Leeds Tykes

Leeds outdone in classic game of two halves

By Angela Rimmington Brown

Leeds Tykes’ Director of Rugby, Jon Callard, bemoaned his sides’ second half capitulation as Bishop’s Stortford ran out 13 – 27 victors at The Sycamores.

Former Tyke Connor Lloyd opened the scoring for Bishop’s Stortford on 18 minutes. The scrum half converted his own score.

Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley landed a penalty for a breakdown infringement. He added a second five minutes later as the hosts grew into the game.

Continuing to play an expansive brand of rugby, Stortford found themselves in strong attacking positions: William Roberts added an unconverted second try from a rolling maul.

In the closing stages of the first half, Leeds piled on the pressure as Stortford conceded a spate of penalties in their red zone. The home side persisted in opting for the scrum on the 5m line and were finally rewarded as Stortford’s tighthead Tom McCrone was yellow-carded for deliberately collapsing. Leeds maintained their focus and marched forward with Matt Burke dotting down at the rear of a dominant pack. Maxwell-Whiteley converted to give his side a 13 – 12 lead at the break.

Despite their numerical advantage, Leeds were all too often beset by handling errors in promising positions. Conversely, Stortford were clinical to keep the Tykes pointless in the second half.

Just as the visitors were restored to 15, Matt Riddington crossed for a simple score out wide; Lloyd converted.

Bishop’s Stortford produced a picture book try to secure the bonus point. Jake Morris was on the end of an incisive break, helped by Charlie Parkhouse finding a weak outside shoulder in the defensive line before offloading for the winger to score in the corner. Riddington added a late penalty to scupper any chance of a Tykes comeback.

The latter stages were scrappy as both sides received a yellow card – Will Dennis for a high tackle off the ball and Alex Gilham for a deliberate knock on when Leeds had a two man overlap. The Tykes pushed for another try in order to salvage a losing bonus point; however, several attacking line-outs went astray.

Speaking after the game, Tykes’ General Manager, Jake Brady said, “We were pleased with the first half display and got lots of rewards from the scrum in tough conditions. We haven’t scored a pushover try from the scrum this season, so that is pleasing. We didn’t manage the game very well in the second half which ultimately cost us.”

A disappointed Callard added, “This was a proverbial game of two halves. We went from having dominance in the first half to imploding in the second. Our errors compounded to leave us chasing the game. We are not down and out and have a short turnaround now, going to Darlington Mowden Park next Friday.”

Final score 13 – 27
(HT 13-12)

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