In this week’s edition of Carnegie Call, Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Diccon Edwards looks ahead to this Sunday’s Championship fixture against Bristol Rugby at Headingley Carnegie, kick off 1pm.
How have the team responded this week following the defeat against Rotherham?
They have reacted really well and exactly the way we expected, given the attitude they have shown all the way through pre season. We were hugely disappointed with the result and performance against Rotherham, but there has been a real focus on improvement and we are looking forward to the challenge against Bristol. We know when we get our performance right we will win matches so we focused on getting that right and improving.
What have the team worked on in training this week?
We have worked hard on our attacking structure, which ultimately did not create enough opportunities to take the points against Rotherham, but I am sure we are much better prepared this week.
We have started quite slowly in our first two games and I think that has been a little bit about confidence and awareness of how physical and tough it’s going to be for the first twenty minutes, but equally it has been a bit of naivety at times from us, but as the season progresses and we get more experience together this will improve.
We are a confident bunch about our potential, which there is a lot of in the squad and obviously the challenge is to realise that quickly.
It is disappointing as structurally if you are in strong positions then people can make their one on one tackles and this is something we have worked on along with our agility and footwork to make sure we are in good positions to make tackles and one of our targets is to make dominant tackles so we have worked a lot on that this week and I am sure the players will take personal responsibility that their errors are eradicated.
How tough will Bristol be this sunday?
We have watched Bristol closely and went to see them play live against Doncaster and they have an impressive squad. They play with a real pace and it will be a real challenge against them and hopefully an entertaining game. I think both sides will look to play in a similar way.
They are well coached by Liam Middleton, who I know well, they have a lot of experience from the Championship, which has been a benefit to their young players having had that time in the competition together, which we are starting to get now, so it will be a real challenge for us on Sunday.