Performance key to Paris mission for Leeds Carnegie

LEEDS Carnegie will be looking to continue their recent good form when they take on a strong Stade Francais outfit in Paris on Sunday in the European Challenge Cup.

The Yorkshire club take on the French outfit having won three out of their last four games in all competitions and will be eager to gain revenge for a home defeat when the sides last met back in October.

Carnegie, who nearly pulled off a great victory that night before losing 22-13, will be expecting a much tougher game against a team now on home soil and searching for a fifth successive victory in a row that would clinch their passage into the quarter-final at the expense of the Yorkshire club.

Leeds's director of rugby Andy Key says the team will be looking to use this game as a stepping stone for vital upcoming games in the Premiership, with the team four points adrift at the foot of the table.

He said: "It's very much about preparing for the Premiership when it comes back round again.

"Not being derogative to the competition, that's where we are. We used the two Crociati games to get back on track and we did, scoring 15 tries and conceding none, and doing a lot of the things well that we hadn't been doing prior to that.

"It's a tough challenge for us at Stade, but exactly what we need at the moment. It's the sort of challenge the team needs in order to make sure it understands and knows exactly what it needs to do in the Premiership."

Key accepts that Leeds are up against it to qualify from the group - they need to score four tries and end with a winning margin of more than seven points to deny Stade a losing bonus and move level on points with them at the top with one round to go - but feels the performance on the night will be the most important thing.

He said: "Everything mathematically is stacked against us but where we want to be is to have huge pride in our performance to come away from that game feeling very good about ourselves, knowing our good form is continuing to take us in the right direction.

"If that gets us an outstanding win, then we'll take that on merit but we'll treat it just as a one-off game."