As Leeds Rhinos, Warrington Wolves, Hull KR and Salford Red Devils battle for play off spots and Wigan Warriors battle St Helens and Catalans Dragons for the League Leaders’ Shield, there has been a real battle at the bottom of the league Super League survival between Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity.
But last night there was a huge moment in that fight as Castleford beat Hull FC and Wakefield Trinity came up short against Catalans Dragons.
Speaking after the game, Mark Applegarth said on BBC Radio Leeds:
“Dejected, dejected. It’s exactly the same as last week. They know that they shouldn’t be putting that sort of effort in and coming away with a loss. That’s why it’s dejected.
“The toughest part at the moment is they’re not getting a reward for their efforts. So it’s quite easy to fall into that trap of not putting them in.
“As I said how they have gone about the business there for 80 minutes. It’s hard as a coach to knock anyone for that but when you boil it down it is the crucial moments in the game and then fine margins that separate the top of the league such as the Catalan to where we are at the moment at bottom.
“Listen, we’ll be fighting right till the very death. That’s definitely not changing, but yeah, that’s what we’ll be focusing on. Getting recovered tomorrow, looking at the game, even though it’s not going to be a pretty watch in terms of some effort this year and some try,
“I mean there were two tries from kicks and one in open play but then we’ll dust ourself off and get ready for Leigh on Friday night.
“That’s the frustrating thing of it all. I can’t knock anyone for that effort, I really can’t. It’s the smarts and the composure in crucial moments of the game, that’s what I’ll be chasing.”
He also expressed dissatisfaction at Sam Eseh’s yellow card:
“Yeah, I thought it was a tough call on him, if I’m honest with that. Yellow card, because I didn’t think it was, but that’s just my initial reaction.
“As I said before, last week with the Konrad Hurrell one, it’s always wise to not give a proper comment on it until you’ve seen it in depth on replays.
“Sam’s a kid that’s got all the attributes to go well at this level. It’s unfortunate for him but as I’ve said all along, next man up.
“I think we’ll get Josh Bowden and Jai Whitbread back next week but the main thing is hopefully Dave’s alright and Kelepi is not as bad as what we think.”
Meanwhile, he raised questions about a Ben Garcia tackle:
“Yeah, as I say it’s always easy to fire a pop gun answer out when you’re still in the emotion of it all. It’s probably best I don’t say too much at any of that 80 minutes and have a proper objective look at it.
“There’s some areas of the game that I’m left scratching my head at but I don’t think it helps anyone if I come out here firing comments out, so I think they’re probably best to be dialogue that you have internally and try and fix it that way.”