Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell acknowledged that Luke Gale’s off day with the boot did not help his side’s chances of beating Warrington Wolves, but he insisted the missed kicks were not the reason for the 42-26 defeat.
The usually reliable Gale put three conversion attempts wide and hit the post with two others to give the final score a more lop-sided look than a seven tries to six game would suggest.
But head coach Powell refused to blame his skipper for the loss.
He said: “Galey had a tough day at the office from a goalkicking perspective, but I don’t think that lost us the game.
“It was our inability to defend our line consistently that really hurt us, particularly in the second half when there was a seven or eight minute period where we just conceded on the back of a poor defence in the ruck area.
“There were some good things in there as there usually is with us, but they were just a little bit too good for us.
“When they got us by the throat they didn’t let go for a while and we didn’t handle it as well as we should have.”
Powell reflected on more bad luck for the Tigers with Gale’s kicks hitting the woodwork and losing two more players to injury during the game with Grant Millington and Luke Dorn having to go off.
He added: “We’ve not been the best in terms of being fortuitous as a team. We’ve had some tough things happen to us.
“The last couple of years has been tough in terms of injuries and things like that - 2014 was a pretty clear year and we reaped the rewards. This year’s been really difficult.
“It probably summed it up when two of Luke’s kicks hit the post. We haven’t quite had the rub of the green. We’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully it will turn.”