Wakefield Trinity coach Chris Chester refused to heap the blame on fullback Scott Grix after his late error helped St Helens steal a dramatic victory at Belle Vue on Thursday night.
Grix failed to deal with a routine St Helens kick, which allowed Jonny Lomax to eventually touch down and win 18-16 and keep their own top-four hopes alive.
Grix has been impressive since joining Wakefield this year – and Chester said he is not blaming the fullback.
“There was an error at the back but I’m not having a pop at Grixy. He wears his heart on his sleeve and been one of my best signings this season,” Chester said.
“He’s apologised to me and the boys but I’ve said there was no need, the damage was done a few tackles earlier. We failed to stop their offloading game.”
Chester also lamented a missed penalty from Liam Finn which would have opened up a six-point lead with time running out – but said his side cannot afford to be too downbeat with their destiny still in their own hands.
“We’re all disappointed,” Chester said. “I felt we controlled the game pretty well. Maybe we were a bit guilty of going into our shell too early, but I thought for 78 minutes we looked pretty comfortable and played some pretty decent stuff.
“It’s very hard to take – Finny hit the post twice to potentially win us the game and you could see them grow a leg when he missed the second one.
“I’m devastated for the boys but it’s still in our hands. We’re disappointed but we’re not too downbeat. We’ve had a fantastic season and we want to finish it strong. We need to go to Hull to get a win and that sets it up nicely against Wigan at home.”