Tykes bag bonus point win in entertaining season opener
On a hot and sunny late summer afternoon, Leeds Tykes were the victors in a match where the lead changed hands five times and was tied twice.
Sheffield enjoyed early possession, getting close to Leeds’ line. The defence earned a penalty that let the Tykes gain territory and have chance to attack. They were awarded a penalty for holding on, which Seremaia Bai Turagabeci kicked successfully.
Sheffield’s Hooper and Burrows each scored a try, Fisher converted one before Tobi Ademakin broke free and charged to the line to score. Turagabeci added the extras.
The home side was awarded a penalty for a high tackle to edge further ahead.
A slick move from the restart had Harry Jukes brought down short of the try line. Sheffield were forced to defend. A kick to touch did not make much ground. Will Hardwick scored the try when the away side executed a catch and drive from the line out. The conversion was successful.
Sheffield retook the lead when Jones wriggled out from the middle of the ruck to score an unconverted try.
A series of penalties and kicks to touch took the Tykes down the pitch. Harry Jukes dived between the posts to open his tally, which was converted by Turagabeci.
Turagabeci stretched Leeds’ lead when a penalty was awarded for a high tackle on Ademakin.
Sheffield were faster out of the blocks at the start of the second half. Lively scrum-half Fisher cut through Leeds’ defence to score a try that he converted.
Ben Dixon thought he had scored his side’s fourth try until the referee called a double movement. Shortly after Jacob Mounsey did earn the try bonus point.
Fisher scored a second try, missing the conversion, to level the scores. For the neutral, a tied match would have been a fair result.
However, the Tykes wanted to win. They won a series of penalties at the scrum. One was within Turagabeci’s range. He gave his team a narrow lead. Then came the play of the match. Looking for a bigger lead, the ball was kicked up field, a Sheffield player let it bounce and could only watch as Jukes scooped up the rising ball to run half the length of the pitch for his second try.
Sheffield narrowed the gap with a penalty. They ran out of time to add more points.
After the match, Pete Seabourne, Director of Rugby, said: “I’m really pleased with the bonus point win and it was good to get over the line.
“The players and coaches have worked hard in pre-season to put new attacking and defensive systems in place. There’s still loads to work on, and we are no means the finished article.
“Sheffield gave us a really good test and for the neutral, I guess, it was a really entertaining game.
“I’m already looking forward to next week and the visit of our local neighbours from Otley.”
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Final score 35-40