Youthful Leeds Carnegie too strong for Aberavon

Alex Lozowski.
Alex Lozowski.
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A much-changed Leeds Carnegie side headed to South Wales for their third British and Irish Cup game of the season but the young side took up where their senior counterparts had left off six days earlier at Bristol.

Leeds had given a signal of intent in that televised win at the Memorial Ground and Carnegie duly put Aberavon to the sword at the Talbot Athletic Ground.

The pick of their six tries came just before the hour mark when Christian Georgiou, one of nine Academy products in the side, set up a break from his own try line before James Doherty kept the move going and put Josh Griffin over for the try.

The visitors had opened the scoring when David Doherty made the most of a wayward kick to half way and broke down field before putting Alex Lozowski over for a try from 10 metres out. Lozowski added the conversion and a subsequent penalty but the scores were locked at 10-10 midway through the half.

Leeds gifted the ball to Aberavon from the re-start following their try which ended in a try for Jay Baker, which Paul Smithson converted and then cancelled out Lozowski’s penalty when the visitors were penalised in possession.

However, Carnegie’s forwards then took control. Led by captain Joe Graham, Leeds drove a line-out from 15 metres out which resulted in youngster Jack Barnard, a Leeds Met student, marking his debut with a try. The visitors then gained a penalty try soon after when a series of penalties came from scrums near the line. Lozowski converted both to give his side a 24-10 lead at the break. The home side finally hit back four minutes into the second half when Jonah Holmes saw his pass intercepted by Nathan Edwards who galloped in.

Leeds wrapped up the bonus point and the win with two quick tries in the next 15 minutes.

The first came from scrum- half James Doherty from a quick tap penalty near the line and then came Griffin’s spectacular effort.

Aberavon got a try back from Daffyd Howells with four minutes to go but fittingly Leeds finished the game with a score and it was a well deserved try for winger David Doherty, who crossed out wide. Hughes missed the conversion attempt but Carnegie will have been satisfied on their long journey home to Yorkshire.

Aberavon now face Bristol at home on Tuesday in a re-arranged game after their first match was abandoned with 10 minutes to go when a hole appeared in their pitch before travelling to Yorkshire for the return game against Leeds Carnegie at Hull Ionians next Saturday.

You suspect it could be a long week for the Welsh side.

Aberavon: Murphy, Baker, Edwards, M Jenkins, Howells, Smithson (R Jones, 54), Heatley (Davies, 66), White (R Jenkins, 62), Yardley (Harvey, 68), Thomas (Howell, 68), Hughes, Williams, Evans (J Jones, 50), Brown, Everett (Morris, 62).

Leeds Carnegie: Georgiou, Goss, Griffin, Barker (Holmes, 17), D Doherty, Lozowski (Hughes, 72), J Doherty, Lockwood (Beech, 54), Graham (Freer, 48), Hooper (Imiolek, 54), Hannay (Preston-Routledge, 60), Smith, Jones, Barnard, Walker (Burridge, 66).

Referee: Simon Harding (RFU).

Attendance: 900.

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