Carpenter hopes to shake off bug to take his place
THE new rugby season started with a bang – literally – for Albion number eight Aaron Carpenter.
The Canadian international skipper was left stunned last Saturday after clashing heads with a Doncaster player during Albion's opening day win.
The moment was brilliantly captured by Herald chief photographer John Allen and Carpenter admits his colleagues found the picture amusing.
"A lot of the boys have been given me a bit of stick," said Carpenter.
"I think he (the Doncaster player) got me right on the jaw.
"It must have been a soft spot as I went down like a ton of bricks."
Carpenter had wanted to play on last Saturday but Albion opted to take him off the field as a precaution.
"They (the medical team) came out and did a bunch of tests and I passed them all so I was all right to continue playing, but (physio) Paris (Payne) was like 'well, they've already brought on a sub for you'.
"I was a little bit disappointed because after that things changed.
"Doncaster started to get a bit of momentum, scored a try, made a game of it and got their bonus point. I was hoping if I'd stayed on maybe we would have got ours."
Carpenter has fully recovered from the knock but he has been struggling all week with a bug.
He hopes he will be fully fit to take his place at the back of the scrum for Sunday's derby match against the Cornish Pirates.
"I'm okay physically, but I caught a bug," he said.
"I have just been getting a lot of stomach cramping and I have not had a lot of energy as it's been tough to eat.
"But I am coming out of the other side of it.
"Hopefully, I will be fully over it (by Sunday)."
Carpenter certainly would not want to lose his place in the team.
"The back-row is so hotly contested with excellent players just sitting on the bench waiting for their turn," he said.
"I will have a go and see how I feel before I take my spot because I am not going to risk not being 100 per cent for the game and causing us any problems out there.
"I want to win."
Carpenter also feels he owes Albion a good performance down in Cornwall.
"I think last year I had a bit of a shocker down there," he said.
"I picked up a yellow card, so I would like to redeem myself."
Carpenter was delighted Albion opened their season with a win.
It was the 11th time in 12 years Albion had won on the opening day.
"It was good to keep that roll going on the opening day," said Carpenter.
"Hopefully, the rest of the season will go better than the last couple of years.
"I think that win showed a lot more character against good opposition.
"We are really excited by the prospect of the game this weekend against the Pirates."