Harrogate Pythons RUFC must up their game if they are to beat the drop, warns head coach Dan Bird
The men from Station View remain mired in the drop zone after suffering their 13th defeat in 16 matches this term when they went down 42-9 at home to Pocklington on Saturday.
The Pythons’ head coach had targeted the game as being one which his struggling side could take valuable points from, but was ultimately left disappointed by their efforts.
“This was not a performance worthy of Yorkshire One,” Bird said.
"Unforced errors opened the door for a well-disciplined Pocklington side early on and we struggled to get into the fixture.
"We had talked all week about targeting this fixture as part of our fight for survival. We really have to find another gear in the next two home matches.
"The players have been set the task to reflect on their individual contribution and we now have two weeks to prepare for what is a must-win game [against Bradford & Bingley].”
A try down after just two minutes of play, the Pythons got up and running when Jed Carr kicked a penalty to make the score 7-3.
Pocklington registered two penalties of their own to move further ahead, but Carr booted over another three-pointer to keep the hosts in touch at 13-6.
The visitors had the final say of the opening half, crossing for a second time to move into an 18-6 interval lead.
But, the Pythons began the second period with real intent and a third Carr penalty reduced the arrears once again.
That was however as good as it got for Bird and his men as a penalty and a converted try saw Pocklington secure a 28-9 lead.
A penalty try followed, putting the result beyond any doubt, and a second was awarded at the death, rounding things off at 42-9.
Saturday’s loss leaves the Pythons seven points from safety despite them having played a game more than 10th-placed Old Rishworthian.
They return to action at home to rock-bottom Bradford & Bingley on February 17 (2.15pm).