Francis Cummins refused to use the early loss of Michael Platt as an excuse for the Bulls’ 28-12 defeat at Hull FC yesterday.
Platt suffered concussion in the act of tackling former Bulls winger Jason Crookes in the 11th minute and was replaced by Danny Addy.
At that point, the Black and Whites were already 6-0 up and it forced the Bulls into a major reshuffle.
Cummins, who admitted a handful of his players were below their best, said: “Platt suffered concussion and it was a bit worrying at the time because he was on the floor in the corner and couldn’t return.
“But we should have been better and I’m not going to use that as an excuse.
“Hull did really well early on and I thought we forced our way back up the field and had a lot of possession.
“To be fair to Hull, they scrambled really well but our decision-making wasn’t great.”
The result was a setback after the Bulls’ opening-day thumping over Wakefield as Hull fashioned an impressive response to their defeat at Leeds in round one.
Cummins remained largely upbeat, though, and credited his side for sticking with their hosts having initially been 22-0 down.
“It was not the result I wanted,” he said after second-half tries from Matty Blythe and Brett Kearney.
“I think a handful of our boys were a little bit flat and you can’t afford to be that way.
“I’ve talked about how the game can jump up at bite you on the backside if you just think that you’re going good.
“We have to earn everything we get this year and work really hard. We did work hard – our quality was just a bit down.
“We didn't always make the right decisions but I am happy with how we came back.
“One of the players has said that maybe at this time last year we would have lost by 50 points. We kept going but we need to be better against Castleford.”
* Former Bulls chief executive Ryan Duckett has landed a job as director of fundraising and partnerships at Derbyshire County Cricket Club.
Duckett, currently serving as director of rugby at Otley, was among the Bulls staff made redundant by administrator Brendan Guilfoyle last season.