The Rugby Union 1st XV travelled to Northumbria for their first BUCS league game of the season looking to make a strong start to the campaign.
Playing against a strong wind both sides made a positive start with Leeds asserting their dominance with a Beaumont try from a well executed Cleary chip. The second try soon followed when the forwards reaped some rewards for their discipline and hard work with strong carries from Smith and McCormick-Houston setting up Brown to make a sweeping pass down the left for Beaumont to score his second in the game.
Northumbria pulled back two penalties after a brief lapse of concentration for the Gryphons before Leeds struck again through a strong finish from O’Sullivan.
Leeds continued to harass the ailing Northumbria defence with strong carries and swift passing moves. As the half time approached O’Sullivan raced away from deep in the Leeds half to be brought down metres short of the try line, with Nixon, ever the opportunist, on hand to dive over the line for Leeds’ third try of the game. .
With Leeds taking a commanding lead into the second half Northumbria battled back strongly breaking the line and driving the Leeds pack back. Northumbria, with momentum on their side, scored three quick tries, taking the lead for themselves and giving Leeds a rash wake up call.
Leeds, however, came back strong, increasing the tempo and passing the ball well. Good kicking by Clearly enabled Leeds to edge further up the field despite suffering a number of injuries to the forwards. With some patient play Leeds eventually broke the Northumbria line to score in the left corner, completing Beaumont’s hat trick. Soon after a series of penalties Leeds were back on the Northumbria line with Leeds scoring yet another try thanks to strong carrying from a depleted forwards group.
All in all an extremely strong performance from the forwards and clinical finishing from the backs in the first BUCS game gave Leeds maximum points. Final score, Leeds 43 – 32 Northumbria.
Image courtesy of Matilda Cracknell