Yorkshire Carnegie v Newport-Gwent Select: Lure of Cup final return drives on Carnegie

Yorkshire Carnegie's Steve McColl
Yorkshire Carnegie's Steve McColl
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YORKSHIRE CARNEGIE full-back Steve McColl says the club are intent on reaching a second successive British & Irish Cup final.

They are ‘on the road’ at Pontefract RUFC’s Moor Lane tomorrow to host a Dragons Premiership Select side in their Pool Five encounter.

Bryan Redpath’s Carnegie have lost just once in the Championship this term and feel capable of pushing favourites London Irish all the way for the title.

But, having reached the B&I Cup final last term only to lose to London Welsh, they are keen to go one step further in that competition, too.

“We’re in very good form and the confidence we’ve built this season can now be taken into this B&I Cup game,” said Scottish star McColl.

“We had a bit of a setback against Ealing in the first match

“But we quickly got back on track when beating Bedford at Selby in the cup and we certainly want to back that up this weekend.

“Brush (Redpath) has told us, for all people might think we just want to concentrate on promotion, this is another opportunity to get to another final and win some silverware.

“Another win this weekend would go a long way to helping us move towards that.”

Redpath has made a raft of changes following last Friday’s scrappy 28-15 Championship win against Bedford, including handing a debut to Scotland Under-20 tighthead prop Gary Robertson, who has arrived on a two-week loan from the Scottish Rugby Union.

McColl said: “I don’t know too much about him but he’s a good, talented lad who has a good pedigree coming from Gala, a very proud Borders club.

“Ross Graham, who’s playing hooker, knows a lot about him as he’s from around that area.

“He’s settled in pretty well and he’s with us for at least two weeks.

“He’s had to quickly learn the calls and line-outs and things but, hopefully, he’ll get chance to express himself this weekend.”

However, McColl, who rejoined Carnegie from Gloucester in the summer, admitted the side can ill-afford another sloppy performance like last Friday’s effort against Bedford.

“There were difficult conditions but, again, we got into the bad habit of letting a team get back into a game when we’d had plenty of control,” explained the 28 year-old.

“A couple of mistakes and ill-discipline meant there was a point late on in the game when Bedford were pushing for the actual win themselves.

“Fortunately, we rode that storm out and ended up getting a bonus point ourselves right at the end but know we can’t keep doing this.

“We played the conditions well in the end but pretty basic skills let us down and Brush let us know that.”

Only McColl and Andy Forsyth remain in the backline after the win over Bedford.

Fly-half Warren Seals returns to the club after a loan spell at Darlington Mowden Park, while youngsters Taylor Prell and Max Green all get the chance to start.

In the forwards, Charlie Beech returns to the front row with Andy Saull and Ryan Burrows back in the starting line up.