Richard Agar cut a frustrated figure after watching his Leeds Rhinos side drop out of the play-off places with a 32-18 defeat to Castleford Tigers.
The Tigers had won only once in Super League in three months heading into the derby but they were boosted by the return of several key men and blew the top-six race wide open at Headingley.
Agar felt Leeds were their own worst enemies after failing to make the most of a strong start to the game.
“I thought it was a poor performance from us on both sides of the ball,” he said.
“We had enough chances in the first 15 minutes to put some fair daylight between us but our execution was off. To credit Castleford their scramble was terrific.
“We were too easy to score against tonight. Castleford simply didn’t have to work hard enough for their tries.
“From my point of view, in attack and defence we were nowhere near up to it. Offensively we looked like we were making it up.
“When we did start to get some momentum there was no support and no energy on supports.”
The Rhinos went into the match without influential trio Mikolaj Oledzki, Matt Prior and Luke Gale, with their absence keenly felt by Agar’s team.
To make matters worse, King Vuniyayawa and Liam Sutcliffe did not reappear in the second half.
“King got knocked out but he’s alright in there,” said Agar.
“Liam’s been struggling with his knee for a while and it got to the point at half-time where he couldn’t really go on.
“Fair play to Liam. He’s been looking after it and we’ve been patching him up and throwing him out there. But sometimes it’s just a bridge too far.
“He was really, really struggling on it in the first half.
“But no excuses. We had enough chances and we’re so disappointed with how we had no hard nose about us at all defensively.”
The defeat saw Leeds lose their top-six place ahead of Hull KR’s trip to Leigh Centurions on Sunday evening.
Castleford Tigers’ Niall Evalds makes a break
(Image: © SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd))
Agar admitted the Rhinos will have to improve if they are to last the pace in the play-off race, which appears to have a new contender in Castleford.
“There’s a lot of time left yet but we’re going to have to play better than that,” he said.
“We’re kidding ourselves if we think that’s a performance that is going to get us anywhere.
“But I think we’ve seen enough over the previous weeks that we have got it in us.”