Hull FC were beaten by Castleford Tigers on Friday night exacerbating the disappointment of losing to Leeds Rhinos which ended their hopes in the play off battle with Warrington Wolves, Salford Red Devils and of course their biggest rivals Hull KR.
The defeat was a bitter pill for Hull to swallow as they lost to a side who have struggled for the majority of the season.
After the game, Tony Smith said to BBC Radio Humberside:
“Yeah, it was tough to watch there, on a number of accounts, but mainly errors.
“I thought both teams made a lot of errors and one capitalised on the others a lot more. They looked a bit more desperate than us to get on some of those balls and make the most of some of those errors.
“One looked like they were fighting for their life and the other one was, you know, I’m not going to say we’re not trying. My boys put in an effort and there was a few of them out of positions etc. etc. They were trying hard but we weren’t good enough.
“I just thought we went about the game in the wrong manner. It looked like we were the ones fighting for our lives at the start. We were panicky with the ball.
“I think the emotion of their emotion tipped over into us and we haven’t had a win for a few weeks. I think our boys wanted to come here and get back on that road as well so we tried a bit too hard but then forced a couple of our own errors and then you make a couple of unforced
“It’s natural, sometimes in the fog lights as well, Swifty hasn’t dropped hardly any balls this year and he drops a sitter and Davey drops a sitter.
“They cost us tonight. Other nights, normally they would take those balls or we are the team that gets away with making the errors. I didn’t think we made them pay for their errors near as much.
“I am going to credit Cas as well. I haven’t seen them defend their own try line like that for some time. They were desperate. They were desperate and we needed to overcome that and we need to get some of that desperation ourselves.”
This came as Smith also addressed the difficult situation Hull are in with team selection:
“Joey Lovodua is doing his best at half-back but he’s not our natural half-back and then Carlos came off today, so Laney ends up playing out in the centres again.
“That’s just how it is at the moment. We’re patching him up and trying to get him out there.
“I would have liked to have got Tex off. He ended up playing 80 minutes but probably shouldn’t have today with his return from hamstring. So he took some risk that we probably got forced into. I’d like to take care of him a little more but we’re down on troops so yeah, it’s how it is.”
The injury to Carlos Tuimavave didn’t help:
“Yeah, he tightened up in the hamstring was what I was told. So yeah, I think he’s okay now, but we didn’t want to push it and we didn’t want to tip it over the edge.
“Listen, I don’t think our boys have given up. I really don’t. It’s my job to make sure that they don’t give up. We’ll be trying next week and trying to get those elusive wins that we’re after and we’ll do our best on that.
“But we’re here to build something and sometimes you’ve got to find some some hard truths along the way and I’d like to be able to wave a magic wand and at the moment we can’t, we’re just going to work hard and stick with it.
“Cas were good enough to hang on to the pressure that we placed on them today because they were just desperate. You could see it. I’ve watched a lot of video and tape of Cas and it’s been a long time since I saw them defend their try line like they did there today. But it was real desperation. I’m not saying we didn’t have it but probably not in the same degree.”