Preview to Leeds (B&I - A)

18/10/2012

I know a Berra you don't know: Welcome to Groundhog Day - with a difference...

Yogi Berra was a great baseball player and successful coach, but is arguably most famous for the one-liners that make you scratch your head and laugh at the same time. In Britain the closest we've got to Yogi is probably cricket commentator David 'Bumble' Lloyd, especially now the 'Doyen of Darts' Sid Waddell has sadly left us.

Favourite 'Yogi-isms' include the advice that "if you come to a fork in the road, take it..." and the recommendation to "always go to other people's funerals, or they won't come to yours". It was Yogi who told baffled reporters that "the future ain't what it used to be" and who analysed falling trade at a St Louis restaurant by saying "no-one goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Yogi -with -bat

Perhaps Yogi's best-known line is the one that's most relevant to Jersey's trip back to Yorkshire to play Leeds Carnegie, their second trip to play the same opponents in the same county on just the eighth weekend of what we can still just about call the new season. As Yogi (pictured above) put it, "it's like déjà vu all over again."

In fact there are some key differences to the second encounter of the campaign between these sides. Focus has now switched from the Championship to the British & Irish Cup. The Irish aspect in Pool 5 of the B&I is provided by Leinster 'A', who beat Leeds soundly in Dublin last weekend. Jersey meanwhile achieved their first positive result of the season, a 20-20 draw against Pontypridd that even most of the visitors admitted should have been a home win.

Other changes from Leeds v Jersey part I six weeks ago will include the personnel on show. Widespread changes seem to be the norm in the B&I, and Carnegie had nine to their squad for the trip to Ireland, with Jersey's Ben Harvey also ringing the changes, to a lesser extent, for the tussle with the Welsh. Further rotation is likely in this game, with game-time for squad players and some well-earned rest for regulars.

As well as having a different cast-list, Act II will be staged at a different theatre. Leeds are on a tour of their own back-yard, staging three games at other Yorkshire grounds while the pitch at their Headingley home is relaid. The Jersey encounter moves about 25 miles east to the cathedral city of York, and the two sides will meet at Clifton Park, home of York RUFC

A high-scoring encounter looks likely: Leeds' seven matches thus far have featured 52 tries with a 25:27 split of for and against. Jersey's points difference may be a little further into the red, but the flow of tries has increased and Harvey's men have only conceded three try bonus points to opponents in seven games thus far this season. So it's almost bound to finish 9-6. Or preferably the other way round.

News from the Jersey camp
One of the biggest cheers at St Peter last weekend was for the introduction off the bench of Jon Brennan, Jersey's longest-serving player returning to action after a 10-month injury lay-off. JB should be involved again, and it's expected the youthful talents of James Voss (pictured below), an unused sub against Ponty, will also feature. Director of Rugby Ben Harvey is likely to have half an eye on a crucial Championship match against London Scottish - including a six-day turn-around - so it's likely that some front-line players may be benched or rested entirely.

James Voss x

Ben Harvey makes six changes to the starting XV from the side that drew with Ponty in the opening B&I tie in Pool 5. 18-year-old James Voss, an unused substitute last weekend, is called up to the back row, while Rob Anderson comes into the second row in place of Nathan Hannay.

Among the Jersey backs, Dave McCormack gets the start at scrum-half and will lead the side in place of Hannay, while there are also places for Glenn Bryce at full-back, winger James Copsey and Donovan Sanders in the centre.

Jersey's bench includes prop Jon Brennan, who returned from injury last weekend, and 18-year-old Chris Levesley who is in line to make his first appearance of 2012/13.

"We were disappointed not to finish the job against Pontypridd, and I've every confidence the boys can raise their performance another level and get the win that we want," states Harvey.

"The pack performed well last weekend and so the majority of those players are selected again," he added. "There are one or two players missing out in the backs with minor injury niggles, but this gives us a chance to try out some different combinations and provide game-time to players who are in need of it."

Jersey squad, sponsored by jersey.com and Locate Jersey: Glenn Bryce, James Copsey, Donovan Sanders, Ashley Maggs, Ed Dawson, Mike Le Bourgeois, Dave McCormack (capt), Sean McCarthy, Dave Felton, James Gethings, Rob Anderson, Dave Markham, James Voss, Kingsley Lang, Guy Thompson.
Replacements: Jon Brennan, Steve Boden, Nathan Hannay, Paul Rodgers, Brendan O'Brien, Chris Levesley, Ed Tellwright.


Any previous?
As mentioned, the two sides have already met this season, at Headingley on Friday September 7th. A lively first-half finished 13-13, with Jersey registering a maiden Championship try courtesy of a fine run by Guy Thompson, with the ball taken on by Donovan Sanders and fed to Mike Le Bourgeois for the score. The home side had opened the scoring through debutant Josh Griffin (pictured below, courtesy Varley Picture Agency).

