Leeds Carnegie head coach James Lowes praised his side’s “fantastic attitude” as his side ground out a hard-fought win against a determined London Scottish to return to second in the Championship table.
The win included tries for Alex Lozowski, Jacob Rowan and debutant Jonny Bentley and boss Lowes said: “I thought the lads played well, their attitude was fantastic and I thought London Scottish came up here to spoil and it was good that we didn’t get drawn into playing their game.
“It was very slow in the first-half, a stop-start game, and it was surprising that they (Scottish) decided to play that way because they cut us up playing a fast game at Richmond.”
“We’ve come a long way since that defeat, and I thought that was a big game for us in terms of our season and our attitude really has grown.”
Having taken a maximum 15 points from February, Leeds conceded an early penalty for killing the ball and winger James Love kicked the three points.
Carnegie then missed the chance to draw level when Lozowski’s 45 metre penalty drifted wide after the Londoners were penalised at the breakdown.
The home side’s afternoon got much worse when from the front of a five-metre lineout, Scottish found a gaping hole in the Leeds defence and Mark Bright crashed over in the corner.
The visitors were then reduced to 14 men when Robbie Shaw was sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul on Craig Hampson after he decided to take a quick penalty, and from the resulting penalty Lozowski kicked the three points.
With the man advantage, Carnegie turned the screw, and Lozowski twisted round to finish smartly in the corner. But Love took the penalty points to regain the lead for his side.
Rowan rumbled over for his third try of the season and, after a breathless first 40 minutes, Leeds increased their lead eight minutes into the second half through a Lozowski penalty after the visitors had been penalised for not releasing the tackler.
Leeds then had a moment of fortunate when after a series of re-set scrums and penalties against the pack deep in their own 22, Scottish collapsed the next scrum and the home side were able to clear their lines.
James Buckland’s men continued to press though, and from a five metre lineout replacement Nick Mayhew managed to barge his way over and Love converted to reduce the arrears to just two points. With Leeds looking to earn some breathing space, good work deep in Scottish territory allowed on-loan Gloucester back Bentley to find space and race over for a debut try to seal the win.
Leeds Carnegie: Holmes, Goss (Clarke 69), Vickerman, Burdon, Doherty (Bentley 69), Lozowski, Hampson, Harris (Imiolek 63), Nilsen (Graham 77), Tussac (Hooper 77), Smith, Hannay (Casson 77), Sisi (Walker 65), Rowan, Burrows.
London Scottish: Thompson, Love, Doneghan, Reay (Gidlow 69), Mantella, Newton, Shaw (Pasqualin 51), Irish (Mayhew 51), Kwasnicki (Stagg 77), Francis (Thiede 79), Twomey, Lyons, Best, Spinks (Everard 51), Bright. Not used: Millar.
Referee: Darren Gamage (RFU).