Lee Radford insists Hull FC were their own worst enemies as they dropped to a 44-22 defeat to Salford Red Devils at the KCOM Stadium.
Before the game FC knew that a win would be enough to send them into second outright, following Warrington Wolves loss to Wigan Warriors on Friday night, something that would see them assert themselves.
But, an abhorrent second half display, shipping five goals, ensured that with three games of the Super League season remaining, FC’s status in the play-offs remains in the balance.
They now sit fourth in the table and looking over their shoulder just two points above in-form Salford Red Devils.
“Disappointing,” Radford said after the game. “It was 97 per cent self-inflicted.
“With the game of that magnitude, the fact that we could have secured the top five tonight and the explanation of we’re now under the pump because of our points difference.
“For a game of that magnitude to turn up with that attitude and desire in defence and I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with some of the blokes in there.
“They need to understand what tonight was. Now we’re playing knockout football five weeks out I reckon. One more slip up and one more individual has an off night in a pivotal position and you lose the game because of it.
“It was huge, nobody can have an off night now and tonight was the insurance that we maybe could have.”
FC did actually start brightly in the game and they took a 16-6 lead after tries from Scott Taylor, Mickey Paea and Bureta Faraimo.
But Salford fought back to level pegging at the break and they took the game away from Hull with two tries immediately after the restart.
“With the football if we had continued to play down their end there would have been no issues,” Radford added.
“But there is two sides to the game and every time we made an error we conceded and when you show that steel defensively there will only be one result.”
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