Leeds Carnegie have not won a match this season away from Headingley Carnegie so news this week that they are taking two more ‘home’ games on the road in the run-up to Christmas can only point to further heartache.
Because of the ongoing work to relay the pitch at Headingley, Leeds – who are already playing three games at other clubs around Yorkshire this season – are being forced to play two more fixtures away from their traditional base.
Leeds will now play Bedford Blues in the Championship at Otley’s Cross Green ground on Sunday, December 2, kick off 2pm. The following week, West Park Leeds RUFC will host the British & Irish Cup clash with Pontypridd, kick off 3pm.
Before then, a trip to Cornish Pirates and their intimidating Mennaye Field tomorrow will provide another stern test of their limited credentials on the road. Yet their is optimism in the air at Leeds’s Kirkstall headquarters that things are looking up on their travels.
“It is certainly disappointing that we have not won away from Headingley Carnegie yet this season but I would be more worried if we were not producing performance on the road,” said head coach Diccon Edwards.
“With the exception of the Newcastle away game, because obviously they are unlike any other opponent in the division, we have been in winning positions in both the Nottingham and Plymouth games.
“The disappointing thing was that we did not turn those winning positions into victories, if we had we would have five wins from six games and be in a very strong position.
“This weekend gives us a great opportunity down at the Pirates. They are one of the best teams in our division on their own patch so few will give us a chance. However the players believe in what they can do and we go there in good spirits.
“Pirates seem to be in a transition stage after the team that was built up after three years and got them to the Championship final last season, was broken up.
Joe Ford returns at fly-half for Leeds, but Ryan Burrows is out with a knee injury. In all, Edwards has made 10 changes to the side that lost against Jersey.