Castleford head coach Daryl Powell had some harsh words for his players after they surrendered a 22-6 lead to lose their Super League opener to local rivals Wakefield.
The Tigers were well in control heading into the final quarter of the derby at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle. But the Wildcats never gave in and clinched a memorable 24-22 victory.
It was a tough defeat to take for and Powell laid into his new-look squad.
“In terms of mentality I thought the last 10 minutes of each half was disgraceful, to be honest,” he said. “Ten points in front with not much time left and still trying to score a try with our kicking game I thought was pretty dumb. Then we went all soft defensively.
“We got sloppy in the last 10 minutes of the first half and that at the end there, well that’s not a good rugby league team – that’s poor. The boys have really got to knuckle down in terms of mentality and fix it up pretty quickly.
“We had control for most of the game but couldn’t go on with it at the end. I find it hard to fathom some of the decision-making. There will be some harsh words said, the boys know my feelings.
“It’s clearly not acceptable to be losing that game from the position we were in. We’ve got a bit of work to do.
“I thought there were a lot of good performances for a large part of it, but it’ll be ‘squeaky bum time’ for a few people in there.”
While Powell was shocked by the result, opposite number James Webster was not: “We’ve got a common belief that we’re a tougher, stronger team than we were last year.
“I thought today we made it really tough for ourselves but I’m really proud of the way they defended. It’s a really encouraging performance for us in that while we weren’t great with the ball at times, our defence was real good.
“I couldn’t be happier to get two points at Cas, who put us away three times last year.”