Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell was critical of the way his team surrendered a winning position to lose the opening game against Wakefield Wildcats, but has praised the performance of several players.
The Tigers led for all but 13 minutes of the Super League contest and played well for more than an hour before a late collapse saw them concede three tries to lose 24-22.
While not excusing his players for their poor finish to the game, Powell said there were some positives to take from the game.
He told the Express: “I thought Jordan Tansey was superb. It’s the best I’ve seen him play while I have been at the club.
“He was our best player by a distance.
“Luke Gale was also very good until the end when he lost his way individually a little bit in what we were trying to do.
“Those two were our best, but I thought Junior Moors also played well down our right hand side and was a constant threat.
“Denny Solomona has been good pre-season and made a good start for us in Super League.
“We keep working on some of the elements of his game, but some of the skill elements he delivered were top class.
“Picking that ball up off his toes at full speed to score his second try was exceptional and he’s a great finisher. In getting over the line he’s top drawer for us.
“Everybody worked hard, but we just didn’t get the job done, which is clearly disappointing.”
Powell cut an angry figure after Sunday’s game and was still an unhappy coach several days after the Wakefield defeat.
He said: “It was a bitterly disappointing result.
“We felt like we had the game in our grasp. We controlled it for large periods and then we sort of self destructed a little bit with poor game management.
“We lost some contacts and just gave things away. From that perspective I couldn’t be any more disappointed.
“We were the better team for pretty much most of the game. We didn’t get threatened too much by Wakefield.
“We conceded a soft try in the first half through poor individual errors and then we looked in control. Without ever been quite at our best we’d done enough. We got to the last 10 minutes 10 points in front and we eroded a lead away with poor game management.
“It was clearly unacceptable to lose a game in that manner so we’ve got some work to do to tidy ourselves up.
“Our next game is an incredibly tough one so we’re going to need to be seeing a fair bit of improvement in terms of how we manage a game, particularly managing contacts when the game gets tough.”