Carnegie, who have won just once in the Championship and sit at the foot of the table, defied that standing with a comfortable 38-19 victory.
Stirling said: “I think we put a little bit of a statement out there but we’ve got a long way to go. We’re still missing some key players but we’re stepping in the right direction at least.
“I think after the Coventry game, although I was relatively pleased with aspects of it, I said we’re drawing a line under that. Now we can start building for a new season that starts in round 10 of the Championship.”
Carnegie got off to the best possible start with a try in the opening five minutes through Kieran Frost.
Jacob Umaga scored on his debut for Yorkshire Carnegie after a slick passing move. Two tries in as many minutes just before half-time from Antonio Kiri Kiri and Dan Temm gave Carnegie a solid 24-7 lead at the break.
Carnegie once again started the half quickly and they blitzed the visitors with two more tries early on through debutant Tom Hill and Kiri Kiri once more.
Doncaster Knights also opened the Championship Cup with a victory, 20-19 at home against Coventry.
Will Owen marked his first game back after 10 months out injured with an early try as the Knights built a 10-0 lead.
And after Ciaran Booth scored his first try of the season with Charlie Foley kicking 10 points, the Knights then withstood a late rally from Coventry to hang on to the points.