Huddersfield Giants interim head coach Chris Thorman felt his side’s defeat at Catalans Dragons was a reality check.
The Giants drew with Leeds on Good Friday in their first game under Thorman but suffered a 27-6 defeat to the team propping up the Betfred Super League table on Easter Monday.
Huddersfield led 6-4 at half-time after taking the lead as Aaron Murphy crossed and Darnell McIntosh converted, but they conceded three tries in the first 14 minutes of the second period as the hosts took charge.
Victory would have taken the Giants into the top eight, but they now remain third from bottom ahead of Sunday’s home clash with Castleford Tigers (3pm).
“I was disappointed with the way we managed the start of the second half,” said Thorman, who handed a debut to 17-year-old Innes Senior (twin of Louis) on the wing.
“It’s an indicator of where we are as a group.
“The effort was good but we just conceded a couple of tries from kicks where a couple of young wingers were not quite doing their assignments.
“It’s hard to be critical of them but we’re playing Super League and it’s what’s expected of you.
“You have to catch your kicks and you have to return the ball.”
Thorman would not use the short turnaround from the Leeds game as an excuse for his side’s performance in France but admitted they missed half-back Danny Brough, who was suffering an ankle injury.
He said: “It was a big ask for the boys after Friday.
“It was always going to be difficult emotionally to get up for it, but as a group we’ve used excuses for too long.
“It’s a bit of a reality check as to where we’re at and you need a bit of luck along the way to get out of these spells – and we’re not really getting it.
“It didn’t help with Broughy (Danny Brough) pulling out.”
Under-pressure Catalans head coach Steve McNamara – a former teammate of Thorman’s – felt his team’s second win of the season was a deserved one.
He said: “I thought the first half we looked OK but we looked a bit anxious at the same time. But second half I thought we played really well.
“Our discipline was good and we put the ball at the right end of the field.
“We made Huddersfield work really hard to get out of their end and came up with some really nice tries.”
During the interval, McNamara had urged his side to cut out the errors and his team responded with second-half tries from Benjamin Jullien, David Mead (2) and Jodie Broughton, who had also crossed in the first half.
“I just said to them that I felt that we were starting to get control of the game in the first half but then we came up with three errors and we had to come up with three really good tackles to keep us in the game,” added McNamara.
“I just felt it was a field-position game because that wind was quite strong and it was difficult to get out of your end of the field once a team put you there.
“I pointed out to the players that we needed to make Huddersfield start close to their try line and we’d get opportunities.”