Catalan Dragons coach Laurent Frayssinous admitted the disappointment over his side's first-round exit from the Super League play-offs was compounded by the precipitated retirement of Steve Menzies.
A 14-4 defeat to Hull FC in Friday night's elimination play-off ended the Dragons' season and signalled the end of the road for popular Australian second rower Menzies, who hung up his boots and trademark headguard after 21 years as a professional.
"It's an emotional dressing room," Frayssinous said. "It's disappointing that we say goodbye in that way.
"He has been one of the best overseas players we've had at the Dragons, if not the best, and we wanted to give him at least one more week."
Menzies had a late try disallowed to compound his misery as the Dragons sorely missed the creativity and kicking game of scrum-half Scott Dureau, who pulled out with a quad muscle injury.
"We missed the vision of Scott and his kicking game as well," Frayssinous said.
"It's very disappointing that we couldn't execute, especially with all the possession we had. Hull FC defended pretty well, so credit to them, that's why they won."
Hull coach Peter Gentle paid his own tribute to Menzies, who is to return to his Australian club Manly Sea Eagles to take on an ambassadorial role.
"He's held in high regard throughout the world," Gentle said. "I've nothing but admiration for him.
"He showed tonight he can still play at this level. He could play for another couple of years."