Not so much a game of two halves as a game of two sides. Within thirty minutes Leeds Tykes had to play with a re-jigged back line as Kieran Davies and Seremaia Bai Turagabeci were forced off with injuries.
It was a back line that had started well as The Tykes were awarded at penalty at the kick-off. Although not successful, the away side started with an attacking spirit. Davies made two side steps and turned on the gas to score after two minutes. The Rams hit back quickly as their captain, Robbie Stapley celebrated his two-hundredth appearance for his side.
Both sides enjoyed periods of attacking possession. The Tykes were in blistering mood, John Okafor made the first of his dynamic breaks. Kit Keith made an important tap tackle. Will Smith put in a massive tackle. Rams took a tap penalty close to Leeds’ line. They moved the ball out wide, slipped through the tackle for Zach Clow to score wide on the left. Rowan Grundy converted.
The first scrum of the match was towards the end of the first quarter. Davies broke away after the ball excited the scrum. Being isolated, he kicked ahead for Dixon although it was slightly too far for the Centre to run on to.
Connor Hayhow claimed his side’s third when he went through the Tykes’ defence like a hot knife through butter. Grundy’s conversion was successful.
Quick ball from Keith released Venables to break to Rams’ 22. Tom Williams finished off the slick move for his side’s second try.
Rams’ bonus-point came ahead of the break after Leeds’ were penalised for closing the gap at the line-out. Jak Rossiter scored with Grundy adding the extras.
Leeds were lively before the half-time whistle. Keith, now acting as full-back, making a break, Okafor running up the wing and the first opportunity for a driving maul.
26-10 at the interval.
Rossiter doubled his tally at the start of the second half and Grundy converted.
Leeds scored their third try as John Okafor rode over at the back of a rolling maul which rumbled a good fifteen metres towards the line. Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley converted.
Ram’s James McRae’s spotted a gap and attacked from just inside his own half. Keith got close but wasn’t able to bring the big man down.
The Tykes were awarded a series of penalties. At each, they kicked to the corner, catched and drived and passed to the backs. At the third attempt Tighe Maxwell-Whiteley went over between the posts, securing the bonus point, converting his own try.
Rams scored twice before the end of the match; Rossiter his completed hat-trick before Clow crossed. Grundy converted both.