MORE variety was demanded and Yorkshire Carnegie certainly provided that as their fine start to the Championship season gathered further pace.
Before yesterday’s game against Moseley, head coach Bryan Redpath had bemoaned the fact 10 of his high-flying team’s previous 12 tries had come via line-out drives and was urging for greater guile.
They duly delivered, scoring four finely-crafted tries before half-time yesterday without a driving maul in sight to produce a sixth win of the campaign and stay in touch with leaders Bristol.
The one that secured their bonus point was almost akin to showing off – kicking to the corner and seemingly set for one of those rudimentary drives only for No 8 Ryan Burrows to execute a clever one-two with hooker Phil Nilsen down the shortside which left Moseley befuddled and excellent scrum-half Matt Dudman sniping over.
Admittedly, their limited opponents, with just two wins to their name so far, are not the greatest barometers of Carnegie’s promotion-credentials but, with full-back Jonah Holmes helping himself to four tries, the signs are promising.
They were 26-0 ahead by the interval and, though they switched off briefly to allow the visitors tries via Drew Cheshire and Sam Brown at the start of the second period, debutant Carnegie prop Gareth Milasinovich also spending 10 minutes in the sin-bin, they soon sorted things with yet more well-worked scores of their own.
Holmes completed his treble after Dudman forced a turnover on halfway and forwards Nilsen and Jack Barnard both showed sharp handling skills to unleash Andy Forsyth.
Fly-half Harry Leonard – who finished with five conversions – showed great vision to spot space and chip to the corner for winger Seb Stegmann to score another and then Holmes, the former Wasps flier, added his fourth following yet another piercing break from the Carnegie backline.
Buster Lawrence pulled one back for Moseley but the hosts, showing they still had it in their locker, rounded things off in the last minute as Barnard benefitted from a driving line-out.
Moseley had started well and actually had most of the opening play only to be undone when Holmes struck with two tries in as many minutes around the quarter mark.
The first, after Nilsen’s initial break, came after some slick handling to the right but his second was even better as Burrows and lock Chris Jones both offloaded from deep to set Forsyth in motion, the centre then drawing the full-back to send Holmes scampering over.
Dudman darted through a hole from the back of a scrum on halfway to furnish Forsyth with a try of his own and the damage was already done.
Redpath said: “We know our line-out drive is an asset but if we get against a team that may stop that or challenge it we need to play a different game.
“We know we can play high-tempo like we did here.
“I’ve been critical of some of the players’ detail in the past but it was great (yesterday) and I’m chuffed for them.
“The first 20 minutes was very attritional but once we broke them down we created some great tries.”
That was down to the forwards’ deft handling, too, not just the likes of Christian Georgiou and Forsyth who excelled in the backs.
It was certainly a fitting performance from Carnegie on the day they held a minute’s silence for Steve ‘Scrapper’ Carter MBE, the club’s much-loved former conditioner who tragically died recently in a motorbike accident.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Holmes; Stegmann, Forsyth, T Casson (Lucock 56), Georgiou; Leonard (Hodgson 67), Dudman; Imiolek (Beech 64), Nilsen (Graham 67), O’Donnell (Milasinovich 40), Myerscough, Ryder (Smith 50), Jones, Barnard, Burrows (Bainbridge 68).
Moseley: Foley; Penn (Evans 48), Pinches (Williams 54), Molenaar, Cheshire; Hughes, Brazier (Brown 48) ; Warren (Hobbs-Awoyemi 40), Lea (Tolmie 40), Gardner, Charlton (Voisey 48), H Casson, Flagg, Bercis (Hone 63), Lawrence.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth.