Welsh out to make it third time lucky
London Welsh lock Matt Corker is desperate for the Exiles to make it third time lucky and avenge two years of Championship play-off semi-final heartache.
The second row was part of the Welsh side which lost out to Bristol in 2010 and the Cornish Pirates last year, but Corker reckoned such near misses would count for nothing at Bedford tonight.
Bristol proved too good at the Memorial Stadium two years ago, winning 28-15, but the passing of time has not altered Corker’s view of last year’s defeat to the Pirates at Mennaye Field – it remained an opportunity missed.
“You don’t get anything by rights – it’s got to be a complete performance to make the final,” said Corker, who will make his 149th appearance for the Exiles tonight.
“You can enjoy the play-offs, but this is where it gets really serious – I’m desperate to play in a final.
“We put ourselves in a great position at half-time against the Pirates last time, but we went away from what we were doing well.
“We had a couple of injuries and perhaps our squad wasn’t quite as strong in depth as it is this year.
“That’s not to take anything away from Pirates. Anyone at this stage of the competition is not going to roll over.
“You’ve got to play for 160 minutes and that’s what we’ve got to take away from that game. An 80 minute performance isn’t going to be enough.
“The margins in a semi-final are so small, and the difference between the teams is small anyway.”
Welsh go into the clash having overturned Nottingham 33-25 at Meadow Lane at the weekend.
“Bedford are a real attacking force – it’s going to be a real test for our defence,” said Corker, pictured right.
“But on our day we’re very good going forward. Nottingham was a good game for us to get back to winning ways and ironed out a few things.”