Carnegie looking to turn the tables on rivals Blues

Yorkshire Carnegie's Fred Burdon
Yorkshire Carnegie's Fred Burdon
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YORKSHIRE Carnegie head coach Bryan Redpath admits his squad have discussed the catastrophic collapse suffered the last time they faced Bedford Blues as part of their preparations for tomorrow’s televised Championship game at Headingley.

They lost 22-21 with the final kick of the match at Goldington Road in November despite, at one point, having led top-four rivals Bedford 21-0.

It was the sort of narrow defeat that has hampered Carnegie’s progress this term but Redpath believes they can learn from those errors.

“There has been a little bit of talk about that game,” he said.

“We had some part to play in that defeat and I personally think the officials didn’t have great games either.

“But we made some decisions within the match that I felt cost us that day. There was two exit kicks and two decisions when to go for goal and line-outs – they were the big ones that cost us.

“We need to focus on ourselves now, play at that tempo required and with the control needed to beat Bedford.

“They are equal on points with us in the league and rightly so; they have lost fewer games than us.

“We’re not underdogs but we don’t have the right to think we can win a game.”

Carnegie, who have defeated Moseley and Jersey over the last two weekends to reach the British & Irish Cup final, are fourth, only behind third-placed Bedford by virtue of an inferior points difference.

There are just four league games remaining so victory tomorrow would enhance Carnegie’s chances of achieving third or even catching Doncaster Knights in second ahead of the play-offs.

A win could, therefore, also possibly bring some psychological advantage before those eliminators but Redpath insisted: “We’re at a stage now where we need to make sure we focus on the job in hand. Bedford are a very dangerous side, a very free side who like to throw the ball around not necessarily by taking risks but they do like to have a crack at you.

“They are not a standard Championship team that scores three tries every week from driving line-outs; they have, I think, the highest scoring backline throughout the league and we definitely have to be good this Sunday.

“We have to forget the last two weeks. The focus is we’ve not been consistent enough this year to get carried away.

“We’ve got to make sure the mentality is right for this. And everyone’s still got tough games to come – Bedford have Doncaster and Bristol still to play, we’ve got London Welsh and Nottingham.”

Fred Burdon will tomorrow make his first league appearance for Carnegie since the second leg of the play-off defeat to Welsh two years ago.

He returned to action a fortnight ago in the B&I Cup quarter-final win over Moseley having torn both Achilles during the last 18 months.

Burdon is joined in the centres by Pete Lucock with Tom Casson and Andy Forsyth both ruled out for the hosts through injury.

Mike Myerscough comes in for Dean Schofield in the second-row for his first appearance since suffering appendicitis last month while Richard Beck returns in the back-row after missing last week’s game through illness.