Leeds Tykes

Match report 25 November

By Angela Rimmington Brown
Match report Leeds Tykes 26 Rotherham Titans 20 Team logos Sat 25 November

Tykes topple Titans in table-topping thriller

Leeds Tykes took victory in the much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash between the league’s top two teams who were both unbeaten ahead of this match.

The first twenty minutes was a battle of wills with the play taking place between the two 22m lines. The Tykes edged the phases and possession. They were foiled when Rotherham kicked away turnover ball time and again.

Rotherham thought they had scored an early try. The Tykes were attacking close to their opposition’s line when the last pass was intercepted. The Rotherham player ran the length of the pitch, even the Tykes’ speedsters could not catch him. Just as he was about to score, the referee said that Rotherham was offside.

The table toppers opened the scoring when Jacob Mounsey, who was lively all match, passed to Harry Jukes. The league’s top try scorer dodged and handed-off a few defenders to score in the corner. Pete Lucock’s conversion was successful.

Leeds doubled their points with a smart move from Kieran Davies who spotted a gap between the Rotherham players as the ball exited a line-out to score between the posts. Lucock added the extras.

Just before half-time, after a series of penalties in and around the Rotherham 5m line, Gareth Denman received a yellow card. The prop was penalised for going in with his shoulder over the top of a ruck.

The South Yorkshire side came out stronger in the second half. A penalty from Lloyd Hayes followed by a John Okafor try after a steal from a Leeds’ line-out that was converted by Hayes narrowed the gap.

Leeds looked to be in trouble as their discipline let them down and the penalty count was racked up. Rotherham got to within 1 point with another converted Hayes’ penalty.

The away side kept up the attacks. The Tykes didn’t buckle. The league leaders showed why they have been unbeaten all season when they upped the pace and scored two quick tries. Lucock broke off the back of a lineout exit to pass to Davies who scored between the posts. Jukes scored his second, and his side’s bonus point try, by running down the tramlines from inside his half. Seremaia Bai Turagabeci converted.

Rotherham scored a converted try with the last play of the game when they pushed over from a scrum. Okafor grounded the ball with Hayes converting.

Leeds Tykes, Director of Rugby, Pete Seabourne said: “That was a proper game of rugby. Rotherham pushed us to the limit. They are a quality side, with quality players. They tested us at the break-down and set pieces. We showed our quality when we held the ball and put the phases together. That’s when we looked dangerous. Two of the tries were outstanding, going the length of the field twice.

“We have to keep our feet on the ground as we’ve a tough game at Tynedale. We don’t want to do what we’ve done today to blow it next week.”

After the match, Tom William and Harry Jukes were recognised for achieving their 50th caps. Ben Dixon was also awarded his, he’ll reach that milestone next week.

Final score 26-20
(HT 14-10)
Match centre
The match was sponsored by Keep Keen Control Systems

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