Castleford Tigers boss Daryl Powell reckons his side will have to learn some lessons from the way their game fell off in the second half against Leeds Rhinos.
The Tigers were back to their attacking best in the opening half as they opened up a 30-6 lead, but lost the second half 18-8 as errors crept into their game and Powell was disappointed with the way the game panned out, although able to point to positives from the game as well.
He told the Express: “It was a game of two halves I suppose. We did some outstanding things in the first half, but then we made a few too many errors.
“Leeds started to play a bit of catch-up and we started to tackle a bit low and allow a few offloads, which made life difficult for us.
“It was a little bit disappointing and finishing with that try at the end was a punch in the guts. But we did enough within the game to think that there were a lot of positive things to take out of the game.
“I think we looked really sharp in the first half. I thought we were crisp and really inventive and scored some smart tries. Our kicking game was good and we scored a couple of tries off kicks applying pressure.
“I thought that at 30 points to six at half-time we just needed to go on with it and I think if we had have done that we’d have been too good for Leeds.
“We allowed them to sneak back into the game a little bit. We weren’t hanging on in the game from a score perspective, but I just thought we panicked a little bit. They were playing hot and we were defending frantic.
“We just didn’t have any control and we started trying to fix it up individually defensively a little bit. We were just a little bit short on calmness so it was a bit of a lesson there for us.”
Powell did not think his players lacked effort in the second half.
He said: “I don’t know if we switched off, there was an individual error and we offloaded the ball a couple of times and came up with an error so it was just a bit of overdoing a couple of bits and pieces within our 20.
“There were a couple of debatable penalties looking back at them. The touch judge on the left hand side pulling penalties that were just not penalties and the pressure mounted on us a little bit.
“So it was a little bit of us, a couple of poor calls and we conceded some soft tries - you can’t blame anybody else for them. We conceded some tries that were really soft.”
Having to juggle the side round following injuries to backs Ben Roberts and Zak Hardaker - with no backs on the bench - did not help the Tigers’ fluency.
Powell added: “It never helps when you have to re-jig your team, especially if you lose your full-back and your six as we did. That’s going to cause a major reshuffle.
“We had to move it around a little, but it shouldn’t have hurt us as much as it did.
“We still created some opportunities, but again we made too many errors when we were in attacking positions.”