Holmes is looking for more from backline

Jonah Holmes
Jonah Holmes
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Yorkshire Carnegie’s Jonah Holmes says the club’s backline are primed to start fully firing in the crucial weeks ahead.

Yorkshire Carnegie’s Jonah Holmes says the club’s backline are primed to start fully firing in the crucial weeks ahead.

The former Wasps full-back admits he has largely been disappointed with his own form during 2015-16 and believes most of his team-mates in the three-quarters would say likewise.

Nevertheless, ahead of this afternoon’s trip to London Welsh, when a win would secure Carnegie a play-offs spot, he senses that is about to change.

“I’ve not been happy with the way I’ve played this season and I think a lot of the backs would say the same,” explained Holmes, with just three more league games remaining after today before the top-four play-offs begin.

“I’m not sure if I can pinpoint why.

“It’s either that we’ve not been getting enough ball or we’ve not known each other well enough to exploit each others’ strengths as much as possible.

“We’ve some amazing players at Carnegie, some really good backs, and that’s why it’s been frustrating.

“But I’d like to think people have seen what we can do in the last few games and what we’ll be pushing to do towards the play-offs.

“Things are starting to click now and the team is starting to show more shape.

“I know I’ve done more running of the ball in the last last few games and hopefully I can make more impact, too, in these next weeks ahead.”

Carnegie moved up to third last Sunday, displacing opponents Bedford Blues after a 
35-20 win in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

They have won four successive games in all competitions now and, as well as facing Welsh today, they also tackle the same opposition in the British & Irish Cup final at Headingley a week on Sunday.

Holmes, 23, added: “I’m happy we’re in that final.

“Hopefully we can push on and win some silverware.

“Winning at Welsh on Saturday would be a good boost to do the same next weekend but we know they’ll be tough.

“We got to the final in 2014 and lost to Leinster A (44-17) in Dublin. That was probably our worst game of that season and I remember (then head coach) Jimmy (Lowes) shouting at me for the first time in a long time during that game.

“A few of the boys have experienced it before but this one will be at home rather than away and we’re hoping to get a bigger crowd than usual to help get behind us.”

Current head coach Bryan Redpath has made a number of changes to his pack for the first meeting between the sides.

Tighthead prop Rob O’Donnell, hooker Phil Nilsen and second-row Dean Schofield all start while captain Chris Jones returns at blindside and Andy Saull wears the No7 jersey.

*******

Morley RFC first team can take another step closer to the play-offs with a victory over North One East rivals Northern today (kick-off 3pm).

Northern travel to Scatcherd Lane desperate for the points that will lift them away from the drop zone while the second-placed Maroons have their sights set on securing a spot in a play-off clash with the runners-up in North One West, in May.

A win over Northern will put the Maroons firmly on track for a shot at promotion to National Three North, with Kendal or Kirkby Lonsdale the likely opponents in the play-off on May 14. Morley will know that Northern are no pushovers, having been forced to fight back from 13-0 down in the return fixture last November.

That day, Morley needed a brace form Ben Bell and tries from Dante van der Merwe and Richard Knowles to turn the tables on Northern who raced into the lead at the end of the first quarter.

Today, Bell will be missing having suffered an injury in the win at Westoe last time out but the Morley pack will be bolstered by the probable inclusion of Will Smyth and Luke Watts.

Nick Green, who has a good run since his recent debut, may be absent due to an injury which came to light last week.

In the backs, Kenny Hirst-Sewell is likely to return in place of Sean Dadswell who gave an impressive performance at Westoe.

James Lowes, Carnegie coach

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