YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE winger Jonah Holmes maintains the squad are “unfazed” by their three-match losing run.
Having suffered just one Championship defeat during the opening five months of the campaign, Bryan Redpath’s side have now quadrupled that figure inside just three weeks.
Admittedly, Sunday’s 20-14 loss against London Irish was to be expected given the leaders’ 100 per cent league win record.
But that came on the back of a surprise home loss to Cornish Pirates and another reverse at Jersey Reds as Carnegie’s promotion credentials took a hit.
They take a break from Championship action when they swiftly face Irish again in Saturday’s British & Irish Cup quarter-final at the Madejski Stadium.
And Holmes, who said he “could not comment” on reports linking him with a move to Leicester Tigers, insisted: “I don’t think it’s really fazed us.
“We don’t want to be in this position but maybe, later in the season, we might look back and see it as a blessing in disguise as it could give us a kick up the backside.
“We made about 100 mistakes on Sunday.
“We’ve watched the review back and there was quite a few missed chances against Irish. We either just didn’t make that extra pass or forced an off-load that was never on so it was very frustrating.
“But, despite all that, we have left the game with confidence and know we can deliver the goods if we do meet them again later in the season. Hopefully, we will.”
Holmes’ try deep into injury-time saw second-placed Carnegie earn a bonus point against the side who are clear favourites to win an immediate return to the Premiership.
But they had dominated territory for much of the second period without utilising it and also failed to capitalise when Irish were reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes.
Ex-Wasps three-quarter Holmes, the club’s leading try scorer with 10 in 15 appearances, admitted: “It’s not really good enough.
“We know we had the opportunities to win that match.
“We have to be more clinical and cut out the mistakes we made on Sunday. There was too many unforced errors and we didn’t finish plays that should have been finished.”
In fairness, Carnegie’s hopes were not helped when Tom Catterick, the on-loan Newcastle Falcons fly-half making his debut for the injured Joe Ford, had to trudge off with a knee problem after just 31 minutes.
Holmes, 24, said: “I’m gutted for him. I’m not sure what’s happened with the extent of it – I think he’s having it scanned – but we’ll probably find out Tuesday.
“Hopefully it’s not too bad. We’ve had quite a muddled team for the last couple of weeks and Sunday was the peak of it; we had a very different team to the one we’d planned.”
Holmes has not featured in the B&I Cup yet this season and may be rested again at the weekend.
But he said: “We’ve got a lot of injuries so I’m not sure yet.
“But we want that victory. We’ll look to play some rugby or just grind out the win, whatever happens.”