Men’s rugby union firsts make it two from two

University of Sheffield 17-10 Leeds Met seconds

After making a winning start to the season against Leeds with a 15-10 victory, the University of Sheffield first XV made it a Yorkshire double coupled with a huge improvement as they beat Leeds Met’s seconds 17-10.

Sheffield were dominant from the outset, with the tone being set right from the kick-off as the Leeds Met kicker failed to punt the ball 10 metres, giving an immediate scrum advantage to the home team.

In spite of a clear weight disadvantage in the scrum, the Sheffield forward line was dominant, and it was from a forward-led turnover that Sheffield launched the attack which gave them a deserved lead.

Barnaby Goodchild picked up a loose ball from a Leeds line-out, and charged over. Andy Magowan failed to convert, so the score remained 5-0.

This sparked the away side in to life, and they had a great opportunity to level within minutes – they got a man over the try-line, but a tremendous tackle by Joe Stevens saw him drop the ball, and Sheffield were off the hook.

Just before half-time, Sheffield deservedly stretched their lead. After they were given a scrum for Leeds failing to keep their line-out straight, the ball came all the way from hand to hand across the pitch to Keith Wardley. He weaved past two opponents and scored a magnificent try in the corner. It was equally well converted by Magowan, giving the home side a 12-0 lead at the break.

However, the home side started poorly after the interval and immediately saw their lead cut by five points; Leeds picked up the kick-off, ran straight into the Sheffield 22, and after a period of concerted pressure got on the score sheet.

The restart saw a case of déjà vu, with Leeds again taking it straight from the kick-off into the opposition half, winning a penalty in front of the posts – yet bizarrely, they kicked for touch.

Soon enough, Sheffield were showing their superiority again, and poor forward technique by Leeds saw Goodchild charge for the line again; the ball broke wide, and was collected by Ollie Taylor, who ran in his third try in two games from second row.

With Magowan’s kick falling just short, Sheffield held a 17-5 lead, though this was cut to 17-10 with five minutes remaining when Sheffield failed to clear their lines.

Sheffield shouldn’t have been hanging on at the end as much as they were, but with a 100 per cent record to start the season, there were smiles all round for the first XV.

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