Plymouth Albion 17 Yorkshire Carnegie 28
Saturday 21st March 2015
Match report by Paddy Marsh
Images courtesy of Pinnacle Photo Agency
This season Plymouth Albion have dug themselves a big hole that looks increasingly difficult to get out of.
Albion’s defeat at the hands of an impressive Yorkshire Carnegie outfit leaves them five points detached at the bottom of the Championship table with just four games to play.
In all reality the gap between Albion and Moseley is six points because the Midlanders have won one more game and they also have a better points difference.
Having been outplayed by Carnegie it looked like Albion were going to get a losing bonus point when skipper Declan Cusack converted an injury time try scored by replacement Mark Kohler.
From the restart Albion, instead of kicking the ball downfield, tried to play catch up rugby and got punished when the visitors turned them over and scored their bonus point try.
We wont know until the end of the season but that decision could mean the difference between survival and relegation.
Albion head coach James Shanahan reflecting on the game said, “Yorkshire played really well in the first half and kept the ball brilliantly.
We defended really well but the yellow card at the end of the first half cost us a couple of scores.
“With regards to our position nothing much has changed. If we can get a win at Pirates we are back in the mix and we still have to go to Moseley so there is still a lot to play for.”
Albion made three changes to the side that put up a good showing against league leaders Worcester Warriors two weeks ago.
Canadian international Brett Beukeboom, who recently played his 50th game for Albion, returned to the second row.
Youngster Tom Jubb who played well after coming on as a replacement against Worcester replaced the unavailable Sam Simmonds, while assistant coach Rhys Oakley returned to face his former club at No 8.
Carnegie included former Albion prop James Tideswell in their starting line up.
Despite having the strong breeze behind them in the first half Albion were pinned back in their own half for long periods with Carnegie dominating possession.
Albion gave away five penalties in the first 12 minutes and Carnegie fly half Harry Leonard, after missing an earlier penalty, put the visitors 6-0 ahead with two kicks from the 22.
The Albion pack were under huge pressure and were struggling to produce worthwhile ball but on a rare visit to the Carnegie half they opened their account when Cusack kicked a penalty.
Cusack was then wide with a 45 metre penalty before Albion were hit when Carnegie scored two tries in the last two minutes of the first half.
Both tries were catch and drive efforts scored by flanker Chris Walker, the second coming after Albion went down to 14 when Oakley was yellow carded.
Leonard converted the first try, which sent Carnegie into the interval leading 18-3.
Albion played better after the break and thought they had reduced the deficit when replacement Tom Cowan-Dickie went over under the posts but referee Gamage gave a 5 metre scrum.
On the hour mark poor Albion defending allowed Leonard to cross for a try he was unable to convert.
This score sparked Albion into life and after a good forward drive they were awarded a penalty try which Cusack converted.
Carnegie were then reduced to 14 when hooker Phil Nilsen was sin binned and while he was off the field Albion added a second try.
Kohler did well to dot the ball down in the corner and when Cusack slotted the conversion from the touchline it looked like Albion were going to get something from the game.
Carnegie, who were playing their first game under new head coach Bryan Redpath, snatched the losing bonus point away from Albion when replacement Jon Clarke was put into the corner on the overlap.
Albion now need to regroup and hope to get something at the Mennaye Field when they play the Pirates a week today.
Plymouth Albion: L Rayner (M Kohler 68), J Arnott, B Woods, T Howley-Berridge (M Koteczky 40), J Henry, D Cusack capt, J Davies (C Setter 64), T Fidler (L Chapman 64), T Stagg (T Cowan-Dickie 52), A Tiedemann (D Pullinger 64), B Beukeboom, N Patrick (A Bone 80), T Jubb, E Grace, R Oakley
Tries: Penalty try, Kohler
Cons: Cusack 2
Yellow card: Oakley
Yorkshire Carnegie: C Georgiou, O Goss, P Lucock (J Clarke 65), J Fitzpatrick, D Doherty (J Graham 69), H Leonard, C Pilgrim (S Egerton 65), C Beech (L Imiolek 64), P Nilsen, J Tideswell (B Hooper 75), M Smith, C Jones (B Harris 39), J Williams, C Walker (J Bainbridge 80), R Burrows capt
Tries: Walker 2, Leonard, Clarke
Pens: Leonard 2