Champions open with win
Champions LEEDS MET sent an ominous warning to rest of their Super 8 opponents with a ruthless 52 v 12 win over NORTHUMBRIA.
Centre Jimmy Keinhorst led the way with a four-try salvo, whilst their way six other try scorers on a sunny afternoon at Headingley Carnegie.
The game – which saw NRL Grand Final referee Matt Cecchin control as a warm up to his involvement in the Gillette Four Nations – flowed from end to end but the superior fitness of the home side eventually told.
Man-of-the-match Alex Walmsley was rewarded for a huge effort in the front row with a try, whilst hooker Nathan Walmsley – who tagged on a couple of goals – Joe Taylor, Jack Sampson, Pat Toft and Gaz Ryan all crossed the whitewash.
Captain Mark Wool booted four conversions to complete a satisfactory start to their title defence for head coach Paul Fletcher.
To their credit the visitors from the North East never gave up and were rewarded with tries to Dave Townend and Tom Capper which were both improved by Chris Parker.
A Will Collins hat-trick was the highlight of LOUGHBOROUGH’S 42-14 victory over St Marys.
Tries from Dean Ashton, Ryan Chester and Seb Ward, plus a Luke Watling conversion, helped the Twickenham-based side into 14-10 half time lead, whilst Collins and Mark Wilson responded to keep the hosts within touching distance.
However, the second half was all one-way traffic as Loughborough took control of the encounter.
Within two minutes of the re-start Collins had crossed for his second of the afternoon and he was soon joined on the score sheet by Hamish Locke and Richard Hawley.
In the 54th minute centre Collins was over to complete his hat-trick and the hosts dominance was summed up for further touchdowns to Harry Stevenson and James Plumb.
Mark Wilson completed a great day with the boot with five conversions.
GLOUCESTER returned from the North West with a comprehensive 40-0 opening round success over UCLAN.
There was not much to choose between the two sides in the opening exchanges, but spurred on by man-of-the-match James O’Donnell, the visitors soon began to take control.
Following a penalty close to the line great handling saw Sam Vaughan open the scoring and 10 minutes later O’Donnell also got in on the act for a try that Matt Bradley improved.
As the half came to a close centre Lewis Warner and Bradley himself touched down to make it 20-0 at the interval
Within two minutes of the second period the lead was increased as captain James Green finished off another great handling move and not long after James Gahan sped over for another converted score to move his side further ahead.
The visitors continued to keep up the high tempo and were rewarded with further tries to Matt Fiander and a second for Gahan to make it a great afternoon’s work.
HULL edged a superb game with EDGE HILL 28-24.
The visitors stormed into a 10-0 lead thanks to tries from Phil Slin and Craig Gallymore, before Liam Duffy hit back for the hosts.
Danny Hilton reasserted Edge Hill’s authority with another four-pointer and in doing helped his side into a 14-6 lead by the half way point.
However, a two-try blast from man-of-the-match Tom Lineham saw Hull hit the front for the first time and when Miles Waistle also crossed it looked like the game was over.
However, Edge Hill dug deep and replied with late scores to Jamie Motum and Simon Atherton that kept the game right in the balance till the final whistle.
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Wednesday 19 October
Leeds Met 52 v 12 Northumbria
UCLAN 0 v 40 Gloucester
Hull 28 v 24 Edge Hill
Loughborough 42 v 14 St Marys
Wednesday 26 October
Gloucester v Loughborough
Leeds Met v Edge Hill
UCLAN v St Marys
Hull v Northumbria