Sheffield Tigers RUFC may currently sit in a respectable fourth place in Nation Three North - but coach Thiu Barnard wants his side to improve their discipline, after a disappointing 23-17 defeat at table-topping Sandal last weekend.
The narrow loss was the Sheffield’s side’s first setback in five games and Barnard, 30, was left frustrated - especially at the number of penalties his side gave away.
“It was heart breaking to lose especially as we were 14-5 up at one point in the game,” explained the South African coach.
“And we definitely could have won if our discipline had been better.
“We made stupid mistakes and it was the penalties that really cost us - I think we gave away 16 in total.
“With that number you aren’t going to win the game against Sandal, or anyone really.
“Everybody knew after the game that it could have been our victory and it’s the mistakes that I want cut out in the New Year because we could slip down the table if things aren’t improved on.
“The team need to pick themselves up, enjoy the Christmas break but make sure that they are switched on in our first game back and raring to go come January.”
At the mid-point in the season the Sheffield side have won nine games and lost five; amassing 407 points whilst conceding 244 - the third best defensive record in the division.
The former Huddersfield second row, who has returned to South Africa for the Christmas period, is confident Tigers can put the defeat behind them and get a result at home against Billingham on January 3.