Hull KR coach Craig Sandercock believes his side are not far away from making a team capable of reaching the play-offs.
The Robins narrowly lost 26-22 to Huddersfield Giants – who finished top of First Utility Super League last season – on Thursday night.
The sides drew 24-24 at the John Smith’s Stadium earlier in the season, and were locked at 16-16 at half-time at the KC Lightstream Stadium.
But two second-half tries from Giants substitute Larne Patrick were enough to move Giants up to fourth in the table, and leave the Robins with a missed opportunity to leapfrog Widnes Vikings into the top eight.
Now, Sandercock will have to watch the rest of this weekend’s games unfold before assessing their league position and preparing for the visit from St Helens next Sunday.
The Robins coach took plenty of positives from Thursday’s defeat and believes with a little more “composure and patience” they could have shocked Huddersfield.
“It was a pretty close game, but we made too many errors in our own half and it didn’t take Huddersfield long to score a try when we gave away possession,” said Australian Sandercock.
“That was possibly the difference.
“It was a pretty close game, in my opinion.
“Huddersfield, jeez, have some class players. I think it was a good effort.
“We just need to add a bit of patience and composure, that’s all it is.
“If we don’t score, then at least we need to get to a kick, and that let us down (against Giants),” admitted Sandercock.
Paul Anderson’s team were stunned by two tries in three minutes as Hull KR clinched a 24-24 draw in February.
Asked if he thought history could be repeating itself when, at 26-16, David Hodgson crossed for Travis Burns to convert the try to cut the deficit to 26-22, Sandercock replied: “Not when you kick off with 20 seconds left. That would have been a bit far-fetched to expect another draw at the end but I’m happy they kept competing to the end. If we can continue to compete like we did and not make as many errors, we will be a lot better off.”
Sandercock said he was perplexed after another series of video referee decisions concerning the obstruction rule.
“I am dumbfounded but there are smarter men than me running the game,” said Sandercock.
Rovers’ home match against Wigan has been switched from Sunday August 17 to Thursday August 14 (8.00) for Sky coverage.