A free weekend is no compensation for Jason Chan, who admits that Crusaders should be vying for a place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals.
Chan grabbed a brace of tries against York City Knights in the fourth round of the historic competition, securing a home tie against Catalans Dragons, who they had beaten at The Racecourse in Super League.
However, a below par start to the game handed them an uphill task after the interval, and despite a spirited fightback the hosts lost to a last minute field-goal from Dragons’ Thomas Bosc.
And Chan, 26, will cut a frustrated figure as Catalans head to Championship side Batley in the last eight on Saturday, while Crusaders are without a match.
He said: “We should still be in the Challenge Cup. We lost to Catalans and if we had beaten them we would have faced Batley this week.
“It is good to have a week off, but all the boys, fans, and coaches would rather we played Batley rather than rest.
“I think we did exactly the same against Catalans as we did against Wigan, it came to a drop goal at the end, but it was pretty disappointing and we didn’t deserve to win it after another poor first half performance.”
Chan, who was a member of Crusaders opening Super League campaign last year, playing in all three of their league successess, is struggling to come to terms with his side’s lacklustre starts.
On numerous ocassions this season Brian Noble’s side have been chasing the game in the second 40 minutes of the match, and the Australian is eager to put it right.
“I can’t put my finger on it, we are working on it though and trying our best to fix it. I am sure we will next week ready for the game with Harlequins the week after next,” he explained.
“Both the coach and the boys were disappointed with the first half (against Wigan), In the last couple of games we have been getting off to a really slow start.
“It’s not helping us out but we are coming good in the second half and it is important to get the first-half working in our favour now. We will work on it and come good.
“Our conviction is there, we always get behind the posts and say ‘we are going to start now’ but it is just putting our words in action from the first kick-off.
“It is no use only doing it for the second-half of a match, we need to work like we do after the break for the whole 80 minutes. Normally we are happy with the second-half but the first-half needs a lot of changing.”
The run of three defeats in a row in all competitions has taken away from Chan’s fine individual season, in which he has scored five tries, and the second-row is more concerned with the team’s progress.
“I am playing alright, I managed to get one try and could have had a second but I passed it,” he said. I prefer to look at the overall team thought, and like I said we need to gel together.”