Gloucester fire melts Tykes

Leeds 16 - Gloucester 21
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The Independent Online

There was a schizophrenic feel to Headingley yesterday, cricket on the "back" pitch that is Yorkshire's hallowed territory and the main event of the afternoon on t'other side of the stand.

There was a schizophrenic feel to Headingley yesterday, cricket on the "back" pitch that is Yorkshire's hallowed territory and the main event of the afternoon on t'other side of the stand.

Sadly, the main event was not very interesting. Bad enough that it was played in soaring temperatures, but referee Steve Lander then inflicted a further eight minutes in the inferno on the teams. That displeased Gloucester, who were caught napping waiting for the final whistle, and allowed Leeds to snatch an undeserved late try through Gavin Kerr to earn a bonus point.

"I'm glad we got that point," said Phil Davies, the Tykes' director of rugby. "But we didn't deserve much else." Nigel Melville, his opposite number, admitted: "That was a poor game, but it's an away win and not many teams leave here with victory, so it means a lot to us."

Even with the superior pace and firepower Gloucester were unable to utilise the likes of James Simpson-Daniel and Marcel Garvey to the full. But their forwards were on top throughout and not even the loss of new prop Terry Sigley with an ankle injury upset their unity.

Their rucking was efficient, but perhaps they were too bold for their own good at times. They also conceded too many penalties and were reduced to 14 men once in each half when first hooker Olivier Azam, then fly-half Duncan McRae, were shown a yellow card.

Gloucester still scored two tries, the first started by Henry Paul, and finished off by Terry Fanolua; the second initiated by McRae, who committed the defence before sending Simpson-Daniel over on the left.

Leeds: Try Kerr. Conversion Ross. Penalties Hodge 2, Ross. Gloucester: Tries Fanolua, Simpson-Daniel. Conversion Paul. Penalties Paul 2. DG McRae.

Leeds M Cardey; D Rees, C Bell, A Snyman, T Biggs; D Hodge (G Ross, 33), M McMillan (A Dickens, 45); G Kerr, R Rawlinson (M Regan, 45), M Holt (M Cusack, 50), C Murphy, T Palmer (capt; S Morgan, 65), P Uys, A Popham, R Parks (J Dunbar, 65).

Gloucester J Goodridge; M Garvey, T Fanolua, H Paul, J Simpson-Daniel; D McRae, S Amor; T Sigley (N Wood, 11), O Azam (C Fortey, 72), G Powell, A Eustace (P Buxton, 54), A Brown, A Balding (M Cornwell, 68), J Forrester (C Fortey, 28-39), J Boer (capt).

Referee: S Lander (Wirral).

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