Yorkshire Carnegie’s stuttering start to the season continued with an embarrassing defeat at Nottingham.
Bereft of ideas, lacking confidence and now boasting a disciplinary record that beggars belief, Carnegie let a 17-6 lead slip and look a pale imitation of the side that pushed London Welsh all the way in last season’s play-offs.
Carnegie boss Gary Mercer said: “Ill-discipline is costing us games, but we didn’t lose because of the yellow cards, we let ourselves down with schoolboy errors.
“We are not connecting as a team and that is something I have to sort out.”
Carnegie took the lead with a try that will live long in the memory. Having collected the ball from the back of a wayward Nottingham lineout, Ben Harris showed a great turn of speed to run 60 metres, brush off the tackle of Will Maisey and dive over.
Harry Leonard then made no mistake with the conversion to give Carnegie a seven-point lead.
Dan Mugford and Leonard then traded penalties.
Ill-discipline has been a feature of Mercer’s brief reign and his side were reduced to 14 men again when Harris was sent to the bin for continued infringements at the scrum.
Nottingham made their advantage count when Mugford kicked his second penalty.
A strong push drive from a five-metre lineout saw Josh Bainbridge ground the ball for Carnegie and Leonard kicked the extras. Nottingham got themselves back into the game with an almost identical try, Yorkshire unable to stop the home side rumbling forward and Brent Wilson grounded the ball.
The visitors inched further in front through another Leonard penalty but from a lineout Carnegie were pushed back and Tom Calladine’s converted try brought the scores level.
From there the wheels fell off. Oli Goss was sin-binned and Mugford kicked two late penalties to seal the win.
Nottingham: Robinson, Iongi, Styles, Munro, Hough, Maisey (Mugford 13), Romans, Porter, Vickers, Carey, Freeman, Montague, Cooper (Calladine 59), Wilson, Grant.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Holmes, Goss, Vickerman (Georgiou 78), Lucock (Fitzpatrick 49), Doherty (Imiolek 37-42), Leonard, Pilgrim, Harris (Imiolek 49), Graham (Hayes 49), Tideswell (Hooper 77), Edwards, Jones (Casson 71), Myerscough (Walker 40), Bainbridge, Burrows.
Referee: D Gamage (RFU).