Yorkshire Carnegie are still searching for that elusive first win of the season after going down 53-14 to London Scottish in the Championship Cup at West Park Leeds yesterday afternoon.
The game was effectively up inside the first half-hour as the Pool Three leaders, Scottish, scored five unanswered tries.
Centre Matt Gordon crashed over from a rolling maul and fellow centre Bobbie Beattie got his first try of the afternoon, also off the back of a dominant rolling maul.
Flanker, Matt Eliet, charged down a kick and pounced on the rebound before Rob Stevenson added his name to the scoresheet down the right edge.
Full-back Joe Luca Smith used his pace and footwork to work a fifth try for the visitors.
Twenty-nine points adrift at the break, Carnegie commendably showed a never-say-die spirit in the second period.
Andrew Lawson got Yorkshire’s first points straight after the restart when Lee Smith intercepted and released him. Beattie and then Mark Bright quashed any hopes of a Carnegie comeback, however, with two further tries for Scottish, but Carnegie responded again on 64 minutes through a penalty try, awarded after debutant Alex Metcalf’s break looked to have ben held up, only for referee Alex Thomas to award the try.
Playing against 14 men, Dan Lancaster almost put Findlay in for a score but Scottish scored tries numbers eight and nine through Stevenson, again, and Gordon.
Carnegie director of rugby Martyn Wood said: “I was a little bit disappointed with the discipline first half.
“We gave away 10 penalties which is obviously far too many.
“Second half I thought we showed some real good fight and real good spirit, and the lads who came to play for us today – there’s quite a few, I think six lads who are 18 or 19 playing – each and every one of them stood up and did a really, really good job for us.
“In one respect – obviously I’m disappointed with the scoreline – it didn’t reflect the second-half performance and those lads really stood up and were counted. Take Dan Lancaster who’s 18: stick him on for the last 10-15 minutes and he made real good shape for us playing at ‘10’ for the first time at this level, but it’s just all of them, really. They talk well between each other those young kids and they really did well.
“Okay, we did put on Flynny and Davidson, who are probably our starting front row, but the desire from the boys, I thought they were excellent today.
“Every single one of them put their hand up for selection so they did really, really well and I’m really pleased with those young lads that did play today.”
He added: “Tom Varndell was down to start but he had a personal reason and had to leave but, 100 per cent, some things are more important than rugby and the players knew what was happening and backed him.
“But that gives an opportunity to Jordan and I think Jordan did well on the wing – one door closes and another one opens.”
Asked if he’s seeing what he wants to see in terms of development behind the scenes, Wood said: “Yes, definitely. I’m disappointed with the results; there’s no getting away from it. Rugby is about winning rugby matches and we haven’t won rugby matches.
“But, the way the boys are applying themselves has been really, really good. The way the boys have been driving it themselves has been really, really good. And we are only going to get better and better.”