Leeds Tykes

Match report 9 March

By Angela Rimmington Brown
Match report Wharfedale RUFC 8 Leeds Tykes 12 Team logos Saturday 9 March

Tykes triumph in toughest test

On a bitterly cold early spring afternoon, Leeds Tykes were victorious but were denied a try-scoring bonus point for only the second time this season. They claimed a narrow 8-12 victory in what many will remember as a titanic tussle.

The visitors dominated the early possession but failed to capitalise despite having the ball in promising positions playing up the hill. Resilient defence kept the hosts at bay, whilst the only score of the opening 40 minutes came courtesy of Ben Turpin’s interception try.

The pacy winger added to his growing reputation with an opportunist defensive read as the ball was flung wide. As he reached the halfway line, there was no stopping him from racing home to score, silencing the home crowd in the process. The referee brought the first-half proceedings to a close with Dale dominating the second quarter.

The second half was much the same with most of the possession being at one end of the pitch however Wharfdale enjoyed the lion’s share of the territory. In a war of attrition, ‘The Green Machine’ took control before the hour mark with Robert Davidson scoring an unconverted try before adding a penalty seven minutes later to edge his side in front. There was also an opportunity to add another penalty which went narrowly wide in blustery conditions.

In the third quarter, Leeds were reduced to 14 men when the experienced Pete Lucock was shown a yellow card for a professional infringement. The Australian official could have lost control of the game when both sides came to blows in a nip-and-tuck third quarter. Not to be out-fought, Leeds seized control of the Yorkshire derby after a moment of individual brilliance from the ever-reliable Kieran Davies. The full-back couldn’t convert his score six minutes from time. The visitors’ defensive resolve was tested in the final moments of the game, but a cross-field kick ran into touch as the league leaders edged out their notoriously fierce opposition. Despite, Wharfedale’s best efforts, the Tykes had enough of a cushion to claim a valuable four points and remain unbeaten.

Speaking after the game, centre Ben Dixon said: “We knew coming here was going to be tough and we didn’t get the rub of the green on some occasions. I think the penalty count speaks for itself, but we must manage the conditions, the officials and the occasion as we did in the second half. The result is testament to our togetherness as a team and coming from behind will be a positive trait going into the difficult tests we have coming up over the next few weeks.”

Director of Rugby, Pete Seabourne added: “Hard work. That was a real tough Yorkshire derby against a really good Wharfedale team. They are organised and have a good crowd behind them but, we’ve come out on the other side.

“It was a tough day in tough conditions. We were unlucky not to get the ball over the line a couple of times in the first half to make the game a little bit easier. We defended really well in the second half but made some basic errors which cost us.

“Everyone has come out unscathed. It was frustrating we couldn’t get Callum Irvine on but, hopefully, he’ll make his debut next week. Really pleasing all round.”

Final score 8-12
(HT 0-7)
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Thanks to Ben Cropper for the match report.

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