HULL COACH Lee Radford cut a frustrated figure after his side were pipped 15-14 by visitors Wigan Warriors last night.
Five days after their 22-14 Challenge Cup semi-final loss to Warrington Wolves, Hull showed an impressive amount of spirit, but were let down by some mistakes and wrong options at key moments.
Having trailed 10-6 at half-time and 14-6 in the second half, Radford’s men found their second wind and hit back to level the scores late on, only for Zak Hardaker to land a long-range drop goal four minutes from time which won it for Wigan.
Radford said: “The second similar loss in four days is not good for anybody’s sanity as a coach.”
But he insisted: “I don’t think there was anything between the sides, at all.
“I thought it was very similar to Saturday.
“There’s not any one thing in particular we are doing wrong at the moment, but there’s a lot of little technical things we need to fix up to bring that game home.”
Despite the outcome, he stressed: “Effort and attitude is definitely not one of them.
“That was always going to come into question tonight and I think we passed that test with flying colours.”
The coach used veteran forward Mark Minichiello, who this week confirmed he will retire at the end of the season, as an example.
“He ran his blood to water this evening and did again on Saturday, but then just comes up with that play at the end that hurts you. It’s not lack of effort or lack of trying, but the error does hurt you. I just think that’s where we have been the last two weeks, we need to be smarter in a lot of little areas.”
Radford confirmed his decision to substitute stand-off Albert Kelly in the second-half, when Jake Connor moved into the halves, was “tactical”.
Wigan had been beaten by a golden point drop goal when Hull visited DW Stadium in February and their coach Adrian Lam said: “It was a replica of the game at the start of the year, but luckily Zak pulled something out of his bag of tricks.
“We prepared to go into the last 10 minutes because we knew it would be like that. I thought defensively we showed a lot of resolve and resilience.”
Wigan captain Sean O’Loughlin suffered a suspected torn pectoral muscle, just 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute.