Lennard brands Carnegie as ‘arrogant’ over name change

Doncaster Knights' Jamie Lennard (Picture: Malcolm Billingham).
Doncaster Knights' Jamie Lennard (Picture: Malcolm Billingham).
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DONCASTER Knights fly-half Jamie Lennard admits he feels defeated Yorkshire Carnegie were “a little arrogant” changing their name from Leeds.

The traditional rivals met on Sunday for the first time since Carnegie chairman Sir Ian McGeechan decided to alter the club’s title in order to broaden their appeal across the county.

Doncaster prospered 32-23 in the Championship encounter at Headingley to take the first derby spoils of the campaign.

There were a few sarcastic comments from their fans along the way – one urged “Come on Yorkshire Knights” – illustrating how the move has irked some.

Lennard said: “It is probably a little bit arrogant. All three clubs in Yorkshire (Rotherham Titans the third Championship side) think of themselves as Yorkshire teams.

“Personally, I think Leeds is probably a better name anyway and Yorkshire is also a representative sort of thing, too.

“I played for Yorkshire in the County Championship this summer and really enjoyed it.

“But that’s my personal view not Doncaster’s. I understand how they are trying to expand the business but we – at Donny – think of ourselves as a big Yorkshire team as well.”

They certainly showed their prowess in picking up their third win from four games since returning to the Championship as National One champions.

Carnegie were reduced to 14 men just before the break following hooker Phil Nilsen’s dangerous tackle on Doncaster centre Bevan Armitage, but they refused to go away.

“Fair play to Leeds, they made it close,” admitted ex-London Irish No 10 Lennard, now in his second spell at Castle Park.

“It was a going to be a tight match because of that local derby rivalry. It was never going to be a walkaway.

“We made it hard for ourselves at times, but it is a big result for us.

“Against 14 or 15 we still had to win so we’re very happy with that outcome. As for the red card, it’s always difficult (deciding on it).

“But the rule’s been around long enough now that you know not to dump someone above the horizontal. I think he was just a bit over-zealous and it cost him.

“It worked in our favour. We still had a job to do and we did it. We fronted up.”

Doncaster will aim for a fourth win when they host Cornish 
Pirates on Saturday.