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Cummins rues missed chances
Bradford coach Francis Cummins labelled his first season in charge of the Bulls a failure after they missed out on the Super League play-offs for a fifth successive year.
A 46-34 defeat at Castleford means the four-times Super League champions cannot overhaul eighth-placed Hull KR, who are six points ahead of them with two games left of the regular season.
Cummins, who succeeded Mick Potter at the end of last season, enjoyed a promising start to his career, guiding his team to third place by early April, but they have won just two of their last 10 matches.
"We were in a good position but there have been times where we have shot ourselves in the foot - probably the two Widnes games and this one today," said Cummins, who has been forced to operate on a shoestring budget.
"We've had opportunities to win games this year that we've probably thrown away.
"We needed bit of luck in keeping people fresh and we've not had it. I am frustrated but we've to take it on board and improve.
"We're a young group and we will get better. We will be in a stronger position next year, both on and off the field.
"We're investing in staff, we've a lot of good people coming in and it's going to be a great place."
The Bulls led 6-0 thanks to the first of two tries from half-back Jarrod Sammut but, once a Rangi Chase-inspired Castleford opened up a 16-6 lead, were always chasing the game.
Trailing 40-24 after 70 minutes, Bradford launched an onslaught which brought late tries for Elliot Kear and Danny Addy and went close to drawing level when full-back Brett Kearney was denied by a last-gasp tackle from Tigers prop Craig Huby.
Cummins added: "We didn't play well at all. Cas are very good at playing that sort of game. They came up with some great play.
"We've been really good defensively this year but today we weren't smart.
"Rangi is a massive handful when he's in that vein. You need all hands on deck but we made it a little bit too easy for them early on."
Castleford, who triumphed 42-38 at Widnes a week earlier, were wobbling after the sin-binning of substitute Charlie Martin on 68 minutes for a professional foul reduced them to 12 men, but Jamie Ellis' score in the last move of the game finally settled the 14-try bonanza.
"We don't do anything easy," Tigers coach Daryl Powell said. "It was a crazy game. It took an amazing tackle under the posts to keep them out at the end.
"Getting Charlie Martin sin-binned made it very difficult for us. We were clinging on at the end. Thankfully we were able to do it.
"We showed a fair bit of character to dig a win out when we could have folded."
Chase provided the highlight of Castleford's display with a dazzling solo try and was involved in five other scores but came in for some criticism from his coach.
"Some of the things he did today were pretty incredible," Powell said.
"Having said, I thought our half-backs lacked composure and control in attacking positions.
"Our attacking kicking game was poor at times but then he comes up with a special one to get a try. You don't want to take away some of the things he does but a bit more control would be handy at times."