Jimmy Lowes has challenged Yorkshire Carnegie to replicate the heart and mentality they showed in the win over Doncaster Knights against Hartpury College today, writes Nick Westby.
Not that the Carnegie head coach expects that to be a simple task. For Lowes accepts that building yourself up for a local derby with a side you have a long history with is a lot easier than getting motivated to play a team you are unfamiliar with.
Hartpury College have risen through the rugby pyramid in recent seasons and are playing in the second tier for the first time.
Lowes – whose side defeated Doncaster last Sunday – said: “We don’t know much about Hartpury, and I know from having played myself that you’ll play differently against Doncaster than you would against Hartpury. But our players have got to take that attitude into Hartpury.
“They’ll challenge us because they have a lot of young players and they’ll ask us questions.
“But the focus has to be on us. If we have been doing something really well we need to continually focus on that.
A lot of what we do, a lot of our plans, offensively and defensively is about what we do well, and then it’s just a matter of let the opposition try and stop that.Carnegie coach James Lowes
“A lot of what we do, a lot of our plans, offensively and defensively is about what we do well, and then it’s just a matter of let the opposition try and stop that.”
Reflecting on last weekend’s win and the positives Carnegie can take from the game, Lowes added: “I was really pleased with what we did.
“We missed opportunities in that game, and we lost our discipline towards the end, it was poor.But our attitude to not let Doncaster get over the line, or when they did get over the line, for us to then get under the ball, that’s all you ask for.
“You ask them to defend with a certain attitude and mentality and that’s what they did.
“Now we need to do it week on week and build consistency. They’ve done it once, it’s about lifting that game now.”
Lowes has made three changes. Captain Richard Mayhew has been ruled out for up to six weeks with a foot injury suffered in last week’s win over Doncaster so his place in the back row goes to Mike Myerscough. Alex Davies returns and Will Homer, who is dual registration from Bath Rugby, makes his first start with scrum-half Max Green starting his three-game suspension.