Halifax coach Richard Marshall admitted his side “let themselves down” in the key moments of yesterday’s 36-10 Championship loss to Sheffield.
For arguably the first time in Marshall’s reign as the club’s head coach, Fax never really threatened to deliver what could have been a crucial win.
The Eagles are now six points clear in third place, with Fax slipping from fourth to sixth, two points behind Dewsbury and Featherstone, who both won.
“It was probably the first game when I feel we let ourselves down,” said Marshall, whose side now host Doncaster at the Shay on Sunday (3.0) before a trip to unbeaten leaders Leigh.
“We’ve been in with a shout in every game we’ve played, but I didn’t feel like we were yesterday.
“The first half was poor by our standards; we put too much ball down.
“Our discipline was good in the first half and awful in the second.
“If you put those things together, the simple equation is that you get beat and unfortunately we got beaten by quite a lot of points.
“I’d be kidding if I said I didn’t look at the table and the teams around us.
“That result has made things very difficult for us in terms of the top four..
“But it’s not impossible, because there is still a long way to go.
“The first job is to train hard this week and put in a performance against Doncaster.”
Fax’s major issue yesterday was down their left side, with the combination of winger Alex Brown, centre Chris Taylor and on loan Widnes stand off Danny Craven picked apart with alarming ease by the Eagles, with former Fax winger Rob Worrincy registering a walk-in 14 minute hat trick as the home side opened up a matchwinning 22-0 first half lead.
“Danny was ill in the week and he was struggling to train on Thursday and I don’t think he was 100 per cent,” said Marshall.
“We’ll certainly be doing some work on those combinations this week.
“I thought Mitch Cahalane was great again at prop; we need a little bit of what he’s got across the park.
“We defended a lot better in that second half and when we got it back to 22-10 they were concerned enough to take a shot at goal, but when you start playing at 22-0 down you give yourself a mountain to climb.
“If you want to make those kind of comebacks, you need to score when you get good ball and we didn’t do that; we were running into touch, passing the ball behind, it wasn’t good enough.”