ON the coach ride home from Castleford on Friday night, I honestly don’t think one word was spoken.
It was literally a case of everyone keeping their heads down. They couldn’t wait to get home.
The lads are all itching to play again. There’ll be some nerves because, when you’re on a losing run, you really want to perform, and you desperately don’t want to put a foot wrongLiam Farrell
When we got back to Orrell, it was about 1am, and we had a quick meeting. We were told to be back at Orrell at 7am for a review.
Usually, a video review has clips which the coaches have picked out and edited.
But on Saturday, we came in and watched the full game.
Start to finish.
It was painful viewing. We stopped at certain points, which only dragged it on longer, and then the next day we went to Central Park for more of a review and some wrestling.
So we’ve trained all the way through since last Friday, and it’s what we’ve needed. We need to get better.
We’ve been looking for ways to improve, because it goes without saying – the performance we dished up against Castleford was unacceptable.
I don’t think there was one player who could hold his hand up and say he played well.
Losses are always tough to take. We can take defeat when we put effort in – like against Brisbane – but not when we’re being blown out like that.
Especially by a team who we’re better than on our day.
I’d like to say the loss is behind us, but I don’t think it will be until we get a win under our belts.
Waney and his coaches have been angry with us – and they’ve every right to be.
We’re angry with ourselves.
When I was younger I used to take losses really hard, I’d be sulking for a full week, and I think I may be like that this week.
Even now, a few days on, there are a lot of depressed heads around. It’s a cliche, but if we could have played another game on Friday night, we would have done. Instead, we’ve got to wait until Hull FC arrive on Friday night.
Why did it happen?
Funny enough, we have been speaking about improving our completion rate, and we were better – we were 82 per cent, which is probably the best it’s been all season.
But we lost focus on our defence, and that’s what let us down. All our training this week has been about our ‘D’ and how we are structurally.
Are we missing Sean O’Loughlin? Of course. He’s a world-class player and we’ve missed him in the past.
But Lockers wasn’t in the team when we played against Brisbane, and if we play like that again we’ll beat most Super League teams.
So, yes, it is a part to do with it and it’ll be great to have him back – but we’re easily capable of winning games without him.
The lads are all itching to play again.
There’ll be some nerves because, when you’re on a losing run, you really want to perform, and you desperately don’t want to put a foot wrong.
But there’s also a lot of excitement too, because we’ve taken on board we have to knuckle down and we want the chance to prove how we can play.
We’ve had two away games on the bounce and it’ll be good to get back at home.
Hull FC have recruited well in the off-season, I watched their game against Leeds and it was a classic game of two halves. In the first-half, everything went their way and they were 12-0 up, but then Leeds came back and ran away with it in the end.
They won their first game against Huddersfield, and were in the battle against Warrington and Salford, so we know they can play.
I know we’re only four rounds into the new season, but I definitely think the changes to the competition structure have had an effect.
Everyone is off the mark, there are more competitive games and it’s only going to get better and better.
Sure, there’ll be some big scorelines but you get those in the NRL – there were a couple at the weekend.
And mentioning the NRL, I watched a couple of the games. Souths were like a machine against Brisbane, they were ruthless, and it was great to see Pat Richards come up with the winning drop-goal for Wests against Gold Coast. Pat’s held in the highest regard here – our video room is even named after him – and everyone’s chuffed to see him doing well.
I know he’ll be keeping an eye out for our results... hopefully we get the win we all want.