Halifax coach Richard Marshall talked of a frustrated dressing room after watching side go down 20-6 against big-spending Toronto at the Shay on Sunday.
Fax gave as a good as they got against Paul Rowley’s full time high flyers for 60 minutes, leading 6-4 at half time and only being finally distanced on the scoreboard by two late Adam Higson touchdowns.
But Marshall, whose side had two tries disallowed and went close to scoring on several occasions - notably through Ed Barber in the first half and James Clare in the second - admitted that while he was buoyed by elements of their performance, the players were not.
“The players are really disappointed; I’m okay with a lot of the performance, if not the result,” said Marshall, whose side face a round four date against Rochdale at Spotland next Sunday (3.0).
“We worked really hard, we invested in the gameplan and we improved on what we did against Sheffield in a completely different game.
“The players aren’t happy at all; it’s about winning games for them and I think they’re fed up of making the same errors.
“We were creating chances, but not sealing the deal.
“We’ve got to get more composed.
“Look at Toronto in the last 15 minutes; control the ball, force drop out, roll the ball dead, that’s game management.
“We probably need to have a little bit of their smarts and learn some lessons from what they did today.
“It’s about controlling the ball a little bit better; we turned the ball over three or four times on tackle two.
“For the players, it’s not about respect, it’s about winning games.
“We are there, but we are not winning.
“It comes down to fine margins and it’s two points gone.
“It puts us under pressure, because it means we have to win the games we are expected to win, plus pick up a couple somewhere else as well; that’s the reality of the competition.”
Marshall praised his side’s overall effort, although he was less impressed with referee Jack Smith’s decision to only sin bin Toronto’s captain and playmaker Josh McCrone for a second half throw on the outstanding James Saltonstall.
“I think they should have been down to 12, without a doubt,” said Marshall, who also had praise for his dual-registered Castleford players, winger James Clare, playing for a second consecutive week, and prop James Green.
“It was a horrendous tackle (from McCrone) and let’s credit James, he got up and took the initiative rather than stay on the floor play acting and trying to get him sent off.
“I’m not sure that’s a sin binning, although maybe it is in 2018.
“James Green came on, was maybe a bit nervous and made an error.
“But it’s what you do after that and he did very well.
“James Clare is a good player, a very good player.
“With his try, there are no replays but at the time it looked like he caught the ball and scored.
“I don’t think anyone didn’t perform today, they all put their hands up.
“Chester Butler had to come off but he had a real good go, Saltonstall was fantastic on the wing and James Woodburn-Hall has definitely got something we can develop.
“I thought all the forwards did well against what is basically a Super League pack; I didn’t think there was much in that part of the game.”