YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE will need to improve to get anything out of Friday’s derby at Doncaster Knights, according to coach James Lowes.
Carnegie will go into the game fourth in the Championship and on a five-game winning run in all competitions, but Lowes was far from happy with the way they performed in their 12-10 victory over Nottingham.
Yorkshire were 7-0 down at the break and 10-0 adrift until Nottingham’s Matt Everard was sent off, for a second yellow card, with 12 minutes left.
That gave the hosts hope and they rallied with two close-range tries to turn the game on its head, but overall Lowes was far from impressed by the standard of the match or his team’s display.
He reflected: “I said to the lads, we did as much as we possibly could to give Nottingham that game – right from the very first minute.
“They scored a very soft try. Pete Lucock doesn’t normally defend like that, he was off a bit I thought and the amount of ball and field position we gave to Nottingham really tested us defensively.
“But after the try I thought we handled most of the stuff they threw at us. We worked really hard to get something out of the game, but we were too slack with our attack.
“Across the board, I thought it was a pretty average game. We will have to be a lot better than that [on Friday].”
Lowes is expecting a tough encounter in South Yorkshire. He warned: “Doncaster are a similar side to Nottingham, they are a hard-working side and they throw the ball around.
“We can’t give ourselves that amount of work to do again. It will be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it and the good thing about rugby players is if you have a poor performance individually you want to put that right as fast as you can.
“I know the players will be eager to put in a decent performance against Doncaster.”
Nottingham went ahead after just four minutes when scrum-half Murray McConnell crossed. Tiff Eden converted, but missed with with a penalty attempt before making it 10-0 with a similar effort early in the second half.
Carnegie failed to take make the most of Everard’s sin-binning after 34 minutes, but did better when he was sent-off, both cards being for offences in a maul.
Captain Richard Mayhew scored immediately following Everard’s dismissal and Alex Davies added the extras. Then with two minutes left Yorkshire were awarded a penalty close to Nottingham’s line, the ball was worked from the lineout to Joe Buckle and he capped a hard-working display by touching down. Davies’ kick bounced away via a post and he was also off-target with a penalty in the final seconds.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Elder, Watkins, Forsyth (Davies 60), Casson, Atkins, Lucock, Homer (Burdon 60), Thomas, Buckle, Beech (Thraves 66), Whetton, Myerscough, Beck, Mayhew, Stedman (West 47).
Nottingham: Scanlon, Thacker, Millett, Lyons, (Penman 61), Robinson (Cecil 71), Eden, McConnell, (Veenendaal 64), West (Cobden 61), Stevens (Brownlee 77), Sio (Hooper half-time), Moon, Cardall, Morris, Everard, Buckley (Poullett 48).
Referee: Steve Lee.