London Welsh’s defeat to Yorkshire Carnegie has really whet the appetite for Sunday’s British and Irish Cup final rematch at Headingley Carnegie (KO 3pm).
The sides served up a nine-try thriller in last Saturday's Championship meeting at Old Deer Park, with Joel Hodgson's try from the game's final play securing a 31-28 victory for the visitors.
"Sunday is a huge game for us – the boys really want to lift the trophy,” said London Welsh prop Nathan Trevett. "We had a meeting a few months ago and said it would be great if we could go on and win the B&I Cup.
"We've since gone to Donnybrook in the quarter-finals and overcome a very good and unbeaten Leinster 'A' team, and then in the semi-finals we put nearly 40 points on Cornish Pirates, who'd already beaten us three times this season.”
The Exiles looked set to make it seven wins in a row last weekend when Ryan Hodson was driven over from a lineout with seven minutes remaining, only for Yorkshire Carnegie and Hodgson to strike late to end Welsh's faint hopes of sneaking into the Championship play-off spots.
"It was a bitter pill to swallow at the end. We were outstanding in the first half, but in the second half we probably threw it away it – we gave away too many penalties,” said Trevett.
"We still should have seen the game out after Ryan's try and to concede from the last play of the game was a big disappointment, but I'm sure we'll bounce back for Sunday's cup final.”
After conceding an early try to Ryan Burrows, Welsh led 21-7 at half-time with Trevett claiming his fourth try in three matches, to mark his 50th league appearance for the Exiles in style.
"There's a bit joking going around at the moment that I'm on fire, but when you're on the back of those mauls it's pretty easy to fall over the line. But I'll take anything that comes my way!” he said.
"It was exactly the same as Cornish Pirates, when we went 8-0 down early on, but there's no panicking in this group. We conceded a soft early try to Yorkshire but we were confident that we could bounce back, and for the next 30 minutes we were excellent.
"We've turned a corner the last six-eight weeks, although it came too late in the Championship. It's such a shame we didn't start the season as we're finishing it.”
London Welsh's margin of victory at Headingley earlier in the season was also by just three points, 10-7, and Trevett is anticipating another huge forward battle on Sunday.
"Our pack's going well, but in fairness we struggled a bit to defend Yorkshire's driving lineout. Sunday could be a battle of the packs again, and which ever pack comes out on top will probably end up lifting the trophy,” he said.