Leeds Carnegie v London Scottish: Leeds bid to keep up winning run after time off

Leeds Carnegie's head coach James Lowes.  Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Leeds Carnegie's head coach James Lowes. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe.

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Momentum is not a theory that James Lowes buys into.

The Leeds Carnegie head coach is very much a man who takes each game in isolation, regardless of the fact that his team go into their next challenge against London Scottish tomorrow at the top of their game.

Leeds have lost just once in 12 matches, a sequence that dates back to Christmas Eve.

They have also averaged more than 50 points per game for the last three fixtures; a run that would suggest to the rest of the Greene King IPA Championship that they are full of momentum.

Such is their form, outsiders might have been happy that Leeds had no fixture last weekend as inactivity looked to be the only way to stop them. Not that such theories trouble Lowes.

“Momentum is a word that comes up every week, but for me it’s about taking each game as it comes, as much as that’s a cliché,” said Carnegie’s head coach.

“And we’re doing that at the moment – concentrating on the team we’re playing next, irrelevant of what’s happened last week or the week before.

“It’s the next game and it just happens that we’ve had two weeks between the two.

“The lads had earned a bit of well-deserved time off, it was the right thing to do at this time of the season.

“They’ve come back in with a right attitude and trained really well so we’re ready to play again.

“The break hasn’t affected us, it’s just given them the chance to recharge and get out of this environment for a couple of days.”

As well as the chance to all-but seal a place in the top four and the promotion play-offs against fifth-placed London Scottish, the Headingley fixture also offers Leeds the chance to atone for one of their worst performances of the season.

Before embarking on their current run of form, Leeds lost in Richmond when they visited Scottish in mid-December, turning in the kind of first-half performance that left first-year head coach Lowes fuming.

“There was no constructive team-talk from me, I just lost my rag completely with them,” he admitted this week.

“The first half was the worst we’ve played, or the worst half we’ve played.

“We gave them 20-odd points in that first half and only a penalty in the second, so we tightened up a little bit on that.

“But it wasn’t a very good performance. It’s been mentioned this week because it was us who gave that game away.

“We offered the ball to Scottish far too easily and fair play to them they took their chances.

“We’ve pushed that to one side now and trying to concentrate on how we’re playing.”

New signing Jonny Bentley will make his debut off the bench.

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