Carnegie coach James Lowes not satisfied despite five-game winning streak

HIS TEAM are on a five-game winning run, but Yorkshire Carnegie coach James Lowes struggled to find reasons for Christmas cheer.

Yorkshire Carnegie try scorer, Richard Mayhew.

Carnegie were due to train all day today in a bid to put things right following their most recent fixture against Nottingham and Lowes will be looking for a huge improvement in Friday’s derby at Doncaster Knights.

Considering Carnegie snatched a precious 12-10 victory, thanks to a dramatic two-try rally, Lowes’s concerned reaction afterwards might appear extreme, but the result was much better than Yorkshire’s performance.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

They trailed 7-0 at half-time and were 10-0 behind until 12 minutes from time when Nottingham’s Matthew Everard was sent-off following a second yellow card.

Until then, the hosts had rarely looked like scoring, but they took advantage of the extra man to finally apply some concerted pressure, resulting in two close-range touchdowns which lifted them above Nottingham in the table.

Even so, Lowes believes his men will need to be much better in order to end the year on a high note at Castle Park in three days’ time.

“Across the board, I thought it was a pretty average game,” said Lowes.

“We will have to be a lot better than that (on Friday).

“Doncaster are a similar side to Nottingham, they are a hard-working side and they throw the ball around.

“We can’t give ourselves that amount of work to do again.

“It will be a tough game, but we are looking forward to it and the good thing about rugby players is if you have a poor performance individually you want to put that right as fast as you can. I know the players will be eager to put in a decent performance against Doncaster.”

Nottingham were a converted try ahead before Yorkshire had held the ball, but despite dominating territory and possession in the first half they failed to ram home their advantage and the hosts’ defence was rarely put under serious pressure.

Scrum-half Murray McConnell crossed after just four minutes, Tiff Eden converting before missing with a penalty attempt.

He did add three points early in the second half, but Carnegie had more of the play after the break.

They had failed to make the most of Everard’s sin-binning after 34 minutes, but captain Richard Mayhew scored immediately following the same players’ dismissal on 68 minutes and Alex Davies added the extras.

Then, with two minutes left, Yorkshire were awarded a penalty close to Nottingham’s line, the ball was worked from the lineout to Joe Buckle and he capped a had-working display by touching down.

Davies’s kick bounced away via a post and he was also off-target with a penalty in the final seconds, but the grandstand finish ensured Carnegie spent Christmas Day in fourth place.

Lowes denied the red card changed the game, but admitted his team were “not at the races” for most of the match. He said: “I said to the lads, we did as much as we possibly could to give Nottingham that game – right from the very first minute.

“They scored a very soft try. Pete Lucock doesn’t normally defend like that, he was off a bit I thought and the amount of ball and field position we gave to Nottingham really tested us defensively.

“But after the try I thought we handled most of the stuff they threw at us. We worked really hard to get something out of the game, but we were too slack with our attack.”

Yorkshire Carnegie: Elder, Watkins, Forsyth (Davies 60), Casson, Atkins, Lucock, Homer (Burdon 60), Thomas, Buckle, Beech (Thraves 66), Whetton, Myerscough, Beck, Mayhew, Stedman (West 47).

Nottingham: Scanlon, Thacker, Millett, Lyons, (Penman 61), Robinson (Cecil 71), Eden, McConnell, (Veenendaal 64), West (Cobden 61), Stevens (Brownlee 77), Sio (Hooper half-time), Moon, Cardall, Morris, Everard, Buckley (Poullett 48).

Referee: Steve Lee.