Sheens: We’ve got to learn and respond to this
Head coach Tim Sheens admitted his team’s intensity levels fell away in the second half as Rovers fell to a 31-30 defeat to Toulouse Olympique at KCOM Craven Park.
Despite not being at their best, the Robins led 20-6 at the break but failed to put the game to bed, as the French side came back to claim the spoils and damped spirits ahead of Rovers being presented to the Kingstone Press Championship League Leaders Shield.
Sheens said: “With the amount of points on the board at half-time, we should have gone on and won the game from there but we didn’t. I think we put the cue on the rack to be honest. It’s human nature at times to switch off a bit in those positions and you see it happen quite often in sport, but we need to learn a lesson from this and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“We had a good lead but we walked them back into the game and then thought we could just go through the motions. You could just see it in the body language of the guys - there was nowhere near the intensity needed in our defence and some of our decisions was very ordinary with the ball. We turned over possession consistently early in the tackle count.
“Most of their tries today came from well-placed kicks and we didn’t work hard enough off the ball to shut those down. They kicked the ball far better than us, we were terrible with our kicking game and it’s one of the areas of our game that needs to improve. We won’t beat Super League teams without being at our best but the confidence is still there that we can compete when we get it right.
“We now understand what we’ve got to do next week. We’re aware of the scenario with Halifax and Toulouse but what will be will be from that point of view. We’re not concerned about who we may or may not have to play in the Qualifiers, our focus needs to be on going too Halifax and building some momentum.
“We’ll soon see it’s how we react to this and I’d expect a response from the players themselves this week. If we don’t get one, then I’ll make sure that we do.
“It’ll be an intense game against Halifax and probably what we need after today when we switched off in a winning position. How we react to this today will determine whether we go forward again or all of a sudden we get some doubt in us before we go into the Middle Eights which was something I was hoping to avoid.”