A tough day for the U15's.
By Mike Malley
The U15's lose to a team that played straightforward, direct rugby - very well!
We scratched around midweek trying to sort out a fixture following a cancellation and West Park Leeds stepped up and offered to travel over the pennines. In what on paper should have been a much closer game we came out second best to a team that ran hard, fast and straight and generally kept the ball alive in a first half of attacking rugby. On the rare occasions that we had the ball in the first half Leeds closed us down quickly and competed every ruck turning quite a few over. The end result was a 0-38 half time deficit. The first 10 minutes of the half however we actually competed albeit in our half and it was our own fault for not clearing the lines when we had the ball that lead to the opening try for Leeds as they pressed and pressured. CJ going off with an injury didn't help our cause and we had a distinct lack of creativity from this point. It was pretty much one way after that until half time.
The half time message was to win the second half and fair play to the lads they stepped up. We made a couple of changes as did Leeds and we quickly got our first points on the board following a penalty when Jack Bailey offloaded to Rorio down the left wing. A clever step took him around the opposite winger and in to score. Jude S converted.
Two minutes later Rorio scored again, again set up by Jack B with a clever grubber through the Leeds line for Rorio to run onto, a fortunate bounce helping him to score. Jude converted again. At this point we could be forgiven for thinking the come back was on but Leeds reminded us that we where only playing for the half when they scored the next try following a powerful rolling maul into the corner.
CJ who had now returned to the pitch scored the first of his 2 tries as Lightning and himself showed good footballing skills kicking and chasing a loose ball across the Leeds try line. Lightning pounced on the ball, missed and Rorio didn't hesitate to drop on the loose ball to score.
CJ's second try was a fantastic effort, he dropped his shoulder and threw a dummy to leave a hole in the Leeds line which he made the most of to score an excellent solo try. Unfortunately Leeds scored in between CJ's tries to keep the gap in the score line.
I'd like to claim the score line was 1-1, a half each but that would be doing Leeds a dis-service. They ran out of sight in the first half by simply doing the basics better than we did. We lacked the cutting edge in the first half that Leeds showed but we made up for it in the second half and reminded them they where still in a game.
CJ was excellent today, creating some great plays and it was noticeable when he went off injured. Jude Smiths kicking was also spot on slotting every conversion. We also had 2 lads making there debut today who both put in a shift, Jack B and Dan, well played lads, a real baptism of fire! We have a return fixture at Leeds in December, hopefully a few injured will be back in action for that one, first Manchester in the cup next week.
A big shout to Andy and the Leeds lads for making the effort to travel over to us and for a great game.