Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell expects his players to have learned some valuable lessons from their narrow defeat against Super League leaders St Helens.
The Tigers had the game under control when 24-6 ahead at half-time and then still 14 points ahead going into the last 15 minutes, but came up agonisingly just short with Saints getting their winning try three minutes from time.
However, the head coach reckons his team could still take some positives from the way they played in the first half and had already taken on board where they went wrong after the break.
Powell said: “We were very disappointed we didn’t get the result. There were a number of factors why it didn’t go our way.
“I was proud of the effort in particular and commitment to what we were trying to do from the players.
“We swayed a little bit off course with regard to the game plan in the second half and that hurt us as well as a couple of other things that were out of our control.
“It was an excellent performance in the first half. Some of the things we did were sensational. Individual players playing exceptionally well and the group being really strong defensively. There were a lot of things that you look for in a rugby league team and we were pretty close to taking the game completely out of St Helens’ reach.
“We weren’t quite able to do that and the impact of what we did in the second half hurt us a little bit.
“There were lots of positives to take from what we did, but there were quite a few lessons as well that we need to learn in order to come out on top in the games against the best teams in the comp.
“We needed to minimise the opportunities the opposition were to get. We wanted to continue to play, but some of the things we did contributed to the way the game went. There was a little error with the play the ball from Frankie (Mariano) and there were a couple of things when we were just forcing play that we didn’t need.
“We needed to be a little bit more intelligent in the sort of things we were doing to gain field position, which would have impacted on the way St Helens were playing against us.”