IT HAS been a tough week.
Any time you lose a semi-final it is disappointing, because you are that close.
People say it’s the worst game to lose and last week really hurt, but you have to put it into the context of how far we’ve come this year.
We are second in the table and we’ve got to a semi-final. Obviously we would love to be at Wembley, but now our focus turns to making sure we finish as high as possible and are in the best shape possible come the end of the Super-8s.
Everybody is disappointed – fans, players and staff – but sometimes you have got to put your hand up and admit you weren’t good enough and were beaten by a better team on the day.
I don’t think we were out-enthused, but it was probably the best Hull have played all year; they made hardly any errors and gave very few penalties away. They kicked the ball well and turned it over where they wanted to.
People are sometimes quick to jump on how poor we were, but at times like this you have to give credit to the opposition.
They obviously had a plan, you could tell that from the kick-off. They executed it really well, built pressure and field position and took their opportunities, especially in the second half.
I know Tom Briscoe has come in for a lot of criticism, but that’s unfair. It is a team game and we win and lose as a team.
Nobody in our camp is pointing the finger at Tom, far from it. He obviously has stuff he needs to work on, as do most of the squad.
But we’ve watched the video back and there’s lots of things happening in the game which we need to be better at. Maybe that stuff is not as obvious, but it has a big effect on the outcome of the game.
The best thing you can do when someone’s low on confidence is support them and have belief in them.
Confidence is a funny thing in sport, you can lose it very quickly and at times it is hard to get it back.
The only way to get it back is through hard work and belief in your ability and support from the people around you.
I have been through it a few times and I think most players will have been in that situation at least once in their career.
It seems the harder you try, the worse it gets, but like the saying goes ‘form is temporary and class is permanent’. Keep working at it and it will turn around.
Rugby league is not a one-man sport, one man does not win or lose you the game. When Tom scored five tries at Wembley a couple of years ago and was the hero, he was quick to say it was the rest of the team who had created the opportunities and put him in situations to finish off. Every game is a collective effort, it is a 17-man game and ultimately there were 17 of us who weren’t good enough last week.
We desperately wanted to go to Wembley. We’ve been there in the past and know how good the experience is, especially when you lift the Cup at the end of it.
But there’s only three trophies up for grabs and we are still right in contention for one of them. I think winning Super League is a realistic aim.
We are in a decent spot. Apart from last week we’ve been in decent form and playing some good stuff.
We try not to over-analyse or under-analyse. We have reviewed the semi-final and looked at what went wrong and taken a few things from it, but it’s about moving forward now.
We have got a huge game tonight against Wigan in the Super-8s and that’s what matters.
Your next game is always the most important and we have to make sure we get back out there, perform well and stay in with a chance of getting to Old Trafford.