It's that time of year!
April 25 2017
The rugby season is over for most clubs in the Championship. For four clubs, including our own Yorkshire Carnegie, the past 8 months was just the precursor to the main event. We are now into the play-offs. Doncaster Knights and Carnegie are old hands at this game but it is a first time for both London Irish and Ealing Trailfinders. The semi final first legs are this coming weekend....
On Sunday at 3 pm Doncaster meet Irish at Castle Park. By then Carnegie will have been to Vallis Way for the Friday night under lights clash. This is the second of three consecutive fixtures between ourselves and Ealing. The fact that Ealing have made the play-offs is testament to their benefactor's largesse after a relatively short time in the Championship. The Trailfinders have assembled a large squad which has proved to be more than a match for most of the clubs in the Championship. Are they good enough to win the play-offs? The question is not really relevant. Can they win the play-offs? Yes, they have the same chance as the other 3 teams left in. As to whether the Trailfinders will win the play-offs then , in my humble opinion, the answer is no.
A two-legged semi-final is a different beast to a league game. At the end of the match on Friday it will only be half time in the tie. Unless the home side have amassed a huge lead they will not be confident of getting a result at Headingley the following week. Our lads are old hands at the play-offs. The management know what is required as much as the fans do. A disciplined performance - no unforced errors or silly penalties - combined with our lads playing the percentages should see us return to LS6 within striking distance of the final.
The key player, for me on Friday, will be Joe Ford. When Joe is knocking over the penalties it keeps the opposition honest and means that we will stay in contention. Providing the pack secure enough ball then Joe's game management will go a long way towards determining who wins the game. I believe that if we get it right on the night we can come back to Headingley-Carnegie with a first-leg lead. We can then go on to win the second leg at home giving a further confidence boost before the final.
My heart says that we are a better side than Ealing and that we can win both legs. My head says that we are quite likely to get the jitters and lose the first leg. Over the two legs I believe that we will prevail and our season will continue.
C'mon Yorkshire!pqs: qs:
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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017:05:03:15:31:13 by Wildwillie .
COME ON LEEDS.
We've been through it all together.