I WANT to make it completely clear that my complaints about refereeing standards after our match at Widnes were not a knee-jerk reaction to defeat.
As I said after what was a desperately disappointing 24-18 loss, we went into Sunday's match concerned at a number of issues with regards to the way we have been treated by officials this season.
You always have to allow for human error, and players, referees and coaches in any sport will make mistakes.
But my concern, based on watching matches then re-watching them several times on video, is that we appear to be treated differently to some other sides.
In the last two matches in particular, against Castleford at home then at Widnes, the penalty count against us during significant phases has been huge.
In some matches when we have made a poor start, the number of penalties against us, meaning we don't get possession while our opponents can enjoy repeated sets of six, have been high.
At Widnes, in what was a key passage of play after half-time, when we had fought back to be just 10-8 behind, the penalty count against us was five-nil, which in my view had a major impact on the home side taking a 24-8 lead by the 67th minute.
In my view, and again it's based on re-watching the games on video in the cold light of day, we are getting penalised for certain things while our opponents don't appear to be.
It's frustrating for the players, it's frustrating for myself and the coaching staff and I'm sure it's frustrating for you, the paying spectator.
We don't want special treatment, whether it be in our favour or against us. We simply want some consistency, for every side to be treated in the same way when it comes to refereeing.
My comments won't have come as a complete surprise to Stuart Cummings, the Rugby Football League's match officials director, and of course, a former top-level referee himself.
I wrote to him earlier in the season listing points which were of concern to me and which I wanted him to clarify for both my benefit and that of my players.
You may also recall that Stuart came to our pre-season training camp to talk to the players and give them a referee's perspective on new and old rules, again to increase our understanding.
I don't think we are a dirty team and I don't think we play spoiling tactics.
We haven't had a man sent off this season, we haven't had any suspensions and more often than not, when a player has been sin-binned or put on report, it's been ruled he has no case to answer.
I don't want it to seem I'm looking for excuses for our recent run of defeats, and it's worth saying concerns have also arisen from matches we have won.
In some games we have played poorly, in some things just haven't gone our way.
But the refereeing issue is one of a number I want to address as I aim to rediscover the winning formula.
I believe I have some solid ground on which to ask Stuart Cummings some questions. I want him to sit down and look at the videos with me and point out what we are doing wrong and what other teams aren't doing wrong.
WHEN is a play-the-ball not a play-the ball?
Jim Gannon was certainly looking for an answer after Sunday's match at Widnes.
He was more than a little confused as to why he had been penalised for a play-the-ball offence just before Sean Penkywicz went over for a try which, had it been allowed, would have given Brandon Costin a great chance to level the game with the conversion.
Jim said the way he played the ball was exactly the same as every other occasion on which he did it during the match - yet on no other occasion was he penalised by the referee, Ashley Klein.
Jot your answers on a postcard, please!
IT WAS certainly a big few days for Bolu Fagborun last week.
Our lively 18-year-old winger got his A-level results seven days ago - two As, a B and a C - then made his full debut for the first team at Widnes.
He responded with a bright performance, making a great catch under pressure from two Widnes challengers early on, which settled any nerves, then going on to feature in a number of attacking plays.
Bolu is one of a number of really promising players in our Academy ranks and over the college holiday weeks, he's had the chance to train full-time.
He's settled in very well with the rest of the blokes and he has benefited in a physical sense as well.