Doncaster Knights v Yorkshire Carnegie: Carnegie confidence boosted for derby

YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE will aim for a sixth successive win when they visit Doncaster Knights in the Championship tonight.

Chris Elder attacks down the wing for Yorkshire Carnegie against Bristol. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)
Chris Elder attacks down the wing for Yorkshire Carnegie against Bristol. (Picture: Bruce Rollinson)

Carnegie moved up to fourth in the table after a 12-10 comeback victory over Nottingham six days ago.

Nottingham led 10-0 until late in the second half and full-back Chris Elder admits Yorkshire need to play better at Castle Park.

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He said: “We ground out a win, we wanted a win and we got the win, which is important.

“I think we’ve got to be impressed with the team spirit we showed to keep going until the end and actually get a win out of it.

“Not scoring until late on isn’t ideal, we didn’t want that and it wasn’t the plan, but we had to adapt and really grind it out because we weren’t performing as we wanted to.

“But it’s an 80-minute game and it took us until the last few minutes to get the second score to take us into the lead.

“You always want to be able to do that, to still be able to get the win in those times when you don’t perform well.

Alex Davies try for Carnegie

“That’s what we had (last week), but looking forward I think we really need to get back to winning by playing well and performing as we want to do.”

A derby victory tonight – completing a league double over Doncaster – would send Carnegie into 2018 in good shape.

Reflecting on the first half of the Championship campaign, Elder said: “We had a bit of a hiccup, especially when we were against the top-two teams.

“We really didn’t do ourselves justice, but I think we have started to turn that around and go on a good run.

Alex Davies try for Carnegie

“Confidence is building and when you’ve got good confidence you are there until the end and you know you can do it.

“That’s what we want and that’s what we’re building on and, hopefully, we’ll take it into the game against Doncaster.”

There are no play-offs in the Championship this year and Bristol appear to be on an unstoppable charge towards promotion.

They have won their opening 12 fixtures and hold an eight-point lead over second-placed Ealing Trailfinders.

Bedford are 21 points behind Bristol and three clear of Carnegie and Elder reckons Yorkshire have to take things “week by week.”

He said: “Every week we just need to try and get the win and be as clean as possible.

“Bristol are a long way ahead and it depends on whether they have a period of messing up. Most teams tend to have a stage when they mess up a couple of games in a row and that’s when you’ve got to be close enough to pounce if they do.

“We’ve got to try and put ourselves in a position where we are on their heels.”

Alex Davies, a replacement against Nottingham, will start at fly-half tonight in place of hamstring victim Pete Lucock.

Stevie McColl replaces wing Darren Atkins, Ben West starts in place of Ollie Stedman – who is among the replacements – and Richard Beck moves to No 8. Max Green returns on the bench.