Miserable Championship defeats for Yorkshire Carnegie and Doncaster Knights

THINGS refuse to get any better for Yorkshire Carnegie as they suffered their biggest defeat of the season against London Scottish yesterday.

Yorkshire Carnegie's Tom Varndell.

Phil Davies’s winless side crashed 73-26 in the Greene King IPA Championship and it now seems only a matter of time before relegation is confirmed.

The fact that Scottish were the side directly above them in the table – this was only their fourth victory of the season – shows just how big the task of avoiding demotion truly is.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Hartpury RFC have now slipped to 11th but they are still 22 points clear of Carnegie in bottom with eight games remaining.

The Leeds-based side have lost every game this term, have a points difference of -528 and there must be genuine fears they may go all campaign without a solitary success.

One positive was they managed to secure only their second try bonus point of the season but that did not come until a last-minute effort from Toby Adamakin.

They head to second-placed Ealing Trailfinders – who have former Carnegie coach Jimmy Lowes on their staff – on Saturday week so there is little respite in the offing.

Yesterday, Scottish took the lead after just one minute.

Carnegie hit back just two minutes later when they capitalised on a Scottish error. After winning a penalty on the Scottish 22 they opted to kick to the corner for a line out and, from the rolling maul, Alex Humfrey was able to get the ball down and Joe Carlisle added the conversion to bring the scores level.

Scottish nudged ahead again after six minutes, then extended the lead on 11 minutes.

After a scrappy period, that saw both teams give away penalties, Carnegie reduced the gap when Tom Varndell stretched high to intercept the ball and race clear for a try under the posts, his fourth for the club. Carlisle landed his kick to make it 21-14.

In the 23rd minute Dan Barnes ran through from 22 metres out for the bonus-point try and from here the visitors took control, running in another two tries before the break and building a healthy lead at 42-14.

Scottish started the second half in similar style to the first with a try inside the opening two minutes and another moments later.

The London side then turned up the pressure, but Carnegie were able to deal with the series of pick and drives close to their own line and eventually the home side earned a penalty. But Carnegie were unable to make the most of the reprieve and soon the score was 54-14.

There was no let up for Davies’s side and a couple more tries were added before Carnegie were next on the scoresheet, Joe Green scoring next to the posts, but Kieran Davies unable to convert. Scottish added two more tries but Carnegie showed true grit and Adamakin touched down in his fourth appearance for the club with Davies kicking the conversion to wrap things up.

On Saturday, Doncaster Knights also suffered a miserable afternoon, losing 29-5 at Bedford Blues.

They were 17-0 down by half-time and matters never truly improved.

Charlie Foley scored a consolation try for the visitors but there was no addition to that.

Flanker Joe Atkinson, hooker Robbie Smith, winger Ryan Hutler and scrum-half Grayson Hart all scored tries for Bedford with fly-half Sam Leeming kicking 11 points.

“It summed up how we’ve been for most of the season; we were poor and didn’t get going until the second half,” said Knights forwards coach Steve Boden, whose side are not now in action until the visit of Coventry on Saturday week. “We were slow and lacked energy and were poor with the ball in hand.

“We need to look at why there was a lack of energy. As a collective we are disappointed with the performance and the result.

“We showed some spirit late on, but it is too late then.”