Hull KR were their own worst enemies after dramatically falling away in the final quarter of their 50-26 defeat to Warrington, says head coach Tony Smith.
The Robins competed well and led 18-12 at the break, but a disastrous final 20 minutes saw the hosts run in five tries, with Kane Linnett’s 71st minute score all that KR could muster in response.
It meant that Tony Smith’s return to the Halliwell Jones Stadium ended on a disappointing note.
The 54-year-old Australian guided Warrington to three Challenge Cup titles during his nine years at the club but could not mastermind an upset against his former employers, who have been widely tipped to be in the play-off picture at the end of the season.
Speaking after the game, he said: “I thought we were still off our best in the first half from what I’ve seen this year.
“In the second half we inflicted a lot of pain on ourselves in a couple of ways. Some by the errors we made, and also some sloppiness in our defence which you can’t afford to do against the class players that Warrington have.
“We’re disappointed overall but I think we are making progress nevertheless.”
KR have a two week break before they next take to the field against Castleford, who recently confirmed former Hull FC boss Lee Radford as their new head coach from 2022 onwards.
Despite their latest setback, the Robins remain on the fringes of the top six, having won two of their opening five Super League matches.
“We’re still learning and finding the right opportunities which we have been better at in previous weeks,” Smith added. “Today we just didn’t quite take the opportunities at the right times.”