YORKSHIRE Carnegie forwards coach Steve Boden says the club will have “massively overachieved” if they do manage a top-four finish.
Last season’s beaten Championship finalists are down in sixth this time around but are still in touching distance despite their playing budget being massively reduced in 2017-18.
They host fourth-placed Jersey tomorrow and are just four points behind the Channel Islanders with four games – one more than their rivals – still to play. In their last outing, Carnegie also pushed leaders Bristol close, losing out just 18-13 having scored the only try of the game. That has increased confidence in Jimmy Lowes’ side and they are now looking forward to finishing the campaign strongly.
Boden – who joined Carnegie from Jersey said: “Looking at the league standings it is quite an important game.
“But we’ve not really talked about it. Our goals have always been just to trying to finish as high up as possible.
“If we can get the result, though, we do have a chance of the top four as we play those in and around us like Jersey, Cornish Pirates and Doncaster.
“If we did that it would have massively over-achieved with what’s gone on this year with budgets and things. That’s not down to me, though. I’m just paid to coach.
“If we don’t get up there we won’t be disappointed and it will still have been a good season as we’ve played some good rugby.
“We’ve got a big game against Ealing a week on Tuesday, the one that’s been rearranged, but training’s been great and there’s a real buzz around the place.”
Winger George Watkins comes up against his former club but hooker Joe Buckle and prop Marc Thomas miss out after suffering injuries at Bristol that will rule them out for the remainder of the season. Also, ex-Bath prop Charlie Beech, 30, has announced he will join part-timers Coventry next season.
Boden said: “It’s sport. People come and go. Charlie has been a good servant over the years and has been for five seasons or so now. The way the working week works for Coventry, I think it suits what he’s thinking for the next chapter of his life.
“We wish him all the best and it is a good move for Charlie.
“He’s no spring chicken and, this way, he gets to work as well as still play rugby at a high level so you can see what he wants to do.”