Friday 11th April 2014
Story in brief:
Daryl Powell said his Castleford side can only blame themselves after letting a commanding lead slip against First Utility Super League leaders St Helens on Friday night.
The Tigers were leading 28-14 with fifteen minutes remaining after an impressive performance, but a late flurry of tries from the visitors eventually led to Adam Swift's late effort, to seal a 30-28 victory for the unbeaten Saints.
Powell said that his side should not point fingers at the officiating in the game, and instead need to focus on their own performances.
"Obviously it is disappointing," said Powell. "I just said to the players that it was ‘new Cas' first half, and ‘old Cas' second half. I thought the second half was really poor from us.
"We allowed a team that can play a fair bit of rugby league back into the game, and there are some hard lessons to be learned. I expected us to win the game, and I thought we should have.
"I have got people shaking my hand and winking at me saying we were the better side, but I am not interested in that stuff."
Castleford were denied a series of tries by the officials in controversial circumstances, and St Helens benefited from a number of questionable calls to preserve their unbeaten record this year.
Powell admitted the decisions did baffle him at times, but conceded that his team should not have put St Helens in a position where they could snatch victory.
"There are a million and one things in there, including the officials and the way they went about it," he said. "The video referee had got some work to do tonight. I am not sure they got them all right to be honest. How many times do you need to look at something before you know it is not a try?
"I am not going to look at anybody else other than ourselves. I just thought there were a lot of average things going on out there, but a lot of it was from us.
"We just released the pressure, with errors around half way, including three on the trot from pretty experienced players. They cannot be turning that stuff up."
Powell was hugely impressed with the first half display from his team though, and vowed that they will only learn from this narrow defeat against a strong St Helens side.
"We were great in the first half, and I might as well have not bothered going in at half-time. It was just a case of getting on with it yourself" he said.
"But pretty much everything we talked about, we did not really apply, and as a coach that is pretty disappointing. I thought we were outstanding in the first half. The ‘old Cas' accepts getting beat, but the ‘new Cas' does not, and there was a bit of a mix there which was disappointing.
"We have got a pretty tough Easter coming up, and we will learn a few lessons, but I thought we should have been sitting at the top of the table, and I think justifiably so."