half. There were many positives to take today.”
An upbeat Cudmore had further reason to be pleased in that Owen Bruynseels came though 50 minutes unscathed – the winger having missed the start of the season with a groin strain.
“He told me afterwards he could have done another 15 minutes," Cudmore said. "But I didn't want to take chances with him. I'm very pleased to see him back and fit again.”