STAND-IN captain Andy Saull became the latest Yorkshire Carnegie openside to join their ever-increasing hat-trick club – but head coach Bryan Redpath was still slightly miffed.
Ex-Saracens star Saull scored a first-half treble of tries, all from line-out drives, and added a fourth in the 48th minute as Carnegie raced into a 38-10 lead against Munster A during yesterday’s British & Irish Cup Pool Three tie.
He became the club’s third No7 this term to enjoy a treble, following on from Josh Bainbridge and Chris Walker, as their domination at the line-out was illustrated once more.
The majority of Carnegie’s tries this campaign have come this way and, here, it helped them strengthen their hold of top spot and secure a place in the competition’s last eight.
But, having seen this ‘On The Road’ game switched from a frozen Huddersfield RUFC to Headingley, Redpath was disappointed his admittedly much-changed side could not then ram home their advantage.
Instead, they were left clinging on at the death as their spirited Irish opponents, inspired by scrum-half Duncan Williams, fought back to secure a try bonus point that means Carnegie can not yet be confirmed as pool winners.
When Munster A prop Brendan Quinlan was penalised for a scrum offence just before Saull’s fourth, it seemed Carnegie would run riot with their already struggling opponents being reduced to 14 men.
However, they did not concede again while during that 10-minute period and, instead, scored twice themselves via Lee Nicholas and David Johnston.
Both came from fine Williams passes, the clever scrum-half who had also dummied over himself in the first half. Johnny Holland, who had kicked a conversion and penalty early on, improved the first of those second-half tries to see Munster A trail just 38-22 going into the final quarter.
When back up to a full complement, Williams fired out another pass for Cian Bohane to claim Munster A’s bonus-point try in the 72nd minute so Carnegie – who had seen Joe Graham and Andy Forsyth score classy individual first-half tries – were grateful when Pete Lucock crossed in injury-time to finally settle nerves. The excellent Joel Hodgson kicked four goals.
Yorkshire Carnegie: T Prell; O Goss, T Casson (T Casson 61), A Forsyth, D Doherty; J Hodgson, M Green; C Beech (Imiolek 72), J Graham, B Hooper, T Ryder (Schofield 68), M Smith, M Myerscough, A Saull (Bainbridge 61), J Williams. Substitutes unused: Nilsen, O’Donnell, Sinfield.
Munster A: D Johnston (N Hodson 76); S Fitzgerald, D Goggin (Sweetnam 54), C Bohane, G Van Den Heever; J Holland, D Williams (R Foley 79); B Quinlan, E Rossiter (S Fenton 79), P McCabe (C Oliver 61), L Nicholas (B Kilkenny 79), S McCarthy, J Coghlan, S Doyle (Scott 52), S Buckley.
Referee: Craig Evans (WRU).
Sandal remain without a win in 2016 after failing to score for the first time this season in their 25-0 defeat at Leicester Lions.
The 17-0 win over Tynedale in December was the last time the visitors tasted victory and they were up against it from the start against a Leicester side only three points above them in the table. The hosts almost scored as early as the first minute when they raced through from the kick off, only to be denied a try by a last-ditch tackle.
The Lions didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard, though, as their early pressure told with a converted try. Two penalties added to their advantage and they led 13-0 at the break, although Sandal had seen more of the ball in the second quarter. After the interval the visitors spurned chances to kick at goal in order to chase a try but to no avail.
The Lions’ defence was impenetrable and when they had the chance to attack they were clinical. Two further tries and a conversion in the second half put paid to any hopes of a Sandal comeback and left them to go back to the drawing board.
Harrogate lost out 23-10 at Stourbridge, who, basically out-played the visitors in the first half to establish a match-winning hold on proceedings.
The only positive thing of the half from a Harrogate perspective was no8 Willem Enslin’s control of the ball behind a retreating scrum.
Stourbridge took up at the start of the second half where they had left the first with the pack driving, and from an attacking lineout centre Ransford Otutaha went over. But this proved to be Stourbridge’s final points of the match as Harrogate’s forwards took over control. And late into the game Harrogate got their reward; a series of penalties, including a sin-bin, took Harrogate downfield and from another quickly-taken tap, Luke Edwards sprinted 30 metres for a converted try.
Huddersfield’s home game against Luctonians and Otley’s visit to Sedgley Park were called off. Ilkley’s home National 3 North fixture against Hull and Huddersfield YMCA’s trip to Birkenhead Park were also lost to the weather, along with Morley’s North 1 East match with Guisborough at Scatcherd Lane.
Elsewhere in National 1, Wharfedale came away from their basement battle at Cinderford with a 26-26 draw.