Nottingham 14 Yorkshire Carnegie 13: Carnegie blown off course as losing run drags on

Taylor Prell  of Yorkshire Carnegie.
Taylor Prell of Yorkshire Carnegie.
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Yorkshire Carnegie’s mid-season slump continued with their third Championship defeat on the bounce at a windswept Lady Bay at Nottingham.

Despite 13 points from Joel Hodgson, Nottingham’s two tries proved decisive.

Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath said: “I thought the first-half performance was outstanding. I thought both sides showed how to play with the wind and not how to play with it.

“With that win you tend to be relying on the kicking rather than taking the bull by the horns.

“You’ve got to have a 100 per cent set piece but unfortunately we didn’t. It was a very even game but unfortunately we didn’t have the game management and execution to win the game at seven-all.”

Having arrived in Nottingham off the back of successive league defeats against Bedford and London Welsh, Carnegie almost fell behind early on when Paul Grant thought he had crossed in the corner only for the touch judge to rule he had a foot out of play.

High winds were making it difficult for both sides, with Seb Stegmann the next to go close to the opening score, only for him to be dragged back at the vital moment.

Nottingham took the lead moments later when a smart offload released full-back Billy Robinson to score between the posts; Dan Mugford kicked the conversion.

As the half wore on the visitors began to get the hang of the tricky conditions and enjoyed more possession in the Nottingham half.

A fast break from David Doherty opened up the Green and Whites’ defence and although Andy Forsyth could not finish the move off, Hodgson was on hand to touch down his second try of the week.

The fly-half them completed a relatively straightforward conversion to level things up at 7-7.

Both sides engaged in a kicking battle in the hope of forcing a mistake, before departing level after a turgid 40 minutes of rugby.

The wind continued to be a factor as the second half kicked off, but despite this Carnegie won a scrum in a promising position.

Unfortunately they could not make it count and the attacking platform came to nothing.

Carnegie were then penalised at the breakdown for not releasing and Dan Mugford boldly pointed to the posts.

The wind was to get the better of him though with the relatively simple kick under normal conditions holding up in the wind.

The visitors then contrived to butcher what could be described as a half chance.

Taylor Prell’s fast break broke the Nottingham defensive line, but Chris Walker could not cleanly take the offload and the try went begging.

With ball in hand not working particularly well, Carnegie resorted to brute force and after numerous phases on the Nottingham line, Yorkshire won a penalty for holding on.

Hodgson pointed to the posts, and despite the breeze, he added the three points from 15 metres out.

Despite their slender advantage, Redpath’s men invited pressure on themselves when a scrum went down on halfway. Fortunately Nottingham could not take the penalty quickly and the kick to touch came to nothing.

A lineout five metres out then allowed Nottingham to get a shove on and with Yorkshire Carnegie going backwards, flanker Grant dotted the ball down.

It got worse for Carnegie when former Plymouth fly-half Mugford’s conversion made it over the posts.

The hosts were then penalised 45 metres out for hands in the ruck and Hodgson again pointed to the sticks.

With the wind behind his kick and a low trajectory off the tee, the ball rebounded off the left post and over for three vital points. There was now just a point in it.

But there was no let-up from the wind and with the game entering the final 10 minutes there was a sense that the next score would probably win the game.

Yorkshire continued to push away at the Nottingham line with Lee Imiolek and Prell combining well, but once again it came to nothing and the visitors conceded a penalty.

With seconds remaining Kevin Sinfield entered the fray in the hope he could conjure up a moment of inspiration.

But in truth he was not on long enough to make an impact.

Martin Haag’s men controlled the ball well and closed the game out.

Nottingham: Robinson (Rayner 40), Iongi, Woods, Stevena, Coghlan Murray, Mugford, Veenendaal, Davies, Vickers, Carey, Freeman, Montague, Cooper, Grant, Morris.

Yorkshire Carnegie: Prell, Stegmann, Forsyth, Lucock (Wright 65), Doherty, Hodgson (Sinfield 77), Pilgrim, Beech (Imiolek 59), J. Walker (Nilsen 70), O’Donnell, Myerscough, Jones (Smith 72), Beck, C. Walker, Burrows.

Referee: S Lee (RFU).