If there was an air of trepidation that the controversial name change to Yorkshire Carnegie might derail this season’s promotion push, supporters need not have worried as Leeds racked up 62 points to demolish Moseley and top the Championship for the first time this season.
Kevin Maggs’s side might have thought the storms that had been battering Britain for much of the week had finally receded, but Carnegie had other ideas and produced one of their finest attacking displays of the season.
Commenting on his side’s 10 tries, including a hat-trick for David Doherty, Leeds coach James Lowes said “I’m very, very happy with the attacking play.
“Some of the other work we did defensively probably won’t stand out, but that was also good.
“Every time we touched the ball in the first half we were pretty threatening and it was good to see them come off the field at full-time with big smiles on their faces.
“There has been a lot made by people about the name change, especially on Twitter, but those people need to read the small print because they don’t fully understand what it’s all about because we don’t want to take over any clubs, we just want to have a link.
“Not only do we want to bring some investors in, but some of these young players too.”
Knowing a bonus-point win would take them top of the table, the home side took the lead in under 30 seconds.
A fast break from Alex Lozowski released Wasps loanee Jonah Holmes to run 60 metres and score in the corner with Lozowski kicking the extras.
The next try came minutes later when a break from Fred Burdon on his own try-line found Rob Vickerman, and excellent hold up play from the former England Sevens captain allowed Doherty to open his account.
There was an element of confusion about the third score in that, after good play from Lozowski, the ball appeared to be knocked-on. But after consultation between referee and touch judge, the officials were happy to award Doherty his second try.
Lowes’s men secured the bonus point inside just 12 minutes. After a scrum on halfway, Hampson’s dummy pass opened up the Moseley defence once more and he crashed over and Lozowski kicked his fourth conversion of the afternoon.
After a series of re-set scrums, Leeds launched the ball down-field and, from a lineout, a feigned pass outside from Hampson created space and his strong run earned him a second try in the corner.
A lineout five metres from the Moseley line allowed Carnegie to score their sixth try. After the forwards had won the ball, a pass out wide found Josh Giffin and he rumbled over.
Hampson was then shown a yellow card for persistent infringements, but the visitors could not take advantage and they trailed by 38 points at half-time.
The beleaguered men from Birmingham finally got points on the board when Will Evans crashed over from a five-metre lineout, but Caolan Ryan pulled his conversion attempt wide.
Leeds almost had their first try of the second half after a strong surge from Ryan Burrows made 10 metres, but both he and Burdon in the next phase were adjudged to have been held up on the line.
But the home side did not have to wait much longer for the next points.
The impressive Hampson took a quick penalty tap at a five-metre scrum, and despite his looping pass out wide being fumbled by Holmes he still had enough nous to bring the ball back under control to score his second try.
As the game started to lose momentum, on-loan Bath flanker David Sisi was sent to the sin-bin for an infringement at the breakdown. Being a man down did not seem to matter, however, and after chipping ahead, good juggling work from Lozowski allowed him to cap a fine performance with a try between the posts and the former Chelsea academy graduate converted his own score.
There was still time for Doherty to score his ninth try of the season and complete his hat-trick, before Burrows went between the posts to enable Leeds to reach top spot in style.
Leeds Carnegie: Holmes, Griffin (Clarke 61), Vickerman, Burdon, D. Doherty, Lozowski, Hampson (J. Doherty 61), Harris (Imiolek 51), Nilsen (Graham 61), Tussac (Hooper 51-78), Myerscough (Hannay 40), Smith, Sisi, Rowan © (Walker 61), Burrows.
Moseley: Penn, Hunt, Armstrong, King (Owen 40), Williams, Ryan, Glynn (Brazier 69), Voisey (Warren 64), W. Evans (Lea 69), B. Evans (Parkins 60), Charlton (Burrows 40), Powell ©, Lawrence, Robinson (Parkins 63), Brightwell.
Referee: A Jackson (RFU).