IMPROVING Yorkshire Carnegie will be aiming to avoid yellow fever and keep 15 players on the field throughout today’s Championship Cup derby at Doncaster Knights (2.30pm).
The tie is a rematch of last week’s encounter which Yorkshire won 33-20, having led 33-3 before the first of their two sin-binnings.
Doncaster scored almost immediately after Dan Temm’s departure, added another try against 13 men with Will Britton also banished and ran in their third in the final moments when Yorkshire were still a player down.
Ireland Under-20s lock Cian Romaine insists discipline isn’t an issue, but admitted Carnegie’s tackle technique will need to be better today.
”With the new high tackle rule we just need to adjust to it,” Romaine said. “A lot of them [in last week’s game] were marginal, but we have to not give the referee an excuse to penalise us.”
Romaine believes if Carnegie can play like they did for the majority of the match they will complete a rapid double and post a third win from four rounds in the cup competition.
He said: “A win’s a win. it was a bit scrappy at the end, but we had a really good first 50 minutes. We let them back in it a bit when we got a couple of yellow cards, but it was a good performance.
“It is tough with 13 players, but I thought we held out pretty well.”
The way Carnegie managed last week’s game as they built a 30-point lead has given Romaine confidence they are on the up after a disastrous start to the season which left them bottom of the Championship table going into the cup break.
“That’s what we’ve worked on, controlling the game and defending on our terms,” he said. “We want to defend when we’re ready, not when we have to because they’ve attacked.
“They are going to come out swinging, because they lost to us last week and missed out on a bonus point. They are going to want to make up for that so we are going to have to match it.”
Romaine joined Carnegie in October from New Zealand side North Harbour. He is among nine recruits brought in by director of rugby Chris Stirling in a bid to strengthen Carnegie’s squad for the second half of the league campaign and a planned promotion push next year.
Full-back Myles Thoroughgood, who has signed for the remainder of the season from Northland in New Zealand, will make his debut today.
“There’s a lot of new faces, but the boys who were here already have come together and helped all us new boys get our roles right,” Romaine observed.
They are going to come out swinging, because they lost to us last week and missed out on a bonus point. They are going to want to make up for that so we are going to have to match it.
“We just have to keep moving forward. I am, really enjoying it, I’ve settled in well and there’s good intensity in training.
“There’s a good fight for spots. The Cup competition for us is all about building momentum and getting some wins under our belt going into the league.
“Our attack has really been on point, we just need to sort out our D [defence] in some areas.”
Carnegie will be without centre Pete Lucock (knee injury). Andy Forsyth and Antonio Kiri Kiri are rested and Ollie Fox, a replacement last week, is in camp with England under-20s.
Sam Wolstenholme and Louis Brown both join the starting lineup and Mike Myerscough comes in among the replacements. Tom Hill, Dylan Donnellan, Will Britton and Josh Bainbridge step up from the bench.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Thoroughgood, Davey, Elder, Umaga, Brown, Te Rure, Wolstenholme, Hill, Donnellan, Foster, Britton, Lemalu, Romaine, Bainbridge, Temm. Replacements Buckle, Thomas, Nixon, Smith, Myerscough, Bruzulier, Hamilton.