Rugby League: Iro rescues rusty Leeds

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The Independent Online
Workington Town 16

Leeds 22

KEVIN IRO saved Leeds from the ignominy of an opening- day defeat at promoted Workington Town last night when his two carbon-copy tries in the last 10 minutes undid the Cumbrian's efforts, writes Dave Hadfield. Iro also laid on a try for Garry Schofield in the first half, to reprive a disjointed performance. Leeds, with no pre-season match under their belt, took all of the first half hour to get into their stride. By then, they were 10-2 down.

Workington took an early lead when Paul Burns' determination took him over the try-line and Dean Marwood added the conversion and two penalties.

Even when an obviously rusty Leeds finally produced a glimpse of their missing fluency, it was met by an immediate response. Schofield and Iro created a delightful try for the visitors and Graham Holroyd tagged on his second goal. But Workington showed that there is going to be no shortage of fighting spirit awaiting teams on the Cumbrian coast when Mulligan's long run and Martin Oglanby's sneak down the blind side restored their eight point advantage.

Leeds were twice close to a score that would have narrowed the gap when Paul Penrice pulled Holroyd back from over the try line and Francis Cummins had a try disallowed for a forward pass from Ellery Hanley. Worse waste soon followed, when Gary Mercer lunged over the line only to knock the ball.

Nine minutes from time Leeds finallly streched Workington's defence sufficiently for Schofield to send in Iro and Holroyd reduced the gap to two points with a superb touchline conversion.

Town were hit by the one weapon in Leed's arsenal they could not counter, Iro crashing over in identical fashion. Holroyd could not a but Mercer's try in injury time saw Leeds safely home.

Workington Town: Mulligan; Drummond, Kay, Fawcett, Penrice; Oglanby, Marwood; Pickering, McKenzie, Schubert (Armstrong, 21), Burns, McGinty, Hepi (Schubert, 68) .

Leeds: Holroyd; Fallon, Iro, Innes, Cummins; Schofield, Entat; Harmon (Faimalo, 20; Howard 68), Vassilakopoulos, Howard (Mann, 31), Mercer, Eyres, Hanley.

Referee: R Connolly (Wigan).