Hull FC coach Lee Radford said his side were busted following their third game in seven days.
The Black and Whites couldn’t make it three wins from three games over the Easter period after losing 26-12 to table toppers St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium on Friday night.
And Radford said he was forced to play players who weren’t planned to feature against Saints.
Speaking after the game, he said: “Both teams were tired and busted, both teams have had three games in seven days.
“To only have two middles on the interchange bench who played three games in seven days was tough, and maybe we were always going to run out of steam. I can’t fault their effort, it was really good, but we were the second best team on the pitch.
“Saints were a lot better than us. They kicked better than us, every kick they made was a challenge for us. They played the ball quicker than we did and they defended slower than we did. I was very envious of their performance.
“We just need to freshen everyone up. Josh Griffin and Josh Bowden weren’t due to play, but they both put their hand up to play and I thought both of them were phenomenal, not only to get on the field, but to participate in the way they did as well was really pleasing. That was an advert on the good things we have got going on in the team.”
Jordan Abdull was put on report in the game for a tackle on Danny Richardson, but Radford has slammed referee Robert Hicks’ decision to put the incident on report.
He added: “I spoke to Gans (Steve Ganson) on Monday in regards to the Good Friday game against Hull KR.
“We spoke about the Lee Jewitt elbow in the second set of six in the game and the feedback we got was that they didn’t think there was enough impact there and there was no injury caused, so the second bit is a bit worry because if I get someone to stay down holding their face, back and neck then there will be a punishment.
“That’s advertising what this sport isn’t about and it is advertising staying down which I don’t believe this sport is, so it is a bit confusing and worrying.”
Brad Fash suffered a suspected broken jaw in the Saints game while Sika Manu will go for a scan on his injury. FC will wait on Mark Minichiello and Fetuli Talanoa ahead of next week’s clash against Widnes Vikings.