Easter brought a mixed bag with positives and negatives for Castleford Tigers, according to head coach Daryl Powell.
The Tigers boss reckoned he got a good half out of his team in each of the two Easter matches, but not an 80-minute performance as they beat Wakefield Trinity 42-24 then lost 26-22 to St Helens.
He told the Express: “We had two pretty positive halves out of the two games.
“The first half against Wakefield was really good and the second half we dropped off a bit.
“We started well against St Helens, but I just thought we got beat for attitude a little bit in the first half, which is strange for us and there were some lessons to be learned.
“But I thought our attitude and effort to get ourselves back into the game and in with a shout of getting something out of it was exceptional in the second half.
“As we move forward now we’ve got to get back on track pretty quickly, which we’ve been good at so far.”
Powell admitted it had been disappointing not to end the 25-year wait for an away win against St Helens.
He said: “We felt like we were in a good place to go there and win. We’d been in good form, but you’ve got to go there, put the hard work in and break a team down.
“They were desperate to win the game and they played well.
“There’s always another team on the other side of the field and you’ve got to do what you need to do to win the game.
“You could sense that they really needed to win the game and perhaps they were a little bit more desperate, which is disappointing.”
Powell outlined where he thought his side lost the Saints game.
He said: “Their speed of the play the ball was massively superior to ours.
“But the second half I thought we did well apart from the amount of errors, which put Saints on our line.
“We defended really well on our try-line and I’m not sure about the legality of Saints’ second try.
“When we got possession we made too many errors and that really hurt us.
“The second game over Easter the weight of possession is always going to cause you some trouble.
“We were all right energy-wise I thought, but just between our ears we weren’t quite where we needed to be and that was probably the deciding factor in the game.
“To go in at 20-8 down was really disappointing after we’d built ourselves a little bit of a lead.
“There’s some clear lessons top take on board and if we do we will improve.”
Powell refused to blame fatigue factors for the defeat.
He added: “Both teams were the same really, two games in a short space of time. It’s certainly difficult on players, but it was the same for both teams so I don’t see fatigue as a major issue. I don’t think we handled the game really well after the opening period.
“We were always losing the position battle and that really didn’t help us.
“We defended our try-line outstandingly well in the second half, but we were a little bit too far behind and we couldn’t reel it all back in.
“I thought we prepared the team really well.
“It’s always really hard, you get one training session between games at Easter and we tried to give the players as much time away from the place as we could.
“We had one training session then we stayed overnight in Lancashire. I don’t think we could have done much more - we needed more of our players to be on their game than we got on Monday.”