Griffin -Jersey -2012

Sadly for Jersey, the promise of the first half didn't endure, and two tries by skipper Jacob Rowan (top scorer this season with five) and another by Jamel Chisholm helped Carnegie pull clear to eventually win 32-19. A more detailed report can be found here.

Leeds in 2012/13
Leeds began their Championship campaign on the last day of August against Nottingham at Meadow Lane. The Yorkshire side, who apparently have the youngest squad in the Championship, took an early 20-3 lead thanks to tries by full-back Steve McColl and captain/ open-side Jacob Rowan. However the home side narrowed the deficit to 17-23 at the break and then pushed on in the second half to lead 34-26. Joe Ford's late penalty gained a bonus point for his side, although this would have been snatched away had James Arlidge landed a last-gasp effort of his own.

After despatching Jersey in their opening home game, Leeds lost a thriller at Plymouth by 32-31, Joe Ford failing with a late conversion that would have won the game, leaving his side with the minor consolation of two bonus points. The following weekend was the performance of the season thus far, a 50-31 thumping of a Bristol team who have underperformed notably this year. Not to take anything away from the Yorkshiremen, who ran in five tries, including one for former Jersey man David 'Doc' Doherty.

The going got considerably tougher for Diccon Edwards' side the following week, as is likely for most visitors to Kingston Park. Newcastle won 53-10, but Carnegie were back on track on the first Friday of October, comfortably accounting for Doncaster 42-7. Carnegie scored six tries, and there were 12 points for Ford, who has 79 points in total in the league thus far, with a success rate of 84%.

In the B&I, Leeds had a challenging trip to Dublin to face Leinster 'A' - and that was before the home side held back 5/8ths of their bench from afternoon action against Exeter in the Heineken Cup and lined them up for the B&I at Donnybrook the same evening.

Four of the 'H Cup' squad played against Leeds: number 8 Leo Auva'a did the full 80, and on 49 minutes wing Fionn Carr, flanker Jordi Murphy and scrum-half Isaac Boss entered the fray. Boss has won 15 Ireland caps and was at the World Cup this time last year - isn't that close to what is known in polite circles as 'extracting the urine?'

Two Ford penalties were Leeds' contribution to a 23-6 half-time scoreline, but the game was settled straight after the break when the Oirish scored two more tries, numeros cuatro y cinco, without Carnegie touching the ball. Richard Beck and Joe Graham scored twice for the visitors to give the final score a little respectability at 47-18.

Geech1

Leeds Carnegie went through a summer of change after finishing their 2011/12 campaign in late April. There were plenty of departures from the club at the end of a disappointing season back in May but perhaps the most significant change has come right at the top of the club. Paul Caddick has handed over the reins to Sir Ian McGeechan (pictured above), the British and Irish Lions legend, as the new Executive Chairman of the club. McGeechan has a hands-on role with the club to spearhead a drive for new sponsorship, support and development for the club in the years ahead, to try and establish Leeds Carnegie amongst the elite sides in the country once again.

There have also been changes in the coaching team. There will be a very familiar face missing from the dug-out next season after Team Manager John Carey left the club this summer after nearly 20 years outstanding service to the club. Chris Gibson was appointed as Director of Rugby and Mark Luffman relinquished his first team coaching duties to turn his focus back entirely to the crucial work of developing the club's Academy. Former Manchester and England Counties coach Dave Baldwin has been recruited as forwards coach, whilst former player Jon Pendlebury has joined the Academy coaching staff after being forced to retire this summer.

On the field the changes have also been far reaching. Senior players such as Lee Blackett, Scott Barrow, Mike MacDonald and Danny Paul have left the club whilst last year's Young Player of the Year Tommy Bell opted to join London Wasps after his season long loan from Sale Sharks last season. In total 27 players have left the club from last season.

In their place come 14 players, the biggest contingent being four from Championship runners up Cornish Pirates. Three of those are Yorkshiremen, notably David Doherty returns to the club where his career began before stop off points at Wasps, Sale, Jersey and the Pirates. Ben Hooper is another with connections to the club as the younger brother of former skipper Stuart.

Leeds have looked to inject pace into their backline with two signings from Rugby League in the shape of Jamel Chisholm from Leeds Rhinos and Josh Griffin from Castleford Tigers whilst there is plenty of power up front with Lee Imiolek and Joe Graham joining on loan for the season from Sale and Newcastle respectively along with French powerhouse Damien Tussac from Toulon.

