BEATEN Huddersfield Giants are today counting the cost of their 40-22 Super League XVII defeat at Hull KR.
As well as missing the chance to return to the top of the table, coach Nathan Brown looks set to have lost the services of two key men for a number of weeks.
In-form captain Kevin Brown has suffered a recurrence of the right ankle injury which forced him to miss the start of the year, while the recently-returned David Fa’alogo has suffered a compound fracture of a right finger.
Fa’alogo was playing just his second game after undergoing major back surgery late last year.
And Brown has admitted the injuries summed up what was a bitterly disappointing trip to the east coast.
“The injuries aren’t looking good,” said Brown.
“At this stage it’s too early to tell, so I’d be guessing if I said how long they could both be out.
“We’ll obviously have them checked out in the next couple of weeks, but I think it’s safe to say we won’t be seeing them again for the next few weeks at least.
“And we’ve got to feel for both of them.”
But even though the injuries hot the Giants hard, Brown was refusing to use that as an excuse for the way his side played as they suffered their second defeat of the season and failed to re-gain top spot from Warrington.
“Even though we led 18-6 early on we definitely had one or two blokes who were well below where we would have liked them at,” he said.
“At the start of the game, both of our tries came from the back of the field which was great. They were dominating field position and our attitude was just okay.
“When your attitude is just okay and you’re playing a side like Hull KR who are a very dangerous side, we got what we deserved.
“Rovers went in at half-time with their tails up with two good quick tries and they started well in the second half with Michael Dobson kicking the 40/20 and Josh Hodgson scoring from it.
“And the way we failed to deal with Dobson throughout the game was a huge disappointment.
“I’m sure he wouldn’t have had to wash his shirt after this game. In fact, he could have played in his dinner jacket!
“Sometimes you have to take your hat off to the better team and that’s how they were.”
As well as checking on the fitness of his players, Brown will also be taking a keen interest in tonight’s Carnegie Challenge Cup fourth-round draw, when the Giants and the other 13 Super League sides enter the fray.
The draw takes place 8.50pm at Wigan’s DW Stadium, Wigan and is to be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live.