Leeds City College Wrap Up Title In Style

Leeds City College

Leeds City College’s Rugby League side claimed the Yorkshire College League title last week, following a 42-18 victory over Pontefract New College in the penultimate game of the 2018/19 season.

As part of their Rugby League Development Plan, sponsored by Mears Group, Leeds Rhinos Foundation aim to support the growth of rugby league in Leeds at all levels. Alongside their work in schools and clubs the charity also supports rugby league in further education establishments and has a dedicated coach running the rugby league side at Leeds City College, who compete in the Yorkshire College League against higher education institutions from across the Yorkshire region.

After a bottom half finish in the Division 1 competition last season, an improved showing was required in what was being touted as a rebuilding year for the programme. The new look squad, consisting of predominantly first-year students, began the new campaign with a tough 34-6 loss to a strong Halifax Elite Rugby Academy side. However, the result provided the spark needed to ignite the Leeds City College squad to go unbeaten at home for the remainder of the year, culminating in the resounding victory over Pontefract New College to clinch the title with a week to spare.

The ongoing support from Leeds Rhinos Foundation has seen the team develop into one of the region’s best college team, scoring a league high 369 points- with just 149 points against- on their way to lifting the trophy. Links with the community game have also been strong this year, with Leeds Rhinos’ Ambassador clubs East Leeds, Hunslet Warriors, Milford Marlins, Headingley Hawks, Stanningley, Birstall Victoria, Drighlington and Oulton Raiders all represented in the side.

Top scorer was Hunslet Warriors; outside back Tyler Dargan, who notched up an impressive 11 tries for the side despite missing several weeks with an injured thumb.

Dan Hardy, Community Projects Coordinator at Leeds Rhinos Foundation and Head Coach at Leeds City College said: “I’m really proud of what Leeds City College have managed to achieve in this years’ competition.

“We had a bit of a late start in terms of preparation for the season and a tough first game against an established rugby league academy in Halifax ERA, but the lads dug in and put in some really pleasing performances which were reflected in some of the scorelines they chalked up.

“I firmly believe that with continued backing and support from all areas of our game, Rugby League has a place, and a great deal of potential, within schools and colleges. It gives players another opportunity to play at a good level post-16 and develop alongside the work they do at their community clubs. I must give a special mention to Raza Siddique and the rest of the Leeds City College staff, who have been tremendous in supporting the players throughout their studies which has enabled them to apply themselves to their rugby development when they needed to.

“I’m incredibly pleased with our achievements this season and optimistic for the future of this partnership going forward.”

If you are interested in studying at Leeds City College in September and joining the Rugby League Academy, email dan.hardy@leedsrhinosfoundation.org.