North Wales Crusaders head coach Anthony Murray felt his patched-up side came up with too many errors at crucial times in defeat to Oldham, despite crediting them for having “a good dig”.
Murray was without four first-team regulars and had to rotate his side after only two minutes as Earl Hurst limped off with an ankle injury.
However, Crusaders gave second-in-the-table Oldham a good run for their money throughout the match, leading 10-6 at one stage.
“I’m obviously unhappy with conceding 46 points and that’s something we’ll have to address, but a lot of that came from back-to-back penalties or silly errors,” Murray said.
“Oldham capitalised on that, but that’s what good teams do.
“If you give them field position in good areas, they’re going to sting you and make you pay for it.
“In saying that, I thought we really dug deep, had a good dig and there won’t be many teams who will come here and score 30 points.
“We never gave up and we kept on going until the end.
“We started to gain some momentum, but then we’d come up with a stupid error or give away a penalty when we’re pinning them back.
“You undo that hard work and lose some momentum.
“We pulled it back to within eight points in the second-half and I thought it might have been turning, but Oldham came back into it and ran out worthy winners.
“I’ve got no complaints at all as Oldham are a good team, they’re well-drilled and punished us at times when they needed to.”
The defeat to Oldham was Crusaders’ first loss in four matches and Murray is now hoping for a response.
“Rugby league is the best game in the world for getting a second bite and redeeming yourself,” he said.
“It’s important we bounce back next week because we’ve got a difficult month.
“We need to find that momentum again, get a result against Doncaster and keep ourselves in that play-off hunt.
“We’ve done well to keep the play-off hunt alive so we just need to concentrate on each game as it comes.
“Some of the lads coming back will help and make us a bit stronger, but the lads who stepped in at Oldham put a real shift in and it shows we’ve got that depth in quality.
“Alex Eckley hasn’t played open-age rugby for most of the season because of one thing or another, but he really stuck to task.”
Tickets for Crusaders’ clash with Doncaster at Queensway Stadium on July 21 are £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £2 for U16s.