Sheffield Eagles paid a high price for the defeat at Featherstone Rovers with their hopes of first ever Championship title in tatters.
Their run of 15 straight wins was ended as Rovers took over at the top of the league with one game to play. Coach Mark Aston said the result – with the Eagles deprived of a vital losing bonus point by a try 20 second from time – was “a coach killer”.
“It was a cracking game for everyone except a losing coach” he said. “We were disappointing. We turned the ball over too often and never built any pressure. I’d like to challenge some of the decisions.”
It’s heartbreak for the Eagles who have led the league for much of the season. If both teams win their final games – Eagles play at Doncaster on Sunday – the will finish level at the top of the table but Rovers will take the league leader’s shield on points scored difference.
Aston added: “We were not good enough to win the game. We stuck in there and never gave up and that’s the character of the guys. The lads were really committed but we didn’t play great. We didn’t have the right approach and made mistakes but the lads put their bodies where it had to go lots of times in the game.”