Ins: Fred Burdon (Doncaster), Jamel Chisholm (Leeds Rhinos), David Doherty (Cornish Pirates), James Doherty (Cornish Pirates), Oli Goss (Doncaster), Joe Graham (Newcastle), Calum Green (Leicester), Josh Griffin (Castleford Tigers), Ben Harris (Rotherham), Ben Hooper (Rotherham), Lee Imiolek (Sale Sharks), Mike Myerscough (Cornish Pirates), Pearce Phillips (Darlington Mowden Park), Matt Smith (Cornish Pirates), Damien Tussac (Toulon).

Outs: Halani Aulika (London Irish), Tom Barrett (Doncaster), Scott Barrow (Fylde), Tommy Bell (London Wasps), Lee Blackett (Rotherham), Will Cliff (Sale Sharks), Jordan Davies (Sale Sharks), Gareth Denman (Rotherham), Tom Denton (Leinster), Scott Freer (Northampton on trial), Sean Hohneck (unattached), Mike MacDonald (unattached), Lachlan MacKay (Retired), Danny Paul (Retired), Jonathan Pendlebury (Retired), Ollie Richards (Newcastle), Alex Rieder (Rotherham), Robbie Shaw (unattached), Michael Stephenson (Percy Park), Phil Swainston (London Wasps), Iain Thornley (Wigan Warriors), James Tincknell (Doncaster), Andy Titterrell (Edinburgh), Dan White (Hull), Ed Williamson (London Welsh), Dave Young (Zebre), Cameron Zeiss (Esher).

Leeds played pre-season games against Wasps and Newcastle Falcons, losing 23-50 and 19-52 respectively, before their opening weekend clash at Nottingham.

The Yorkshire side, who apparently have the youngest squad in the Championship, took an early 20-3 lead thanks to tries by full-back Steve McColl and captain/ open-side Jacob Rowan. However the home side narrowed the deficit to 17-23 at the break and then pushed on in the second half to lead 34-26. Joe Ford's late penalty gained a bonus point for his side, although this would have been snatched away had James Arlidge landed a last-gasp effort of his own.

Leeds Head Coach Diccon Edwards, 39, is a former player (76 appearances) and Academy Manager at the club, appointed to his current role after the departure of Neil Back in summer 2011.

Leeds squad
15. Christian Georgiou
14. David Doherty
13. Oli Goss
12. Fred Burdon
11. Jamel Chisolm
10. Joe Barker
9. Craig Hampson

1. Ben Harris
2. Phil Nilsen
3. Ben Hooper
4. Matt Smith
5. Dan Hemingway
6. Richard Beck
7. Chris Walker
8. Jacob Rowan (c)

16. Joe Graham
17. Sam Lockwood
18. Mark Tampin
19. Mike Myerscough
20. Rob Baldwin
21. James Doherty
22. Curtis Wilson

B&I Round-up after Round 1
For a more complete round-up of all the stats from last weekend, please click on the pdf download at the bottom of this report.

 
What's up, Doc?
Jersey will face former winger David Doherty. The Yorkshireman began his career with Leeds in 2004 before moving on to Sale and Wasps.

Doc spent seven months chez nous in 2010/11, making 19 appearances and scoring 19 tries. He even had a few pops at goal, landing three conversions and a penalty. His last touch of the ball in a red shirt was the final try against Loughborough in the National Two play-off, before he moved to Cornish Pirates in summer 2011.

Leeds Rugby Union: a historical cocktail
The history of Leeds Carnegie is a cocktail of different aged components, matured separately before being combined during more recent times and blended into a series of modern interpretations.

Headingley Football Club were founded in 1878 and played games on Cardigan Fields, site of the current ground. The club withstood a lean spell for rugby in Yorkshire during the early part of the 20th Century, and after the Great War, but in the 1930s was prospering with excellent facilities, impressive results and representative honours.

Two notable names from the 1960s were Ian McGeechan and John Spencer. The latter was last encountered by Jersey in the club's only previous trip to Yorkshire, when they played the Wharfedale club of which he is now President last January, while McGeechan's career has gone full circle and he is now back at Leeds as Executive Chairman.

Winterbottom

In the 1980s Peter Winterbottom (pictured above) was the most notable Headingley player of his era, winning 58 caps for England and seven for the Lions. His father John, a member since 1950, also played a key role in the history of Leeds, brokering the merger with Roundhay that led to the formation of Leeds RUFC in 1992.

Roundhay were formed in 1924 and had a golden era in the 1950s which included a first-ever appearance in the Yorkshire Cup Final. The loss to the Royal Signals was finally avenged in 1975 when England internationals Richard Cardus and Keith Smith helped Roundhay defeat Headingley 20-16 in a replay which followed a 13-all draw.

Merger discussions were initiated by John Winterbottom with a view to forming a single, much larger club from Headingley, Roundhay and Morley. Morley subsequently withdrew, but the merger was finalised in July 1992 with the first game played two months later.

