Report by Rob Kershaw / Photography by Peter Sheridan
Plymouth Albion put nine tries past a sorry Leeds on Saturday afternoon as they hiked up to fifth in National League One, continuing a very strong home run that now sees them unbeaten in 7 at Fortress Brickfields.
A robust Albion start was rewarded when Ramaz Rukhadze forced his way over the line, giving first blood to a hungry home side. The lead was doubled soon after when Jack Outon’s sublime break set up Connor Eastgate to sprint over, with Tom Putts adding the extras.
Decent spells of Leeds possession were ended by clumsy mistakes, and they were punished when juggernaut Dan Collier rumbled over with three defenders hanging off him. Try as they might, Leeds were not stopping the man mountain.
But the visitors soon pulled one back when Juniour Nu’u made huge inroads from first phase and, taking advantage of the huge gain line, Tom Williams sprinted over. Charlie Venables stepped up to convert and allow the visitors a glimmer oof hope at 19-7.
Api Bavadra saw yellow just a few minutes into the second half when he wiped out Seta Raumakita in the air. Albion capitalised on the extra man by scoring their bonus point, Harry Wilkinson, playing at tighthead, bundling over on 55 minutes.
With the bit between their teeth, Albion are a joy to watch and their discipline in attack was gaining plenty of reward. Raumakita reached over the line to make it five, but the rout was far from over. Jack Oulton ran round a tired Leeds defence to bolt across the line, and Wilkinson added his second minutes later.
Albion’s try-scoring barrage was interrupted when John Okafor found himself in the clear to run over, but normal business was resumed when Wilkinson ran down the left flank to complete a fine hat-trick.
Kyle Speare, who was terrific for the entirety of the encounter, forced his way through in the last action of the game, scoring the ninth try of a statement win.
The win moves the Ocean City’s finest up into fifth in National League One ahead of Cinderford, Bishop’s Stortford and Birmingham Moseley, all of whom have a game in hand.
Leeds may have run and hid from the originally scheduled fixture, but there was nowhere to run this time. Payback was well and truly served on Saturday afternoon.
Ramaz Rukhadze, Jamie Salter, Harry Wilkinson, Herbie Stupple, Dan Collier, Torin Clarke, George Mills, Angus Hodges, Jack Oulton, Tom Putt, Setareki Raumakita, Connor Eastgate, Jeremy To’a, Kyle Speare, Charlie Groves
Replacements: Kye Beasley, Jess Tompsett, Morgan Stone, Frankie Nowell, Craig Duncan
Alex Peasants, Rhys Williams, Will Dennis, Thomas Collins, John Okafor, Trystan Lloyd, Grayson Maguire, Matt Burke, Charlie Venables, Seremaia Bai Turagabeci, Ben Dixon, Junior Nu’u, Api Bavadra, Tom Williams, Ewan Laughton
Replacements: Connor Hancock, Sam Mace, Jake Brady, Tighr Maxwell-Whitely, Kit Keith
Plymouth Albion v Bishops Stortford – Saturday 25th Feb, 3 PM K/O