The views of director of rugby Rich Girking after the league defeat to York
“WE welcomed York on Saturday hoping to avenge our Yorkshire Shield defeat.
“Unfortunately, another inconsistent display saw us come a deserved second best.
“Injuries meant re-adjustments again, with Danny Perkin starting at hooker and Auryn Murray lining up at number eight.
“Stevie Mellonby moved to full back after a solid display at fly half last week and was soon added to our long injury list, pulling a hamstring after 15 minutes.
“The plan, as always, was to play with tempo, putting pace on the ball, getting over the gain line quickly and rucking hard, and on numerous occasions this happened.
“Adam Dixon, Ezra Luxton and Gary Heeley in the forwards and Ryan Girking in the backs breached York’s defence, but the same old problems seemed to happen, losing possession in the important areas of the field.
“Whereas, York punished us when they had their chances.
“Continuity is a vital part of our game, and it is an area we desperately need to address as our lineout and scrum are winning us enough possession to win matches.
“Another area in need of attention is our tackling.
“Too often on Saturday we went too high and allowed York to breach our first line.
“This then allowed them the opportunity to put us under pressure and score the important points that win games.
“Two of York’s tries came directly from missed tackles, and two from kicks in behind after our first line was breached.
“Hopefully in the new year we can get our squad back to full strength and address some of the areas mentioned, but it must be done on the training ground.
“As I have said before, if we play well, we have the potential to beat any side in the league, comfortably, but at the moment we just seem a bit low on confidence.
“The annual Bill Hutchinson Memorial game versus the Exiles on Boxing Day is our next fixture.
“It is one of the most important and also enjoyable days in the club’s calendar, where we welcome back our ex-players for an exciting game with the added spice of playing against some of our ex-colleagues.
“It also sees old friends coming together to celebrate the occasion with several drinks in the bar.
“Kick off is at 2pm.
“One important message goes to Tom Keeping, one of our players who is battling cancer.
“Keep your chin up mate we are all thinking of you matey. Look forward to buying you a beer soon.
“Finally, I would like to wish all our players, supporters, sponsors and everyone connected with the club a merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.”