Castleford head coach Daryl Powell did not hold back in his analysis of his side’s 42-12 hammering at home to Super League leaders St Helens.
Saints ran in eight tries in a stunning performance to see off one of their Super League title rivals in a one-sided contest at the Mend-A-Hose Jungle.
The visitors were in control with three first-half tries from Lachlan Coote, Regan Grace and Dominique Peyroux to lead 18-0 at the break, but Saints moved up another gear in the second period as Zeb Taia, Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Mark Percival extended Saints’ lead to 32-0.
Castleford captain Michael Shenton grabbed an interception try against his former team before Peyroux and Jonny Lomax added further Saints scores, with Jake Trueman adding a late Tigers consolation as St Helens sent out a daunting message for the rest of Super League.
However, Powell admitted his side had no answer to the league leaders’ dominant display.
“I just thought it was two teams playing at different levels to be honest, I thought they were outstanding,” Powell said.
“We just got rattled by the game. The second half was poor, the second half was terrible. No excuses, just got completely outplayed tonight. They are an outstanding side at the moment.
“They are playing a consistent team selection, they all look in great nick. We have a few guys coming back from injuries and are two games back in for example. But they aren’t excuses, we haven’t been playing well.
“We have won some games but we haven’t been playing great, we tried to find a groove for ourselves but we never got in that game tonight, they were just too good for us.
“We know we have a job to do, but tonight was a really harsh smack around the chops.
“I don’t think we are defending great. We defended terrible tonight, some of the tries we gave away were exceptionally poor. We didn’t play the way we wanted to play and got rattled by it. We have got a lot of work to do.”
The result maintained Saints’ perfect start to the league season with their seventh successive victory and even Holbrook admitted he was surprised by the dominant display.
“Obviously I’m really impressed with the boys tonight,” he said. “They were all fantastic. It’s a tough place to come and play tonight and I thought we turned up and that was probably our best performance of the year.
“We knew it had to be, we knew it would be a hard game tonight but I’m really impressed with them.
“It’s hard to single a player out tonight, which is good as a coach. I thought everyone did their job.
“We expect to play well but I didn’t expect that result tonight, that’s for sure. I know that we are improving every week and that’s great.
“I’m seeing it in training and I’m seeing it in games, I’m really happy with the players’ application at the moment and they are getting the rewards for it.”