Newbury 12 Leeds Carnegie 89
Lee Blackett scored four tries as Leeds Carnegie racked up their biggest win of the season to secure a 89-12 win over Newbury.
Leedsran in 13 tries in total as they completely outclassed the home side to maintain their lead at the top of National Division One.
The game was played in bitterly cold conditions but the visitors did not let that put them off their stride as they applied pressure on Newbury from the off. The Carnegie forwards were dominant in the early exchanges with Hendre Fourie and Rhys Oakley harassing the home side at every turn whilst the Leeds backs look dangerous with ball in hand. The only option Newbury had to stop Leeds was by giving away penalties and eventually referee Terry Hall lost patience with them and awarded a penalty try after five minutes.
Ten minutes later, Newbury were reduced to 14 men when Chevvy Pennycock was sin binned for persistent infringements and a brilliant piece of quick thinking from Alberto Di Bernardo set up the next try. Whilst everyone stood about waiting for the next piece of action, the fly half spotted that Leigh Hinton was stood unmarked out on the wing and put in a pin point accurate kick to the corner for him to catch and score. Di Bernardo then added a great touchline conversion to make it 14-0.
Carnegie made it 21-0 after as many minutes when Rhys Oakley can round on an arcing run from the back of a line out ten metres from the Newbury line and producing a sublime offload to hooker Phil Nilsen to score in the corner. Di Bernardo added the conversion. Leeds then got the crucial fourth try after 29 minutes when second row Phil Murphy crashed over in the corner. Di Bernardo added the touchline conversion to make it 28-0.
The visitors rounded off the first half with two more tries. The first came from a good move by Hinton who released Jon Goodridge to score between the posts, adding to the four he scored last week against Moseley. Goodridge then combined with Hinton to set up Lee Blackett for his side's sixth try in first half stoppage time. Di Bernardo kicked both conversions to make it 42-0 at the break.
The second half had barely got underway when Carnegie had extended their lead. Blackett scored his second try after coming round to take a pass off the back of a line out from 30 metres out.
Scrum half Joe Bedford scored the simplest try of the afternoon after 46 minutes when he took a quick tap five metres out from a penalty to go over untouched. Replacement Andy Boyde then made it three tries in nine minutes when Hendre Fourie offloaded to him close to the line. Di Bernardo converted all three tries to make it 63-0.
Jonny Hepworth then got himself on the scoresheet just before the hour mark when he broke through in midfield and stepped around the fullback to score. Jason Strange, who had come on for Jon Goodridge, took over the kicking duties to make it 70-0. The sparse crowd of just 316 were given something to cheer when Newbury captain Jonny Hylton scored a try outwide after 61 minutes.
Blackett replied with his hat trick try four minutes later however Strange was unable to add the conversion so the score remained at 75-5. With eight minutes to go, Newbury full back Matthew Williams pushed off the attempted tackle of James Brooks to score his side's second try which Gareth Griffiths converted. However, Carnegie continued to press looking to extend their lead and finished with two more tries.
Hinton made the extra man to score out wide, which Strange converted, and then four minutes into added time Blackett crossed for his fourth try. Di Bernardo returned to kick the final conversion and made the final score 89-12.
Newbury Blues: Williams, Henderson, Sweeney, Humphries, Hylton (c), Griffiths, Avery, Catt, Clark, Fidler, Attwood, Griffiths, Noonan, Pennycock, Phillips
Replacements: McGregor, Green, Ashcroft-Leigh, Bentall, Scott, Stevenson, Perry Replacements: McGregor for Green (63), Green for Fidler (14), Ashcroft-Leigh for Griffiths (50), Bentall for Pennycock (50), Scott for Sweeney (50), Stevenson for Avery (63), Perry for Henderson (63)
Leeds Carnegie: Goodridge, Hinton, Hepworth, Barrow, Blackett, Di Bernardo, Bedford, Pala'amo, Nilsen, Bucknall, Murphy, Pendlebury (c), D Paul, Fourie, Oakley
Replacements: McGee for Pala'amo (50), Rawlinson, Lund for Pendlebury (50), Boyde for Oakley (HT), White for Bedford (55), Strange for Goodridge (50), Brooks for Hepworth (63)
Referee: Terry Hall