St Helens coach Kristian Woolf refused to use injuries to Alex Walmsley and Mark Percival as an excuse for their defeat at Warrington.
Walmsley pulled out after the warm-up and was replaced by Matty Lees, while Percival was forced off 90 seconds in to the second half with a shoulder injury he picked up in a tackle with Ben Murdoch-Masila in the first half.
With skipper James Roby, winger Tommy Makinson, full-back Lachlan Coote and young forward Morgan Knowles already on the sidelines, the worries are building ahead of the World Club Challenge test with Sydney Roosters in a fortnight.
Woolf said: “It wasn’t who we had on the park, it was how we played. It’s disappointing. I just don’t think we played well at all.
“Losing Walmsley was obviously a challenge. He’s a good player, a real leader in our group but it’s also something we’ve got to get over and handle a bit better. The fact is you lose players and good players in our sport.
“It’s not why we lost the game, we need to be a lot better at overcoming things. We weren’t playing well before Percy came off the field.
“We were a bit indisciplined with the ball and the same without the ball.
“We did some uncharacteristic things, I’m not sure why at this stage.
“We were well off where we were last week, there was not the same commitment to defence.
“They came through the middle three times and we completed in the first half at 50 per cent, which is nowhere near good enough. The damage was done in the first half.
“We’ve got to learn from it and make sure we don’t make the same mistake twice.”