The Liam Farrell Column: Lack of effort? No, a lack of rugby smarts

Liam Farrell in action against Castleford last Sunday
Liam Farrell in action against Castleford last Sunday

I know everyone will want to know: Why?

Why did we fail to turn up for the first-half against Castleford on Sunday.

I’ve never gone into a game to go through the motions, even if it’s dead-rubber

Liam Farrell

We asked that ourselves after the game, and when we came into training on Monday to 
review the match.

The mood was more frustration than disappointment.

We knew we’d been 
completely off and our shortfalls and errors were the reason why it turned into a catch-up game.

We were better in the second-half, but we had given ourselves too much to do. Why?

I don’t think it was as much about a lack of effort as a lack of rugby smarts.

Early on, I think it was the first set, they went around our edge. That’s not acceptable.

We made errors coming out of yardage which you just can’t afford to make.

Against the bottom team in the league, you will struggle – against the best team in the league you get punished.

And that’s what Castleford did.

They’ve got the best attack in the league; give them as many chances on our line as we did, and they’re going to make you pay.

One of the errors was a 
forward pass from myself – again, it wasn’t made from a lack of effort; if anything, I got carried away and forced it to try and do something about the position we were in.

To get back into a game, sometimes what you need are four strong carries, a good kick and a good chase, and build on that.

As I say, there was a lack of rugby smarts.

The loss was a tough one to stomach, because it’s obviously left us needing other results to go our way.

I’ve never gone into the last game of the season being a dead-rubber – but that could be the case at Wakefield on Saturday, if Cas’ or Salford don’t win.

Waney has said we’re the only ones to blame, and he is right. We’ve got ourselves into this mess.

We’ve not been as consistent this year as last season, we didn’t deal with the injuries as well earlier in the campaign. If anyone took a play-offs spot for granted – and I certainly didn’t – then this has been a slap in the face.

Whatever happens this weekend, we will have to learn from it.

Preparing for Saturday’s game has been strange, with the distraction of the other two matches; but even if it’s dead-rubber, we’ll be determined to finish well.

I’d never go into a match to go through the motions – we’ll be disappointed if we can’t make the play-offs – but we’ll give it our all.

It’ll be a tough game, because Wakefield have had a great year.

At the start of the season, many people were tipping them for a place in the Qualifiers, but they’ve surprised many and Chris Chester has assembled a strong, well-balanced squad.