Director of rugby Dan Richmond admitted Sheffield Tigers were caught in a perfect storm of misfortune, after they slipped to a last-gasp 18-16 defeat to Hull on Saturday.
The Tigers, in search of just their second win of the season in SSE National League 1 North, eased into a 16-7 lead at half-time, courtesy of tries for Matthew Neary and Peter Swatkins.
But William Carrington’s kicking game was short of its best, as he made just one attempt form four in the first half in tricky conditions.
Sheffield would come to regret missed opportunities, as visiting fly-half James Cameron sent a match-winning penalty through the posts in the dying stages.
Richmond was proud of Sheffield’s first-half display and admitted that stormy conditions after the break played into Hull’s hands – as did the referee in the final minutes.
“It was a game of two halves and four seasons really,” said Richmond.
“I am very pleased with the way we controlled territory and possession in the first half and we were causing Hull a lot of problems with our attack.
“The heavens opened in the second half and the conditions were really a game changer.
“Unfortunately in those conditions we weren’t able to get into the opposition final third enough times and it came down to a referee’s decision.
“I reviewed it and one of our players is deemed to obstruct a player coming through and you can argue that it’s marginal.
“With two guys chasing back for the ball there’s always going to be a bit of a collision and they end up falling over each other.”
The defeat leaves the Tigers second bottom of the table with just seven points to show for the season’s opening ten matches. They travel to Bromsgrove on Saturday.
n SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 of SSE Energy Credits available for clubs to win. To find out how go to www.SSERugby.com