The new club climbed the leagues and appointed professionals Colin Stephens (Youth Development Officer) and Phil Davies (Director of Rugby) in 1995 and 1996, as well as moving to Headingley Stadium. In 1998 the modern era truly arrived when rugby union in Leeds became a brand, namely Leeds Tykes, in partnership with the city's league brethren the Rhinos under the ownership of Leeds Rugby Limited, and by September 2001 the Tykes had reached the Premiership, then sponsored by Zurich.

The highlights of a five-season stint in the top flight were finishing fifth in 2002/03, earning qualification for the Heineken Cup, and lifting the Powergen Cup in 2005. But the cup success was followed by relegation 12 months later, inspite of the presence of star names like Justin Marshall and Gordon Bulloch in the squad.

The most recent incarnation of the club saw Leeds Carnegie formed in 2007 after the club returned to the Premiership and formed a partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, who acquired a 51% share in the club. The Carnegie names came from the Scottish entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie whose Carnegie Trust funded the establishment of a PE teaching training college in 1933. Carnegie College is now the Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education within Leeds Metropolitan University.

Current England Coach Stuart Lancaster was involved with the club for 16 years, serving as Director of Rugby before leaving in 2008 to join the England set-up. He was replaced by Andy Key, while England flanker Neil Back became Head Coach. The yo-yo existence continued with two seasons at the top level, attracting home crowds of between 4,000 and 10,000, followed by relegation in 2011 and a mid-table performance in 2011/12 (6th in the league, 3rd in promotion pool B). Last season's crowds dropped to an average figure of 2,314, third highest behind Bristol and Bedford and just ahead of Cornish Pirates.

In May 2009 it was announced that the club was re-structuring with former Wales and British Lion international Gareth Davies joining a new board of Directors, and Leeds Rugby taking control of the club once again.

In order to attract further financial support for the club, Leeds Met has returned its 51% stake in the club to Leeds Rugby and agreed a revised strategic partnership arrangement, which includes sponsorship. The name of the club remained as Leeds Carnegie RUFC.

Davies, who is a former Chief Executive of Cardiff RFC and BBC Wales Head of Sport, is the new Dean of the Carnegie Faculty of Sport & Education at Leeds Met and he will represent the university on a new board, which is headed up by Paul Caddick, the property and construction entrepreneur and former Headingley lock, as Chairman.

Mine hosts, for one day only
York RUFC played their first match in the 1860s (approximately) and reached the first-ever final of the Yorkshire Cup (T'owd Tin Pot as they call it) in 1887, losing 9-0 to Halifax.

York

The current club was formed in 1928 and twice won the Yorkshire Shield in 1949 and 1964 before moving into their current ground at Clifton Park in 1966. The ground has now been developed into a multi-purpose sporting arena featuring tennis, hockey, archery and squash as well as the two 'founding' sports, rugby and cricket.

York's highest ranking in the RFU pyramid came with a third-place finish in North One in 1995, within two places of the National Leagues. The club has since settled on a lower rung of the ladder and now play in Yorkshire One (level seven on the national scale), finishing fourth last season.

Leeds are laying on coaches for fans to make the journey to York, so it is to be hoped these supporters, some curious locals and a smattering of travelling Jersey faithful will add up to a decent crowd and a good atmosphere. After 2,066 people watched Leeds v Jersey pt 1 at the 23,000 capacity Headingley, it will certainly be different.

Following the game
Don't forget that you can keep up-to-speed with news from Leeds v Jersey through the following channels:
• Live commentary on BBC Jersey, available online and on your transistor-wireless device, with the show starting at 7pm
• Preview in Friday's JEP, and full match coverage on Monday
• Scoreflashes on @jerseyrfc Twitter and the 'Rolling Maul' rugby forum


The B&I this weekend
Pontypridd host Leinster 'A' at 2pm on Saturday in Pool 5.

The B&I in December
A handful of seats on the charter flight to Dublin in December for Leinster v Jersey remain on sale. Get in touch soonest if you want one.

And finally
Is this the section where we cover the fantastic Yorkshire Post headline 'When Leeds Carnegie met the Lady Boys of Bangkok'? No? Ok then. But if you are interested see here.

Plenty of rugby is being played on the Island this weekend, and the good news is none of it clashes with Sunday's B&I Cup tie. The fifth running of the memorial match for former Beeches skipper Ian Burrell takes place on pitch 5 at St Peter at 3pm on Saturday, with the Burrell Barbarians taking on a JRA XV. At 2pm on the adjacent pitch 4, Jersey Athletic play Wimbledon, while the Les Quennevais ground hosts the league match between LQ Lydian Lions and Banks at 12noon. Good luck too to Banks Ladies for Sunday's away game at Teddington.

Enjoy your weekend's rugby
Tom Innes

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