RYAN Burrows delivered a blistering performance to get Leeds Carnegie straight back to winning ways.
The powerful No8 was almost unplayable at times yesterday as he continually blasted holes in beleaguered Bedford’s defence.
Ex-England Sevens captain Rob Vickerman scored two tries and on-loan Wasps winger Jonah Holmes produced an 80m solo effort as he continued to shine following his switch to full-back.
It was just the response coach Jimmy Lowes was hoping for after seeing his side’s eight-game winning run come to an end at London Welsh a week earlier.
Burrows had only returned from a two-and-a-half month lay-off in that game but you wouldn’t have guessed from his rampaging performance yesterday.
“He’s had two big games now and, after coming back after a decent length of time too, we’re pleased with him,” said Lowes.
“We thought about bringing him off but he was having too good a game to do that. He was really enjoying himself.
“We were scrappy in patches ... but overall with 50 points you have to be pleased.”
Leeds go back to third, five points adrift of new leaders Rotherham after Welsh suffered a shock loss at Plymouth.
Holmes got Carnegie off to a flying start with a brilliant kick return from his own 20m line after just 85 seconds. Glyn Hughes converted and, though Bedford captain James Pritchard quickly slotted a penalty, the visitors would scarcely trouble their dominant opponents.
Hughes added a penalty but it wasn’t until after Bedford’s Joe Vandermolen was sin-binned that Leeds got their second try via prop Ben Hooper. Hughes could not convert – he also missed two standard penalties – but swapped penalties with Pritchard to make it 21-6 at the break. David Doherty surged over just 73 seconds into the second period after another trademark Burrows break, Hughes improving and slotting another penalty in the 55th minute.
It seemed Leeds might not get their try bonus point which would have been criminal given their dominance.
But substitute scrum-half James Doherty opened Bedford up to put Vickerman in for his first with 10 minutes to go.
The visitors then saw Paul Tupai yellow carded and Tom Jubb stretchered off with a nasty knee injury before their scrum crumbled again to concede a penalty try at the death.
James Doherty’s brilliant pass put Vickerman through for his second in injury-time, Alex Lozowski converting both.
Leeds: Holmes; Vickerman, Burdon, Clarke, D Doherty; Hughes (Lozowski 60), Hampson (J Doherty 65); B Harris (Imiolek 60), Graham (Nilsen 65), Hooper (Currie 56), Hannay, Casson (Smith 50), Beck (Walker 60), Rowan, Burrows.
Bedford: Pritchard (Burke 65); Tapley, Hircock, Atkinson, Morris; Sharp, Veenendaal (Peck 57); Steenkamp (T Harris 50), Clare (Auterac 57), Boulton (Gilardon-Paz 71), Tupai, Gulliver (Jubb 50), Gillanders, Armes (Barrell 50), Vandermolen.
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth.