CONFIDENT YORKSHIRE Carnegie aren’t scared of anyone in the Championship play-offs, centre Peter Lucock says.
Carnegie finished second on the table and are preparing to take on Ealing Trailfinders in a two-legged semi-final.
The first tie will be staged in London a week tomorrow, with the return at Headingley seven days later. The winners on aggregate will go on to face either league leaders London Irish or fourth-placed Doncaster in the promotion final, again over two games.
“We fancy our chances against anyone, especially over two legs,” said Lucock, who has scored three tries in 21 appearances this season.
“We’ve got danger all over the squad, it’s just about stringing that 80-minute performance together. We probably haven’t done that too often this season, but we’ve got four games coming up and anything can happen.”
Carnegie beat Ealing 33-20 in their final league game last Saturday. With nothing at stake, coach Bryan Redpath made 12 changes to the team which had started the previous match against Bedford. Lucock – who was one of the three players to back-up – was delighted to finish the league season on a high, but reckons Ealing will put up a much tougher challenge over the next two ties.
“It will be two different squads,” he warned. “We came out on top [last weekend] and whether we’ll take a mental edge into it, we’ll see.”
Ealing play on an artificial pitch, but Lucock is confident that won’t have a bearing on the result in eight days’ time.
“We train on a plastic pitch quite a lot down at Kirkstall,” he pointed out.
“At the end of the day it’s just who uses the conditions well and who exits well.”
Carnegie were already assured of second place on the table before last weekend’s game and Lucock reckons that allowed them to experiment.
He said: “The pressure was off, which was good for us. We haven’t had that this season. Going into a dead rubber was good because we could try some stuff we wouldn’t be able to try in a different game.
“We worked on a lot of stuff which paid off and we might take into the play-offs.”
With 15 wins and five defeats, Carnegie finished the league season 17 points behind Irish and 14 clear of Ealing. Irish are promotion favourites, but Lucock insisted: “We have targeted the top-two all year.
“We have achieved that, so it has been a really good year.
“We went through a sticky patch, but all that matters now is the next four games.
“On Saturday we showed what we can do and showed we can stop them doing what they are good at, so we’re looking forward to the next couple of weeks.
“We know they are going to throw everything at us. They will fancy their chances and it will be a good contest. We have got some players to come in and so have they, but it will be hard, especially down there.”