Cardiff Metropolitan University withstood a late Leeds Beckett rally at Headingley Carnegie Stadium to secure victory in the second round of BUCS Super Rugby.
The Welsh visitors were holding onto a precarious looking 13-10 lead but, with four minutes left on the clock, defended a five-metre lineout doggedly before fly-half George Simpson scored an interception try to wrap up a 20-10 win.
Leeds Beckett, playing their first match in the newly-formed competition, had started the game well and could have gone in front on six minutes when captain Josh Longson broke but full-back Charlie Venables was unable to take the ball in on a subsequent overlap with the line beckoning.
Instead it was Cardiff Met who crossed first on 12 minutes when powerful second row Alex Dombrandt brilliantly burst through four tackles all the way from the halfway line to score. His effort was converted by Tom Morgan to put the visitors 7-0 up.
Leeds Beckett got on the scoreboard four minutes later, though, when Cardiff Met were penalised and centre David Mcilwaine slotted a straightforward kick to make it 7-3.
They thought they were in front on 20 minutes when wing Jonny Keh touched down in the corner but celebrations were cut short when his foot was ruled out of play by the touch judge.
Conditions soon worsened as the rain began to pour down at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the concession of two penalties at the scrum by Leeds Beckett before half-time was punished by the boot of Morgan who extended Cardiff Met’s lead to 13-3 at the break.
Following a cagey opening to the second period Morgan, who was following up a perfect kicking performance against Northumbria in week one, had a rare miss from the tee on 49 minutes after Leeds Beckett were penalised at the lineout.
And there was no further score until the 61st minute when Leeds Beckett got a chance to use their driving maul.
After securing lineout ball on their opponents’ 22 they made rapid progress towards the line and were rewarded with a penalty try after being illegally brought down. Mcilwaine kicked the conversion to make the score 13-10 and set up a grandstand final quarter.
Despite the setback of seeing replacement Conrad Cade sent to the sin bin for a dangerous tackle on 71 minutes they again got the opportunity to use their potent maul in the closing minutes.
But after prop Rory Mason was stopped close to the line and the ball came loose in the following phases, Cardiff Met were able to kick clear.
They sealed the thrilling win after a wayward Leeds Beckett pass in midfield was seized upon by Simpson who raced clear of defenders to cross the line. Morgan kicked the extras to maintain Cardiff Met’s 100 per cent start.
Leeds Beckett travel to Durham next Wednesday for their next game.