West Leeds RUFC 50-10 Bradford Salem RUFC
West Leeds repeated last week’s scoreline, racking-up eight tries in this Yorkshire Division One fixture,writes Glenn Broadbent.
Leeds were on the scoreboard after just 90 seconds when Salem lost the ball in a tackle and Wests kicked on with a try in the corner, the conversion proving too difficult 5-0.
Salem hit back in the 4th minute with an easily converted penalty 5-3.
The visitors continued to press with channeled aggression and pace. Again it was sloppy ball control in the tackle that allowed Wests to take advantage from inside their own half. Some astonishing passing and movement followed by an equally impressive conversion made it 12-3.
Salem put Wests under pressure but their moves where becoming predictable and the home side would not yield.
With 30 minutes gone Bradford were starting to buckle and a defence splitting move lead to a try under the post, converted with ease. 19-3.
As the half moved into added time the Salem line was penetrated again, no conversion this time 24-3.
And final move of the half saw another seven points notched up HT 31-3.
The visitors started the second half full of energy running some good angles but all too often ending with crash ball rugby which could have graced Odsal. Physical but not effective.
It did take West Leeds until the 68th minute to add to the score again, another great break to go over the line 38-3.
It took Salem only four minutes to come back winning a line-out on the home 22mtrs and some good simple flat passing gave them a reward for their perseverance, a very difficult conversion kick sailed over 38-10.
With just a minute of normal time left a scrappy line-out saw the ball bouncing between feet, Wests forwards protected the ball resulting in another try under the posts. 45-10.
The final move of the game would feature on Question of Sport’s “what happened next”. West’s centre looked to be heading for the line but changed direction and chipped the ball to the corner.
The ball hit the corner flag above ground level and astonishingly bounced infield to be collect by the wing and five points resulted, the conversion proving too much.
Wests travel to Beverley next week with three league games remaining and a five-point advantage over third placed York, nothing will be decided next week but a strong performance will be needed to keep the gap open.
The champions navigated the quarter-final play game with ease, winning 27-47 at Sheffield Engineer.