CASTLEFORD TIGERS could and should be at least four points better off, according to winger James Clare.
Tigers are third in Betfred Super League despite losing four of their last six games – two of those by a combined total of three points.
They led four times during the 20-18 defeat at Huddersfield Giants last Thursday which came two weeks after a fightback from 16 points adrift at Leeds Rhinos was thwarted in golden-point extra-time.
That is hugely frustrating for Clare and his team-mates who would be in or around the top-two if they had been better at key moments in games, he reckons.
“If you look at the Huddersfield and the Leeds games you’re scratching your head wondering why we aren’t an extra four points better on in the table,” Clare admitted.
“It [last week] was really disappointing. We got a lucky try early on, but it took us so long to get going and the game plan we’d spoken about all week, it took a kick up the backside from Powelly [coach Daryl Powell] at half-time to start executing it.
“I felt the game was ours in the second half and I don’t know how we lost it, just a few individual silly mistakes, which everybody makes now and again, at crucial moments cost us. Sometimes you can get away with a poor decision if it’s at a different point in the game, but it wasn’t good enough unfortunately.”
Composure and execution are the two lessons to take into Thursday’s home derby against Wakefield Trinity and the Easter Monday visit to Perpignan, according to Clare.
He insisted: “We just need to be a bit cooler and more calm and collected and execute what we need to do. The Easter period is coming around and we lost Grant Millington in the first tackle [against Giants].
“We’ve got a good squad, we just need them to step it up and hopefully we’ll get through this Easter period with two wins.”
That will take a big effort, given the fixture list. Clare conceded: “Wakefield are outstanding and nobody wants to play Catalans away. We are going to have to roll our sleeves up, have a tough game and hopefully get the four points.”