Harrogate Pythons 29 v Leeds Corinthians 20
Pythons come back in the rain to overpower Corinthians
Harrogate Pythons excellent season continued following a comeback win at home to Leeds Corinthians. Leeds kicked off to Luke Price-Gerrard who setup several phases before the referee pinged Gate in front of their own posts for crossing. Leeds opened the scoring with a well struck penalty. 0-3 2 mins. With coach Dan Bird stepping up to fill the prop position, Gate’s first scrum was solid with Hugh Tatlow making good yardage from the back of the scrum. Ned Rutty took the offload on but was pulled back for a foot in touch. Ian Binns stole the Leeds lineout and a high tackle on Rutty led to a penalty but Jed Carr’s touch find was too long. Price-Gerrard broke a tackle out wide but was pulled back again for a foot in touch. Leeds won good ball at the lineout and went wide quickly and a well-timed run by the winger saw him cross in the corner. Conversion added. 0-10 15 mins. Leeds were well placed again with a scrum in the Gate 22, but good pressure saw the ball pop out to Rutty who set off for the line but was stopped by a great cover tackle. With the Leeds stand-off putting in a series of probing kicks, Gate conceded another penalty and Leeds went for the lineout. A catch and drive was held up but Leeds released the backs and a good line from their centre saw him cut through and score under the posts. 0-17 24 mins. Jon Pickard was flattened by the first of a series of no arm tackles which the referee was quick to penalise. However the mistakes from Gate continued as touch was missed. Another Binns lineout steal saw Joe Bentham and Max Sharp combine well but the move ended with a knock on. Tom Everingham was starting to trouble Leeds with some bullocking runs. He link with Steve Smith and a Carr kick through was just touched down by Leeds. The referee brought play back for a Leeds offence and Max Sharp reduced the deficit with the penalty. 3-17 39 mins. From the restart Tatlow broke through down the touchline. The ball went quickly through hands to Ivan Drane on the other wing but he was tackled into touch to leave the half time score Pythons 3 Corinthians 17.
After the half time talk by coach Bird Gate started the second half with renewed confidence. Everingham caused panic in the Leeds defence with a charge down but the referee ruled it as a knock on. As the rain started to pour, the Gate pack was starting to get on top, with Matt Leach and Everingham making strong runs. Another no arms tackle by Leeds was penalised and Gate went for the corner. Tatlow won good ball and Price-Gerrard was stopped just short. Rutty flicked the ball up to the supporting Tatlow who crashed over for the try. Sharp added the conversion. 10-17 55 mins. Gate were now in control and big pressure saw Everingham and Leach both stopped short by strong defence, Carr picked up and appeared to cross in the corner. The referee awarded a scrum to Gate but it was stopped on the line. The alert Rutty quickly grabbed the ball and dotted down on the line for the try. Sharp levelled the score with the conversion. 17-17 65 mins. In typical fashion Gate conceded a penalty at the restart allowing Leeds to edge ahead again. 17-20 55 mins. Gate’s scrum was now totally dominant, and a good break from Bentham led to an attacking Gate scrum. Leeds were penalised as the drive came on and Gate elected to scrum again. This time a Leeds prop stood up in the scrum and the referee had seen enough and awarded a penalty try and a yellow card for the offending prop. 24 20 73 mins. Again Gate were penalised at the restart and this time Leeds went for the corner. The Leeds lineout was disrupted and Dan Shortman made a bruising run out of defence. The ball was spun wide to Jake Harland who kicked and chased but the Leeds full back won the race to touch down. The Gate scrum marched Leeds back over the line for No 8 Kris Starkey to touch down. 29-20 78 mins. Leeds flung the ball wide at the restart but Sharp intercepted and the supporting Price-Gerrard was caught just short to leave the final score Pythons 29 Corinthians 20.
This was a great comeback win against a very strong side. However Gate will need a better start next week when they travel to second placed Wensleydale.