National One: Leeds Tykes 27 Pertemps Bees 10
Pertemps Bees put up a gutsy display and gave Leeds plenty of problems with only two tries deep into the 12 minutes of injury time distorting the final score.
The Bees twice edged in front early in the second half but each time weren’t able to consolidate and finally paid the price for making too many mistakes at crucial times.
They also lost try scorer, Dan Tuohy, who injured his neck in a tackle. He received over five minutes attention before being stretchered off. He was later reported to be okay but will have midweek checks before knowing if he will fit to play next week.
Both sides struggled to adjust to the strong, swirling wind that made kicking, catching and line-out throwing something of a lottery.
As early as the fourth minute Jon Higgins had what would normally have been a straight forward penalty shot, straight in front from 25 yards but his effort was blown wide.
Leeds had the edge up front and looked dangerous from the set pieces, especially from line-outs with rolling mauls that proved difficult to stop.
Their backs also issued an early warning when centre Jonny Hepworth went on a scything run that threatened the line until Bees managed to get back and smother him.
Having withstood early pressure the Bees enjoyed a good spell on the Tykes’ 22 but twice when they created good position, ill discipline let them down, first Tuohy and then Alex Davidson giving away penalties when their side had the advantage.
Reece Spee was struggling to control his passes from the base of the scrum and several useful attacking positions were denied by poor handling.
Nevertheless the Bees were defending well and looking as though they could work their way into the game, especially after Leeds squandered a penalty chance with a wind-affected kick.
But five minutes before the break, Leeds went ahead. They stole a Bees’ line-out, switched it down the line and this time no one was going to stop Hepworth as he arced his way into corner.
Bees started the second half brightly and it was well deserved when they scored in the 47th minute, Tuohy intercepting a pass and racing in under the posts, giving Higgins a comfortable kick.
Coach Steve Williams sent on Mike Baxter to replace Spee in the 50th minute but Bees lost some momentum when Tuohy was injured in trying to stop a Leeds move that ended with the home side being awarded a penalty. After the long break, Richard Vasey’s kick edged Leeds 8-7 in front.
Higgins restored Bees’ slender advantage with a penalty but with the massive defensive effort beginning to take its toll, Bees line was again broken by some slick handling, although there was suspicion of a forward pass in the build up before Andy Rock went over.
The 15-10 scoreline was probably a fair reflection of the two sides and Bees didn’t deserve to concede further touch downs from Chris Hughes and Jacob Rauluni in the 86th and 88th minutes.
That still left time for Bees to enjoy a period of good possession but in a way those last few minutes summed up the difference between the sides because for all their efforts they couldn’t find the cutting edge to get past the Leeds back line.
LEEDS: Welding, Hughes, T Rock, Hepworth, Holtby, Vasey, Rauluni, Macdonald, Rawlinson, Noon, Hooper, Myall, Dunbar, Schusterman, Oakley, Cusack, Parkes, Paul, Bryan, Aspinall, A Rock, Tuilagi.
PERTEMPS BEES: Goodridge, Henderson, Knight, Davies, Nuthall, Higgins, Spee, Dunning, Miles, Sigley, Davidson, Cornwall, Tuohy, Miller, Halavatau. Long, Assi, Pearl, Matthews, Rawlins, Baxter, Palm.
Referee: Andrew Small (RFU).