Yorkshire Carnegie 85 Aberavon 0: Leonard sets Cup record as Wizards fall under Carnegie’s spell
Yorkshire Carnegie recorded their biggest win in the competition against an abject Aberavon Wizards.
On an afternoon when records tumbled, Gary Mercer’s men ran in 13 unanswered tries, meaning that the Welshmen have conceded 157 points in two visits to the East Riding.
It was a display that impressed former New Zealand rugby league international Mercer, who said: “I’m over the moon for the boys, they’ve worked really hard over the last couple of weeks.
“It was good to get the senior players playing and they showed a real professional attitutde because it would have been easy to drop down a level, but they maintained an intensity and scored some great tries.”
Carnegie began brightly and they went ahead inside two minutes when Harry Leonard’s sublime crossfield kick found captain Ryan Burrows in space on the wing to dive over.
Former Edinburgh fly-half Leonard then added the simplest of conversions. The 22-year-old went on to kick a further nine conversions over the course of the 80 minutes, a club record for a British & Irish Cup tie.
Buoyed by the early score, Mercer’s men continued to pile forward and Jonah Holmes twisted over for his first try for the club since rejoining as part of a swap deal for Glyn Hughes.
A slaloming run from Leonard brought about the third try. Having been held up inches from the line, Matt Dudman crossed over.
The bonus point was wrapped up in the 19th minute when Jarad Williams barged over from close in and Leonard kicked the extras.
Aberavon’s task was made even harder when winger Richard Carter was yellow carded for killing the ball.
Carnegie made their man advantage count, when following phase after phase deep in Aberavon territory they were awarded a penalty try for pulling down.
Yorkshire would not let up with the pressure and their reward was a try through former Wharfedale loanee Christian Georgiou.
To be fair to the Welshmen, they were at least competitive for 14 minutes of the second half, but tries in quick succession from student Liam Edwards, Georgiou and Burrows opened the floodgates again.
Referee Sean Gallagher then awarded a second penalty try after Aberavon pulled down on the line.
Tries from Pete Lucock, Leonard and David McIlwaine completed the rout.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Georgiou, Holmes, Lucock, Clarke, Hihetah (McIlwaine 46), Leonard, Dudman (Pilgrim 72), Imiolek (Harris 40), Graham (J Walker 40), Hooper (Hill 57), Hannay, Edwards (Ramshaw 55), Williams, C Walker, (Barnard 62), Burrows.
Aberavon Wizards: Williams, Carter, M Jenkins (A. Jenkins 40), Price, Grabham, Thomas (Flynn 57), Cole (M Williams 57), White (Harford 40), Harvey (Brown 68), Smith, Beard (Ronan 61), S Williams, Davies (Yardley 46), Gwynn, Thomas.
Referee: S Gallagher (IRFU).
West Park Leeds took over top spot in Yorkshire Two with a 43-5 home win over Goole as previous leaders Barnsley, suffered their first defeat, 33-17 at West Leeds.