Leeds Carnegie off to a winning start in National One
September 1, 2008
Leeds Carnegie left it late to secure a bonus point at home to Nottingham in the opening round of National League One.
Wing Tom Biggs streaked away under the posts in the final minute to add the extra point in a convincing 34-19 victory.
Leeds had dominated early on and opened the scoring after only five minutes when Hendre Fourie dived in from close range. Further scores from Rhys Oakley and David Hepworth took the game away from Nottingham before Biggs rounded the victory off.
The Cornish Pirates also found themselves in rich early season form with a 48-5 demolition of Newbury.
The Pirates ran in seven tries, including scores for wingers Rhodri McAtee and Fijian international Marika Vakacegu.
Newly promoted Manchester found their first game at this level tough going, as they were crushed 62-0 by Mike Rayer's Bedford.
The Blues ran in nine tries, with debutant Billy Twelvetrees having a memorable afternoon with four scores to his name.
Exeter Chiefs overcame a nervy start to secure maximum points with a 46-8 win away to Esher.
With a 15 point cushion at half time, the professional Chiefs' fitness and pace was too much for the part-timers of Esher, whose game resistance was broken by seven tries from the Devon side.
There was also tries galore at Doncaster, where Otley were defeated 36-15 by the Knights.
Knights coach Lynn Howells included 14 new signings in the squad, and some early rustiness was apparent. As the game progressed Doncaster eventually found their running and put six tries past the part timers of Otley.
A last minute try from former England wing Paul Sampson was enough to edge London Welsh to a 15-9 win over Moseley.
In their first game as a fully professional club, London Welsh found themselves 9-8 down following three penalties from Moseley outside half Richard Vasey until Sampson was able to snatch the points at the death.
Coventry's troubled pre-season was not made any better with a 13-5 defeat away to Plymouth.
A try from Plymouth's Ryan Hopkins and eight points from Ross Laidlaw were enough to see off the Midlands team's challenge.
Rotherham Titans let slip a half time lead away to Sedgley Park, going down 20-12 to the Tigers.
The Titans included five new signings in their starting line-up, but found it hard going against a well organised Tigers line-up.
Tries from Paul Wilcock and Adman Newton combined with stout defence to secure a winning start for Sedgley Park.
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September