YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE lock Mike Myerscough expects in-form Ealing Trailfinders to be seeking revenge today.
The sides meet in an eagerly-anticipated Championship contest with memories of being denied a play-off final place by the Headingley side still fresh for Ealing.
They lost to us in the semi-final last season so there’s an even bigger edge to the game. But we’ll go down there full of confidenceCarnegie’s Mike Myerscough
The Surrey-based side have reacted well to that disappointment, however, and currently only Bristol are above them in the table.
But Carnegie – down in sixth – could close to within two points of the second-placed Trailfinders if they can inflict their first home defeat of the season.
Ex-Bath forward Myerscough said: “They’ve opened the purse this year, only lost to Bristol so far this season and their home form has been exceptional.
“They have stuck some points on some teams and I think they’ll be wanting us.
“Obviously they lost to us in the semi-final last season so there’s an even bigger edge to the game.
“But we’ll go down there full of confidence and I think we quite like how they play knowing how we can combat it.
“We like the way they attack; knowing the way we’ve defended this season we can put some things in place to slow them and the ball down and hopefully take some points off them as well.”
Carnegie picked up their fourth league win of the season when holding on for a dramatic 38-36 victory over Bedford Blues last time out and coach James Lowes makes just two changes to that side.
Captain Richard Mayhew starts at openside after making his return from injury as a replacement in that game, Josh Bainbridge now reverting to the bench, while Joe Buckle returns at hooker after concussion to replace Mike Mayhew, who has joined Premiership side Harlequins on loan.
On the bench there is one further change with England Under-18s scrum-half Oliver Fox coming in for Max Green, who has also moved to the top-flight with Bath.
Pete Lucock, meanwhile, becomes only the sixth player to start 100 league games for the club. The centre – currently acting as a makeshift fly-half – follows legendary prop Mike Shelley, hookers Mark Luffman and Rob Rawlinson, ex-England lock Tom Palmer and former team-mate Ryan Burrows, the No8 who joined Newcastle Falcons in the summer.
Myerscough hopes Carnegie will be able to gain a win today without all the drama that accompanied that remarkable win over Bedford when their opponents saw a touchline conversion attempt strike a post with the last kick of the game.
“It was nerve-wracking,” he said, Carnegie having been 38-24 ahead late on.
“We put ourselves in a great position to win being about 14 points up but just didn’t manage to close it off with a couple of yellow cards and some game-management issues.
“When your 14 points up there’s no need to be playing in your half; stick the ball into their 22 and make them play out.
“We’ve reviewed that in key positions at nine and ten and know the way that as a team we want to play. If we get a lead like that and are in that scenario again I think we’ll be more streetwise. But we showed a bit of grit on the line there for the last five minutes as well and there was real character.”