COACH DARYL Powell accused his Castleford Tigers team of playing panic rugby in their shock 26-24 defeat at 12-man Hull.
Castleford never fully recovered from going 18-0 behind after just 14 minutes, despite playing against 12 men for three-quarters of the game after Hull prop Liam Watts was sent-off.
Watts was dismissed following a high tackle on Luke Gale. The Tigers scrum-half went off and did not return to the action after failing a concussion test.
Powell felt Tigers could have come back from their early deficit, if they had been more composed.
“It was still do-able,” he said. “We just panicked all the way through the game.
“I thought Hull were superb. They scrambled exceptionally well.
“They started the game on fire and we were nowhere to be seen in the first 20 minutes, which was really disappointing – then we just panicked.
“I thought there was panic all the way through.
“We talked about being calm all the way through and we’d get opportunities, but their scramble was superb and they kept us out at times when it looked certain we would score.
“It is really disappointing. I thought it was our worst performance of the season by a distance.
“I wouldn’t take anything away from Hull, I just thought all the credit should go to them.
“To play with 12 men as long as they did was an awesome effort. As dumb as we were, they were desperate.
“It was a fantastic effort from them.”
Powell said Gale was “all right” after the game, though he could be a doubt for Saturday’s visit of Wigan Warriors.
“We missed the smartness he gives us,” the coach admitted. “Paul McShane has played at half before, but we couldn’t quite get our combinations together.
“We looked untidy and the amount of errors we made was always going to hurt us.”
Of the sending-off, Powell said: “He smacked him around the chops.
“He might have been a bit unlucky, it looked like he was coming down a bit.
“I’ll have a look and see, but they’ve won the game so it hasn’t hurt them too much.”