WAKEFIELD Trinity Wildcats coach Chris Chester remained upbeat after his side collapsed to a 46-20 home defeat by Castleford Tigers.
Wakefield slipped two places to finish eighth on the Super League table, with Castleford moving up to sixth.
Chester’s men will face Warrington Wolves in a Challenge Cup semi-final on Saturday and three new injuries were his main concern.
“We ran out of troops,” said the coach after seeing Castleford run in 30 unanswered points in the final 22 minutes. “We had one guy fit on the bench for the last 35 minutes and that really hurt us.
“It was a good, even contest for 50 minutes then we get a penalty, miss touch and we give a penalty away and concede: it took it away from us. I’m not overly disappointed because there was bags of effort out there.”
Castleford were without nine of their first-choice 13 and coach Daryl Powell was full of praise for their resilient display – and the way they have coped during the regular season.
“I think it has been an incredible effort from us over 23 rounds,” he said. “We had 14 players who could not play today, so it has been very tough. For us to end up after 23 rounds finishing sixth is an awesome achievement, I am really proud of the players.”
Castleford trailed three times and Powell described it as a “helter-skelter” performance.
“I thought we grabbed the game in the second half,” he said.
“I thought when we did we would be good enough to win and it’s really pleasing we did that.”
Castleford will have home games against Wigan, Wakefield and Widnes and visit Catalans, St Helens, Warrington and Hull in the Super-8s.
Wakefield’s home games are against Catalans, Warrington and Hull and they will be away to the rest.