Yorkshire Carnegie head coach Tommy McGee admitted to being ‘upset’ and ‘embarrassed’ after the Headingley club suffered another shattering defeat to a local rival.
An error-strewn and indisciplined Carnegie lost by six tries to three as once again they failed to back up an encouraging performance from the week before.
It puts further distance between themselves and the top-four play-off spots and with six games remaining their season is in danger of petering out.
“I’m pretty upset and embarrassed about it,” said the stand-in head coach, whose emphatic conquerors of Nottingham last Sunday had no answer to Rotherham’s game-management, kicking, intensity or discipline. Fair play to Rotherham, their intensity was very, very good, particularly over the ball.
“They did to us what we did to them last time, they hit us with some hard lines, they got over the ball well.
“I’ve got to look at myself and say did I get the selection right after last week? But discipline and penalties are still hurting this team and until we grow up a little bit we’ll keep losing.”
McGee says he will sit down with director of rugby Chris Gibson to decide whether club punishments need to be meted out to repeat offenders. Carnegie’s penalty count stretched into the teens on Saturday and continually undermined any good field position they had built up.
“Do we fine players, what do we do?” asked McGee. “I need to address it and quickly. There were so many penalties and enforced errors.”
Had it not have been for the commitment of Ryan Burrows, this could have been a humiliation to rank alongside being nilled on home soil the last time the two teams met in the league.
Captain Burrows scored a hat-trick of tries at Clifton Lane, the latter two coming in the last 20 minutes when the race was run.
Since changing their name from Leeds to Yorkshire in the summer, Carnegie have lost all four league games against county rivals Doncaster and Rotherham. That white rose on their chest has become more of a target than a source of pride.
Rotherham Titans: Scanlon, Keating, Davies, Harris, Wilson, McKinney (Barrett 77), White; Hislop (Williams 66), Cruse (Sowrey 62), Tampin (Thiede 62), Maddison, Robinson, Rieder, Preece, (Birch 66), Morris (Holmes 58). Unused replacement: Cooke.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Geourgiou, Doherty, Goss, Lucock, Holmes, Grimoldby (Leonard 49), Egerton; Beech (Hill 40), Walker (Nilsen 62), Tideswell (Imiolek 62), Ellis, Jones, Williams (Smith 62), Bainbridge (Walker 62), Burrows. Unused replacement: Slowik.
Referee: S Harding (RFU).