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HomeSportWest Leeds RUFC stun Bradford Salem on opening day

West Leeds RUFC stun Bradford Salem on opening day

By community reporter

Two tries from the speedster Eliah Chitiyo helped visitors West Leeds RUFC stun Bradford Salem with a 53-24 opening day victory.

While these remain early days in the season, West Leeds can take much heart from a second half performance where they showed vim, vigour and verve to stun the hosts.

The hosts were unable to negate West’s industrious forward pack who allowed the back line to shine in the second half, displaying intent to score almost every time they had ball in hand.

Salem showed their hand early doors with their aggressive defence driving West Leeds back from the kick off and immediately putting them under pressure. However, a clever offload by fly half Breakwell unleashed West’s outside centre Chitiyo, who score a brilliant solo try, starting deep from within his own 22. 0-7

Salem were able to weather the storm and built on their defensive pressure to score a well worked forwards try. Both sides continued to trade penalties. 10-13

Weathering the defensive storm, West Leeds were able to build positive field position and started ticking through the phases, building pressure on the Salem line. The breaking point came as West’s veteran lock Carpenter made a half break, offloading to Jones who scored untouched under the posts. 10-20

Salem were able to return the favour almost immediately after a unforced knock on deep in the West Leeds 22 gave them a perfect platform to attack. Following several phases, poor fringe defence from West Leeds allowed the Salem scrum half to snipe around the edges and score. 17-20 HT.

While the first half was an evenly matched affair, the second half saw almost entirely one way traffic with the West’s pack getting the upper hand, making positive gains in the loose and at scrum time allowing West Leeds to move through the phases and unleash the exciting back line. 

Sam Neave rolled back the years to open the second half scoring, throwing an outrageous dummy to make the Bradford midfield melt away as he strolled untouched under the posts. 17-27

Another member of the over 35 club scored the next points, with Anderson spotting that the ball had been placed behind the try line, therefore voiding the offside line, crashed around the side of the ruck causing the Salem scrum half to scramble a botched clearance. The botched clearance kick went straight into George’s gut, who dropped on the ball to score. 17-34

George was once again at the heart of the next score, offloading to Ben Mcewan whilst in reverse allowed the scrum half to swan dive under the sticks. 17-41

Salem hit back utilising their driving maul to maintain sustained pressure on the West Leeds try line, allowing them to score their lone second half try. 24-41

The final quarter was all West Leeds delivering constant pressure on the Salem line, with O’Neill and Booth carrying well from both wings causing Salem all kind of problems, resulting in a red card to the Salem’s centre Clough for a high tackle. 

Barney Carter who had been industrious all game continued to cause issues to the Salem defence and would have been through for a well deserved try if it was not for a last minute tackle, however a well taken offload put through Adam Newton for his first try of the day. 24-48
The final try of the day came to Eliah, who had caused the Salem back line trouble all game, who scored in the last play of the game, as the West Leeds pack displayed slick hands to put him away in the corner. 24-53 FT

A positive start to the season for the boys from Wortley, with plenty to build on as West Leeds welcome league newcomers Pocklington down to the lane, who also had a comprehensive opening day victory against Wensleydale.

West Leeds Team
1. David Sidebottom
2. Nick Jones
3. Steve Anderson
4. Lewis Bromley (C)
5. George Carpenter 
6. Adam Newton
7. Joe Greenwood
8. Barney Carter
9. Ben McEwan
10. Keir Breakwell (VC)
11. Conor O’Neill ~ Debut
12. Sam Marshall
13. Eliah Chityo
14. Dan Booth
15. Sam Neave
16. Linus Gallagher ~ Debut
17. Sam Shepherd
18. Rian Hoey

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