Greene King IPA Championship: Struggling Yorkshire Carnegie ‘in a hole’ admits coach Chris Stirling

Yorkshire Carnegie coach, Chris Stirling.
Yorkshire Carnegie coach, Chris Stirling.
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AFTER A seventh league defeat, director of rugby Chris Stirling admits Yorkshire Carnegie are “in a hole”.

A 17-5 loss to London Scottish at Emerald Headingley left Carnegie rooted to the foot of the Championship.

Powerhouse James Thraves suffered an injury setback against Scottish. PIC: Varley's Picture Agency

Powerhouse James Thraves suffered an injury setback against Scottish. PIC: Varley's Picture Agency

To add to their woes, they lost prop James Thraves inside the opening moments with a shoulder injury which could keep him out of action for at least a month.

Carnegie dug in after going 12-0 behind inside 13 minutes, but managed just one breakaway try from a Scottish error and Stirling admitted: “It was probably the first time I’ve been extremely disappointed with the way we played.”

The team boss, appointed in the close season, said: “We lacked accuracy and some of our work was pretty lethargic.

“What we asked the boys to do in the first half they didn’t until probably five minutes before half-time. We are in a real hole at the moment.”

Impactful, Craig Mitchell. PIC: Varley's Picture Agency

Impactful, Craig Mitchell. PIC: Varley's Picture Agency

An inability to change things during the game hampered Carnegie’s cause, according to Stirling. He pointed out: We didn’t have a bench to go to.

“Our young cover [Lachlan Currie] dislocated his shoulder in the warm-up and then James Thraves damaged his shoulder one or two minutes into the game.

“We just can’t catch a trick at the moment. The boys were trying hard at the end, but they were out on their feet against a Scottish team that brought some resources off the bench and made the difference.”

Carnegie included Welsh international prop Craig Mitchell who rejoined the club last week from Newcastle Falcons.

“He has definitely added some strength and Will Vaughan did a good job,” Stirling reflected.

“That would be the longest period of rugby he would have played for a number of years. There was a slight improvement there, but not where we needed to be.”

Centre Peter Lucock returned after a four-game injury lay-off and was named Yorkshire’s man of the match.

His comeback gave Stirling some encouragement.

“He gives us a lot of guidance,” he added.

“Fair play to Andrew Forsyth, he’s not a fly-half. He is doing a job trying to fill in there for us and with Pete there it gives us an opportunity to lighten Fozzy’s load a little bit.

“It will be nice when we get an opportunity to get Fozzy back in the midfield and George [Watkins] back on the wing and we get a genuine 10 in there.

“No disrespect to Fozzy, he’s doing a good job, but it does limit our game.”

New signings fly-half Jade Te Rure and flanker Antonio Kiri Kiri are expected to make their debut away to Coventry on Saturday.