Yorkshire Carnegie 14-10 Ealing Trailfinders
Ealing Trailfinders were unable to hold onto their unbeaten run in the British and Irish Cup, but their losing bonus point ensured that they finished top of Pool 5, two points ahead of their hosts at Scarborough RFC and so qualify for the quarterfinals for the first time.
Luke Carter scored an early try that new signing Rory Jennings converted and after the fly-half added a penalty the visitors led 10-0. While Andy Saull and Michael Cusack scored tries for the hosts that Warren Seals converted, they were unable to score the points they needed to be in with a chance of winning the pool.
Ealing Trailfinders took control of the match early on thanks chiefly to the pack that used the rolling maul to suck in numbers and put pressure on Carnegie’s line.
It quickly paid dividends as first flanker Ollie Steadman was yellow-carded for persistent infringing and while he was in the bin scrum-half Carter spied a gap that he dashed through to open the scoring.
New boy Jennings converted the score, but was unable to extend it further as he pulled his first penalty of the match wide.
The hosts found some rhythm as the half wore on, but Ealing Trailfinders’ defence held out and while they were unable to capitalise on their chances, Ben Ward’s side enjoyed the better of the territorial battle and went in at half time seven points ahead.
A high tackle allowed Jennings another shot at the posts and he didn’t miss a second time around.
Carnegie began to work their way back into the match and they were eventually rewarded for their improvement with a try when former Saracens flanker Saull collected Phil Nilsen’s inside pass to go over.
They scored a second with less than seven minutes to go after Cusack touched down from the back of a rolling maul. With fly-half Warren Seals converting both it put Carnegie ahead and while they held the lead to the final whistle, it wasn’t enough to knock Ealing Trailfinders off top spot in the group.
Tries (Saull 65, Cusack 73), Conversions (Seals 65, 73)
Tries (Carter 20), Conversions (Jennings 20), Penalties (Jennings 55)
Stevie McColl, Oli Goss, Alex Gray, Tom Casson, Taylor Prell, Warren Seals, Max Green; Rob O’Donnell, Phil Nilsen, James Thraves, Dan Sanderson, Ben West, Ollie Stedman, Andy Saull, Ryan Burrows (captain)
Mike Mayhew, Lewis Boyce, Mike Cusack, Mike Myerscough, Josh Bainbridge, Sam Allan, Seb Stegmann
Rhys Crane, Will Harries, Aled Jenkins, Joe Munro, Curtis Wilson, Rory Jennings, Luke Carter; Will Davis, Alun Walker, Alex Penny, Harry Casson, Glen Townson, Willie Ryan, Rayn Smid, Mark Bright (captain)
Rhys Lawrence, James Gibbons, Sam Rodman, Chris York, Seb Nagle-Taylor, Alex Walker, Lewis Jones
Referee – Rhys Thomas
Attendance - 837