Warrington Wolves lacked consistency to challenge for the title this seasons, says head coach Tony Smith.
Wire ended their campaign with a 32-16 win at Super League champions St Helens, but were already out of the running for a top-four play-off place.
Wolves, who have been in the Grand Final in two of the past three years, have finished sixth this season.
"It's consistency isn't it? That's been our issue," Smith, 48, told BBC Radio Merseyside.
"It's been an issue for a lot of other teams this year but it has cost us."
"That's our first win over Saints this year and we've has some really good matches with them, close tussles and they've come out on top - those things come back to bite you at some stage.
"It's disappointing to finish sixth, but in years gone by sixth would've got you the chance for the title.
"We've got to make some adjustments and make sure we're in that top four next year."