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OLD OTLIENSIANS  60 – Leeds Corinthians 16

 Leeds Corrinthians 506
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With their side almost back to full strength, ‘Ensians kicked off into a strong wind against opponents who are finding it hard-going at the start of the season. After being on the back foot against the elements and a heavy pack for much of the first half, the hosts eventually settled down and overcame a 16 – 10 deficit at the break to run in eight tries in the second half for a convincing bonus-point victory.

With Corinthians using the boot and wind to good effect, the hosts were soon defending their own line against a much heavier pack and the visitors took the lead with a penalty on 7 minutes. The home side were living on scraps of possession, but when half backs Ieuan Cranswick and Johnny Ratahi managed to get their back division moving, it was obvious that they had the edge on their opponents in terms of pace and skill. Flanker Tom Dyson backed up well to go over wide out on 14 minutes, but Corinthians responded with a second penalty on 21 minutes to keep a slender 6 – 5 lead.

Good driving play by No.8 Rob Arbuckle and locks Steve Wade and Ali Campbell took play into the visitors’ 22 where a half break and inside flick by centre Nathan Rogers put Ratahi over on 29 minutes for a 10 – 6 lead. At this stage spoiling play by Corinthians caused frustration and the home side began to concede a succession of penalties and were awarded two yellow cards for alleged technical offences. The fluency in moving the ball deserted the hosts and Corinthians closed the gap with a penalty followed by a penalty try on 39 minutes when an ‘Ensians player was judged to have obstructed an opponent in chasing a loose ball over the line - the home supporters tending to disagree.

Finding themselves trailing 16 – 10 at the break after a scrappy first half, the hosts set about their task with long kicks downfield from Ratahi and full back Kristian Keinhorst.
With the heavy visiting pack struggling to keep up, good offloading between forwards and backs put No.8 Arbuckle over on 47 minutes and seven minutes later scrum half Ieuan Cranswick nipped through an opening near the posts. A conversion by Keinhorst put ‘Ensians 22 – 16 in front on 54 minutes.

The Leeds side were now under almost constant pressure, struggling to cope the wide fast back play of the home side. Hooker Rob Lyon backed up well to go over on 60 minutes and Ratahi followed this up on 64 minutes with his second try after a strong burst down the middle. Skipper Cranswick had to leave the field after an accidental clash of heads with an opponent and prop and former scrum half Ben Copley capably deputising.

With the home scrum solid and some decent lineout ball from Wade and flanker Sam Featherstone, it was now relentless attack from the hosts, lively centre Tobias Gill outpaced the cover on 69 minutes and full back Keinhorst joined the line to slice through on 73 minutes. With Keinhorst adding two conversions the lead now stretched to 46 – 16 with seven minutes remaining.

‘Ensians were far from finished and powerful centre Luke Cowdell crashed over after a strong run followed by a hat-trick try from fly half Ratahi, his second in two weeks, with conversions by Keinhorst taking the final score to 60 – 16. After stuttering performance in the first half when they got on the wrong side of the referee, ‘Ensians eventually settled down to produce some of their trademark flowing back play to which Corinthians had no answer.


 

Bradford & Bingley 21 - OORUFC 2ndXV 12

 ‘Ensians 2nd XV Merit Table opponents Bradford & Bingley 3rds cried off through shortage of players. In a re-arranged friendly at Bramley the 2nds went down 21 - 12 with tries from
Sean Flesher and a try and conversion from Ben Brown.


 

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