Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell admitted it felt “gut wrenching” to see his team play so poorly in the Betfred Super League Grand Final against Leeds Rhinos.
The Tigers came within a minute of becoming the first team to be nilled in a final as they produced an error-strewn display in rain sodden conditions at Old Trafford and were a pale shadow of the team that so brilliantly claimed the League Leaders’ Shield.
Head coach Powell admitted the performance had been about their worst of the season.
He said: “It was tough conditions, but we couldn’t quite get a grip of what we were doing with the ball.
“We made a lot of errors, just basic stuff. It is hugely disappointing.
“We made 18 errors, 10 in the second half. I didn’t think we could get any worse with ball retention, but we managed to achieve that in the second.
“The completion rate was less than 50 per cent and you won’t win many games with that never mind Grand Finals.
“We couldn’t sustain or build any pressure on Leeds at all.
“We did that to ourselves really. I am disappointed we didn’t do ourselves justice.
“It’s pretty gut-wrenching for a group of lads that have done so well all season, to put in such a poor performance today.”
Powell continued: “Leeds didn’t see the best of us and they were pretty good I thought.
“They massively deserved the win. We were nowhere near and that’s the most disappointing thing.
“We had 10 or 11 players having their worst game of the season.”
Tigers were without their Dream Team full-back Zak Hardaker who was dropped for breaching club rules.
On whether the player has a future at the club, Powell said: “I can’t really comment.
“I think it will come out in due course. It is nothing to do with me, that, but you will all be aware of that pretty quickly I think.
“It was big distraction.
“I still think we had a team out there that could have won the game if they had played to our potential, but if you take a player like him out of the game and your full-back as well just two days before with only one session in preparation it’s not going to help.”