Leeds Carnegie take another big step towards play-off spots

Fred Burdon.
Fred Burdon.
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Leeds Carnegie took another step towards the RFU Championship play-offs with an impressive seven-try win against Ealing on a quagmire of a pitch at Vallis Way.

Despite the standing water on a heavily sanded playing surface, Carnegie boss James Lowes was thrilled with the way his side conquered the conditions: “I’m very pleased with that performance, the guys prepared well for the conditions and I’m pleased they took it all on board.”

With referee Greg MacDonald keen to allow both sides to play, he sent captain Jacob Rowan to the sin-bin in the sixth minute for slowing play and killing the ball.

But the visitors took the lead minutes later when Nathan Hannay charged down an Ealing clearance and his hack forward was touched down by Fred Burdon and Alex Lozowski added the conversion. Ealing continued to press and they got their reward for dominating possession when Ben Ward’s crossfield kick bounced kindly for Phil Chesters who charged over. Having lost their own lineout on halfway, Leeds managed to turn the ball over and a fast break from Lozowski allowed Ben Hooper to rumble the ball over and the former Chelsea academy graduate kicked the two points.

Leeds were then penalised for not driving straight at the scrum and Ward kicked his first penalty from 40 metres.

But the Carnegie reply was immediate and they took a 16 point lead into half-time thanks to a second try from Burdon and a Lozowski penalty from 20 metres.

Ealing cut the deficit to 13 points with a Ward penalty, but Leeds collected their try-scoring bonus point after a rolling maul allowed Joe Graham to ground the ball. Excellent work from James Lowes’ men saw them work the ball out wide and smart offload from Lozowski allowed Mike Myerscough to crash over for the fifth try.

A kick forward allowed Josh Griffin to chase it down and score the sixth try out wide, before replacement Oli Goss’ smart grab from a wayward pass allowed him to dive over in the corner and complete the rout.

Ealing Trailfinders: Henderson, Wardingley, Kinloch, McLean, Chesters, Ward, Thompson, Neville, Crumpton (Townsend 50), Carey (Brockett 40), Pape, Merrick, Preocanin, Siggery, Evans (c).

Leeds Carnegie: Holmes, Griffin, Vickerman, Burdon, D. Doherty (Goss 59), Lozowski, Hampson (J. Doherty 59), Imiolek, Graham (Nilsen 54), Hooper (Tussac 62), Hannay, Smith, Myerscough, Rowan (c) (Beck 63), Burrows (Sisi 49).

Referee: Greg MacDonald.

Attendance: 631.

In National 2 North Otley secured their third win of the season with a 14-12 success at home to fourth-placed Sedgley Park, while near neighbours Harrogate showed basement side Dudley Kingswinford no mercy, winning their home game 38-7.

Morley, meanwhile, saw off Penrith 36-5 with a composed performance in National 3 North, having led 17-0 at the interval.

The group included Peter Drinnan, from Wetherby

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