Featherstone coach Daryl Powell perhaps gave a clue to the content of the post-match exchange with rival boss Karl Harrison when he lambasted referee Jamie Leahy after his side’s 21-12 Northern Rail Cup final loss.
Powell was spotted deep in discussion with his former Great Britain teammate on the Bloomfield Road pitch after Harrison won his second NRC decider in three seasons - he took Batley to the trophy in 2010 - and Fax atoned for last year’s final-play defeat by Leigh in the west coast sunshine.
Harrison has been outspoken all season about the speed of the play the ball in the Championship and was particularly infuriated when Rovers ground out a stifling 24-4 league win at the Shay a month ago.
“We are disappointed, but I do feel there’s some poor agendas about at the minute and I’d like to get to the bottom of them,” said Powell, who was upset his side only received one penalty in the second half.
“There’s some referee stuff that’s garbage. We are getting absolutely peppered every single week.
“Karl Harrison has been going on since the last time we played them about the ruck and he probably got what he wanted.
“He who speaks loudest gets what he wants. That is a bit disappointing. I think referees at this level are very, very poor and until you get a grip of that there’s always going to be people like me talking about it.
“I think we’ve turned up with our worst performance on the biggest stage. We have got to use that as motivation, but there’s no point dwelling on it.”
But Powell insisted his comments were not sour grapes: “I wouldn’t look anywhere apart from ourselves, we needed to be better than we were.
“We didn’t come up with our best performance and as a result Halifax were just a bit too good for us.
“Overall our performance was way off our standards. But Halifax can have their day, we will come back stronger.
“We’ve got four games left in the league and we want to finish top of the pile, that’s important to us.
“Then we’ve got a Grand Final to aim for and I suppose along the way we might bump into Halifax again.”