Rugby: Rout leaves Hartmann ashamed after rout

Edinburgh CAPITALS’ slump reached a new low at Murrayfield last night after they were thrashed 9-0 by Nottingham Panthers, a team performance which ice hockey player/coach Richard Hartmann admitted left him feeling “sad and ashamed.”

It was the Edinburgh side’s 11th straight defeat, and highlighted the club’s defensive frailties which saw them ship a total of 15 goals over the weekend after Saturday’s 6-3 home defeat to the Dundee Stars.

The veteran play-maker, who spent 13 years playing in Slovakia’s top flight, revealed he was at a loss as to how he can build up his players’ confidence before they return to action next weekend against Braehead Clan.

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A dejected Hartmann said: “I don’t know how to analyse this. I’m sad, frustrated and ashamed. In our last two games we’ve lost 15 goals, which is way too much for us, the effort is not good enough.

“We actually had a good second period, we made one mistake and they scored which is really hard to handle, especially against a strong team like Nottingham. We’re not playing with much confidence, we’re losing our concentration and not believing in our system or that we can score. That is our biggest problem.

“Right now we’re really having a bad time of it, what makes a good quality player is how long it takes him to come out of these bad times.

“I’ve had a lot of experience as a player but not as a coach, I will be speaking to other coaches just to find the right direction to take the guys so we can get back on a roll.”

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Nottingham came out the blocks flying and lead 2-0 after 20 minutes with goals from GB international duo David Clarke and Mark Levers.

The home side battled hard in the second period, taking the game to the Panthers and outshooting their opponents 13-7, but could not find a way past net-minder Craig Kowalski.

Despite the home pressure, Panthers increased their lead at 31 minutes 37 seconds through Robert Lachowicz.

Canadian Matt Francis laid the foundations to a third period Capitals’ capitulation when he was on hand to score Panthers fourth goal at 42.30. To the dismay of the home fans, five further goals followed scored by Brock Wilson, Brandon Benedict, Matthew Myers, Francis and David Beauregard.

Despite their woeful run, Edinburgh still cling to the final end-of-season play-off spot, in eighth place, three points ahead of the hard-chasing Dundee Stars.