Going into the game at the A J Bell Stadium, the Tigers had a 100 per cent record and were being lauded as unbeatable after a succession of big victories, highlighted by the thrashing of neighbours Leeds Rhinos.
The 13-12 defeat at Salford, thanks to a late Gareth O’Brien drop goal for the home side, sees the Tigers replaced at the top of the table by Wigan, who themselves could only struggle to a draw with Huddersfield on Sunday.
Powell was frank in his summing up of the game: “We were poor,” he said. “I don’t think we ever really got our game together. It was our first real tight assignment and we came up short.
“I thought Salford were superb, they defended well and came up with a smart game plan. We didn’t deserve to win. We tried to play the conditions way too much. It was a bit of an arm wrestle and they just edged it.
“There’s quite a few lessons for us to learn. We need to move on and some players have some wising up to do. We were pretty unrecognisable, although it doesn’t help when you are having to move people around.”