Leaders London Irish given too much respect by Yorkshire Carnegie – Bryan Redpath

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YORKSHIRE Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath bemoaned his side’s initial lack of belief after they came close to ending London Irish’s 100 per cent record in the Championship.

They eventually fell 20-14 at a rain-soaked Headingley yesterday after a try for Jonah Holmes – the winger linked with Leicester Tigers – deep into injury-time forced a bonus point.

Phil Nilson carries the ball in a rolling maul which was collapsed for a penalty try (Picture: Steve Riding)

Phil Nilson carries the ball in a rolling maul which was collapsed for a penalty try (Picture: Steve Riding)

However, loanee fly-half Tom Catterick missed two first-half penalties on his debut, including one from in front of the posts, before going off injured.

Carnegie trailed 10-0 at the break and did not truly impose themselves until the final quarter. They remain in second place and Redpath said: “In the first half we just didn’t have enough belief in ourselves.

“We missed that one penalty as well and there was little bits of the game where if we’d have that bit more belief we could have gone in closer.

“But we showed great composure and commitment at the end to get that point for us so that was pleasing and I’m chuffed with the players’ effort.”

Action from Yorkshire Carnegie's defeat to London Irish (Picture: Steve Riding)

Action from Yorkshire Carnegie's defeat to London Irish (Picture: Steve Riding)

Having lost 41-17 at Irish in November, Redpath was asked if this performance gave them confidence ahead of their likely meeting in the play-offs at the end of the season, which is all the more crucial given automatic promotion for the leaders returns next season.

“It gives us confidence going to Doncaster away in our next league game,” he said.

“That’s where we want to be; we’ve lost games down there in the league.

“Yes we won the last game there in the semi-final play-off last year but the play-offs are a different animal and we can’t think too much about them.

Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath

Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath

“Our focus is on the B&I Cup quarter-final at Irish next week when we’ll probably freshen up and then we’ll really go hard in the next two games. If we show that level of performance I think we’ll be okay.”

Carnegie had to make some late changes with three players dropping out on the eve of the televised game. “They’d been carrying injuries,” said Redpath.

“Lewis Boyce had a neck issue, Tom Casson the same while Alex Davies had a hamstring. Losing Tom Catterick early on as well didn’t help as I thought he looked sharp; he has a good kicking game and has experience.”

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