Hull KR head coach Tim Sheens cut a disappointed figure as he addressed the press following their 36-12 defeat to Salford Red Devils on Friday night.
They spurned the few chances they were able to create at the AJ Bell Stadium, as their forward pack was dominated.
The Robins’ poor execution in attacking areas saw them pass up their limited opportunities to score, however Sheens felt that had nothing to do with Danny McGuire missing out through injury.
“I don’t think Danny (McGuire) would have helped us, he would have taken the pressure off Chris (Atkin) who took it upon himself to take most of the play down our left side,” he admitted.
“We didn’t really have enough ball in decent position, it’s as simple as that.
“They played well, they completed their sets, they put it in the corner either high or dabbed it in the corner and we were battling to come out from those positions and didn’t do it very well at all. It put us under pressure from the start.”
The Australian praised Salford’s dominant performance, but felt Rovers were their own worst enemies at times.
“What attacking sets we did get we threw away.
“I don’t think we did much right except start 6-0 in front.
“The attitude is there, tonight they were very poor and shot themselves in the foot time and time again.
“Not taking anything away from Salford, Salford played better than us tonight the majority of the game.
“We’ve just got to regroup and we may have a couple of options coming back next week, with Chris Clarkson and some, but at the moment it is what it is.”
The Hull KR chief was especially critical of their performance in the forwards, as they gave away too many metres in the middle.
That is something they will have to work on in preparation for round four, as they face Castleford Tigers at the KCOM Craven Park on Thursday night.
“At half-time I thought we re-grouped ready to come out, and then to give up a try the very first set was very, very disappointing.
“We went backwards. Credit to them, I would say they sensed blood in the water, they took it to us.
“We started most of our sets, particularly in the second half, 10 metres off our try line. Possession was against us, we kicked poorly.
“There was just not enough go forward and grunt in our tackle in the middle, so that’s something we’ve got to address this week.”
Salford Red Devils 36
Tries: O’Brien (8), Sa’u (18), Bibby (31), Lui (41), Evalds (66, 71)
Goals: O’Brien 6/8
Hull KR 12
Tries: Minns (3), Quinlan (56)
Goals: Shaw 2/2
Salford Red Devils: Gareth O’Brien, Niall Evalds, Junior Sa’u, Kris Welham, Jake Bibby, Robert Lui, Jack Littlejohn, Lee Mossop, Josh Wood, Lama Tasi, Josh Jones, Weller Hauraki, Tyrone McCarthy. Interchange: Luke Burgess, Ben Nakubuwai, Logan Tomkins, Craig Kopczak.
Hull KR: Adam Quinlan, Ryan Shaw, Andrew Heffernan, Thomas Minns, Justin Carney, Chris Atkin, Maurice Blair, Lee Jewitt, Tommy Lee, Mose Masoe, Ben Kavanagh, James Greenwood, Robbie Mulhern. Interchange: Shaun Lunt, Nick Scruton, Danny Tickle, Liam Salter.