Late rally offers Carnegie coach Bryan Redpath hope for second leg against Doncaster Knights
They lost the semi-final first leg 30-17 at home to their Broad Acres rivals meaning they have a 13-point deficit to overhaul at Castle Park next Sunday if they are to keep their promotion bid alive.
However, things could have been far worse for error-ridden Carnegie as they were 27-3 behind as late as the 69th minute.
“We have to do better in most parts – set-piece, handling, discipline – and we have to take the criticism on the chin,” admitted the former Scotland scrum-half.
“But it’s not lost. We’re 13-0 down at the start. It’s a great challenge for us, it will be tough and we have to come out with a must-win game next week.
“But we saw at the end there what we can do against them.”
Carnegie, who finished third behind second-place Doncaster in the regular season, were destroyed in the scrum for large parts and suffered a costly yellow card to prop Charlie Beech just before the break.
“We didn’t perform well around our set-piece today and they capitalised on that winning the scrums,” added Redpath, who conceded his side seemed “nervy”. “We never kept the ball in the right areas but we got back to what was a respectable score and it gives us a chance.
“We know exactly what we need to do. We have to be a lot better as a team so there’s no place to hide. Credit to Doncaster. They played well and took opportunities when they arose.”