Castleford coach Daryl Powell said he was gutted for captain Michael Shenton, who was forced to leave the field early in their defeat to Warrington.
There was also no fairytale finish for skipper Shenton, who this week announced his retirement and whose career was brought to an end three minutes before half-time when he went off with a dislocated shoulder in their 40-24 defeat to Warrington on Thursday.
Powell said: “It’s so disappointing for him. If Shenny’s part of that second-half comeback, he’s got that touch of class that can craft things from nothing.
“It was disappointing to see him leave the field and not be able to finish how he wanted.”
Powell’s eight-year spell as Castleford coach was brought to an end by the loss to Warrington but he was proud of the way they fought back to set up a tense finale.
He said: “We just gave ourselves too much to do. The first couple of tries were soft defensively and there was a bit of luck for the next two and we’re chasing the game.
“I said to the boys at half-time ‘we’ve got to find it within ourselves to get back into the game’ and I thought we showed what we’re about.
“We showed so much courage and effort and so much skill in the second half to give ourselves a chance and we nearly had them.”
🐯 345 Castleford apps
🔴 58 St Helens apps
🏴 12 England caps
🔥 3 Dream Team appearances
🛡️ 1 League Leaders' Shield
What a career, Michael Shenton 👏 pic.twitter.com/py2x6eZ0As
— Love Rugby League (@loverugbyleague) September 14, 2021
Powell, who has coached his hometown team since 2013 but will succeed Steve Price at Warrington in 2022, says the club will always be in his heart.
He added: “I’ve had an absolute ball. I’ve supported the club as a teenager, the club will always be special to me.”
Castleford’s defeat means Leeds and Hull KR are guaranteed play-off spots before they meet at Headingley on Friday night, with Warrington hosting the losers in next Friday’s elimination play-off.