Director of Rugby, Jon Callard, praised his side’s determination to “dig out” a third successive league win in a keenly contested Yorkshire derby.
The hosts started fast, scoring in the first minute as winger Keane Naylor rounded off a fine move. The position was set up by Mike Adlard, who showed electric pace to run 80 yards before picking out his teammate to score in the corner. The conversion from the right was missed.
Leeds Tykes took the chance to respond immediately, gaining a penalty from the kick-off. They kicked to touch, and a neat lineout move created space for Harry Jukes to score out wide. The extras were missed so the scores remained level at 5-5.
From here, the Tykes kicked on taking the lead for the first time on 21 minutes. John Okafor scored a wonderful solo effort, racing 50 yards and holding off three tacklers to score under the posts. Maxwell-Whiteley added the simple conversion. The same player added a further penalty before the halftime break, giving the Tykes a 5-15 advantage.
The home side opened the scoring in the second half as Reece Dean slotted a penalty to keep his side interested at 8-15.
On 52 minutes, Seremaia Bai Turagabeci took full advantage of a misplaced kick from Hull to return the ball with interest and score his side’s third try. Maxwell-Whiteley converted to give his side what appeared to be a comfortable cushion.
The East Yorkshire side had other ideas and weren’t going down without a fight. They started to assert themselves in the pack and gained penalties which created an attacking platform. Benjamin Boothman took advantage of a strong rolling maul to crash over on the hour mark. Reece Dean converted to reduce the gap to seven at 15-22.
With their spirits lifted, Hull sensed they could get something from the game. Former Tyke Charlie Beech came off the bench with a point to prove and crashed his way through three tackles to score. Dean converted to level the match with 10 minutes remaining.
In the closing stages, Hull were reduced to 14 men when substitute Iosefo Taunei Turaga was sinbinned for a no arms tackle on Tykes’ wing Jukes.
Making their numerical advantage count, the Tykes opted to kick to the corner, knowing they had an extra man in the lineout. After several phases of pressure, Kieran Davies scored to secure a try bonus point and nudge his side in front at 22-27.
The home side had plenty of chances to seal their first league win of the season, but Tykes’ resilience and togetherness proved vital as they repelled all before them to stay in the hunt leading up to Davies’ decisive score.
Speaking after the game, a delighted Callard reserved special praise for his matchwinner, describing his performance as brilliant before adding that: “It is pleasing to get the third win on the trot, we move forwards to Bishop’s Stortford next week.”
Final score 22 – 27