Describing the 36-6 defeat by Widnes Vikings as a “bad day at the office”, head coach Matt Diskin said there were positives in the Roughyeds’ performance but he was disappointed because his side wasn’t more competitive on the opening day of the season.
“By kicking very early in the tackle count and putting the ball dead several times we gifted field position, gave them seven-play sets and allowed them to roll up the field.
“It’s a tough division and you have to be on the button in terms of making possession and field position count and taking your chances when they come along.
“There were definite positives. When we went set for set with them we looked good with the ball.
“We had opportunities on their try line and if we had used the ball more instead of kicking dead early in sets we might have done better.
“Why we were so kick-happy I don’t know. It’s not something we practice so we’ll be looking at that.
“In this division you have to take your chances when they come along and we didn’t.
“I could see what they were looking at (in putting boot to ball) but to do it so often and so early and to put the ball dead so often was sacrilege.
“Going back to positives I thought all the ‘middles’ and the back-rowers worked really hard and looked good. Matthew Fletcher and Jimmy Beckett both did well, as did Phil Joy and Spanner (Jack Spencer).
“Normally, we do okay wider out but on this occasion Widnes’s outside backs were a little bit faster, stronger and smarter.”
Roughyeds were hit by injury, too. Five were on the casualty list before the Widnes game — Jode Sherifffe, Ben Davies, Cam Leeming, John Hutchings and Ed Smith — and three more were hurt against the Vikings.
John Worthington took a blow to the jaw in the first half. He completed the game but was told to go to hospital for precautionary x-rays.
Stand-off Lewis Charnock hobbled off with a knee injury and Danny Bridge was going to hospital to check whether a dislocated thumb was also broken.
“We go to Toulouse now and they’re a very strong side, especially at home. Decisions on the injured will be made later but we’ll be going to improve on this performance and to put right the things we didn’t do so well against Widnes.
“We’ll be doing our best to get a result and to do ourselves proud.”