Frustration was the overwhelming emotion in Castleford Tigers’ camp after their 31-18 home loss to Hull.
Tigers led 14-4 at half-time, but couldn’t match Hull when they stepped on the accelerator after the break.
Castleford remain fifth in the Betfred Super League table, but are now four points behind third-placed Hull and two adrift of Catalans Dragons who play host to bottom club London Broncos tomorrow.
They will drop out of the play-off zone if Wakefield Trinity – who are two points behind and have a better for and against of one – win at Salford Red Devils on Sunday.
Reflecting on yesterday’s setback, prop Grant Millington felt Hull got the better of the game’s key moments. He said: “It was frustrating.
“I think the consensus in the sheds afterwards was we felt the better side, but they got a few runaway tries; it was two tries in five minutes and when the momentum swung we struggled to really get a grip of the game again.
“But I think for the majority of the match we defended well and were close to the better side. It’s an extremely frustrating one, it’s a match-up we targeted and we needed to win.”
Tigers have lost nine of their last 14 Betfred Super League games, but most of the defeats have been narrow and Millington is confident they are not far away from turning things around. He added: “A few passes don’t go to hand, a few penalties and we kick the ball dead a few times, which gives them a seven-tackle set.
“They are massive pressure relievers and when you are playing a side like Hull, who are a big attacking threat when they are on, if you give them opportunities to come out of their end they can make you pay, which they did.”
But the first 40 minutes was an example of what Tigers are capable of and Millington insisted: “There’s definitely positives.
“Within our pack we felt solid defensively and we felt we marched them up the pitch pretty well.
“When we were in our own end we got out of there and did a good job, but we had a few lapses here and there and they cost us.”