Harrogate Pythons RUFC 1st XV 37 – 7 Leeds Corinthians RUFC
Match Report & Pictures by Julian Tatlow.
Harrogate Pythons RUFC recorded their 14th consecutive win against Leeds Corinthians, 31-7 gaining a try bonus point. This keeps The Pythons 4 points clear of Wensleydale who also gained a bp win against Ripon, Dale have a game in hand
Leeds Corinthians are the only side to beat Wensleydale this season, so Dan Bird’s men knew they needed their best game. Pythons start well winning a scrum from the kick off. The referee marches Corinthians 10m back for some verbals and Liam Kernaghan drills a penalty to 5m. Untidy ball gives Corinthians the opportunity to clear but a hurried kick lands with Sam Considine who carries the ball back into the away team’s half. He feeds Bailey Bromberg on the wing who passes inside to Hugh Tatlow tackled on the 5m line. Controlled ball and Jordan Payne barges over 5-0 on 5 mins.
Jack Hall and Jon Pickard do the hard carries in mid field and advance play past half way. Frustration shows in defence and Corinthians are penalised. Kernaghan fires one into the corner, verbals again from the defence, Pythons penalty. Will Butler opts for the scrum, secure ball and Ed Challis and George Booth control the phases to within 5m. Penalised at the breakdown again, Butler opts to scrum, Gareth Drane whips the ball to Kernoghan who steps in under the posts. James Audsley-Beck with the extras, 12-0 on 15 mins.
Corinthians control the ball from the restart and retain possession through short passes and determined play at the breakdowns. Challis and Hall tackle hard to halt progress putting in some huge hits. Corinthians are forced to spill the ball but a hurried clearance kick fails to find touch. With time, the away number 8 kicks into space for his winger to gather, pass inside to the centre who romps over the line, 12-7 on 25 mins.
The second half starts with The Pythons back on the front foot. Matt Leach and Booth both carry to 5m but are held by some determined tackling. Corinthians clear their lines but only as far as Considine who finds Challis on a bullocking run. Drane feeds Bailey Bromberg from the breakdown 40m out and he steps through the packed defence to score a great try. 17-7 on 60mins.
Corinthians switch their attack to field kicking but with a strong wind and a superb home back 3 fail to make ground. Marcus Fotherby steals a line out and Drane gets his back line working. A knock on 5m out gives the away side a scrum. Pythons forward dominance drives the pack towards the line. Alert Drane charges down an attempted clearance kick in goal and Tatlow is first to the ball, under the posts, 24-7 on 70mins.
Once again frustration by the away team is penalised with a yellow card. Pythons capitalise on their extra man and move the ball wide to both wings. Challis drives for the line in midfield, Butler secures the ball to Audsley-Beck who floats a perfect pass to Louis Dabhi Green to score in the corner on his debut. Audsley-Beck adds the conversion, 31-7 full time. The Whittaker’s Gin man of the match was awarded by Si Rodham from Sand Comms to Jordan Payne.
After the game, Head Coach Dan Bird said, “This was an improvement from the entire squad. Every player really stepped up their physicality with Ed Challis and Jack Hall carrying with real intent. Around the breakdown our discipline was much improved and as a result we were in better positions on transition.”