A winning start for ‘Sir Kev’
Sinfield came off the bench for Yorkshire Carnegie as they overcame an Ospreys select side
Rugby League legend made a winning start to his Rugby Union career at Headingley
Kevin Sinfield made a winning start to his Rugby Union career this afternoon, playing his part with a penalty goal as Yorkshire Carnegie overcame an Ospreys select side 32-10 at Headingley.
Sinfield began the game on the bench but a dominant first half from Yorkshire, who made 12 changes from their last league outing, saw them 24-3 up at the break after two tries from Josh Bainbridge and one each from David Doherty and Matt Smith, Joel Hodgson with two goals as Joel Matavesi kicked Ospreys’ reply.
But the visitors, the Welsh Pro12 outfit’s second string, made something of a comeback after the restart as Rhys Jones raced in, Matavesi improving, as a deserved reward for a dominant start to the second 40.
The young away side had the much-changed Carnegie outfit on the ropes and sensed a chance with the final quarter approaching and just 14 points the difference.
Sinfield was cheered on every warm up by the enthusiastic 627-strong crowd, who had been forced into a hasty change of plans after the fixture was moved from Huddersfield this morning due to a waterlogged pitch.
And those in attendance finally got what they wanted on 66 minutes as Sinfield, wearing the number 21 shirt, was introduced for his first ever game of Union.
But it was no walk in the park for the seven-time Super League champion, charged with the responsibility of leading his new teammates over the line.
Replacing Hodgson at fly-half, Sinfield immediately got into the thick of the action, pointing and shouting his men around the pitch while showing some silky touches.
His arrival on the pitch lifted the crowd and visibly lifted the home side who began sweeping the ball across the field, making a number of line breaks as they finally got a grip back on the game, and he was unfortunate not to notch his first assist in his new sport as two-try Bainbridge fumbled with a gaping hole ahead of him after a typically incisive Sinfield ball.
Looking increasingly comfortable in his new role, the 35-year-old, who is the highest-scoring kicker in Super League history, then kicked his first ever point as a Rugby Union player, notching a penalty from a simple angle to create a 17-point lead and pull the game away from the visitors, before Taylor Prell finished off a flowing move to round off the scoring on a successful afternoon for the Rugby League legend and his new teammates.