Leeds Tykes

Match report 17 February

By Angela Rimmington Brown
Match report Preston Grasshoppers 14 Leeds Tykes 45 Team logos Saturday 17 February

Kicking masterclass dampens Grasshoppers’ spirits

Leeds Tykes had to overcome two opponents when they made the trip across The Pennines. They had to beat the weather and a very courageous Preston Grasshoppers side, who wanted to take the game to the lead leaders. It is a credit to both sides that neither took to playing up the jumper rugby in the wet conditions.

Leeds were quick off the blocks at the start of the match. They had an early attempt at a try held up. Ben Turpin scored before the 10-minute mark when the ball was sent out to the backs from a scrum. Kieran Davies converted, making it the first of a full-house for the prolific goal-scorer.

Davies showed another aspect of his kicking game with a huge 50:22. From the resultant line-out, Adam Brown was at the bottom of the pile after a catch and drive.

It was raining when the match started. After the first quarter of the match, it became torrential. This caused handling problems for both sides. Many phases of play ended with knock-ons.

It was from a slick move at one scrum that the home side scored their first points. Rory Brand scored the try that Will Hunt successfully converted.

Ewan Evans showed his pace to score Leeds’ third try. Ben Dixon secured the try bonus point when he broke through the Lancashire’s side defence to score between the posts.

Just before half-time, Jack Lightowler broke through the Tykes’ defence to score his side’s second try. Hunt added the extras.

The home side ran the ball at every opportunity during the second half. Leeds’ defence held firm; preventing Grasshoppers from getting over the gain line or forcing handling errors.

Davies unveiled another angle of his kicking game. When Grasshoppers gave away penalties, he successfully kicked the ball into touch just metres from the goal line, often from deep within his own half. On one occasion, Leeds were close to scoring from another catch and drive, but their opposition managed to turn the maul around.

Another Tykes’ rolling maul ended with Aarin Yorke crossing the whitewash. Seremaia Bai Turagabeci added his side’s final try a few minutes later as he crashed through the last defenders.

Davies, who converted all 6 Leeds’ tries, showed a final bit of kicking flare by scoring a drop goal when the ball was passed to him in anticipation of him kicking to touch to gain some territory. Instead, he took advantage of a clear line of sight of the posts.

After the match, Director of Rugby Pete Seabourne said: “Overall, I’m really pleased with the performance against a very good side. The conditions deteriorated just after kick-off and both teams struggled to adapt during the first half. We struggled a bit in the second but our superior fitness told in the end and we ticked off another 5 points.”

Final score 14-45
(HT 14-28)
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