Why in-form Leeds Tykes are aiming for ‘peak performances’ in March

Attaining 19 victories from the same number of games wouldinevitably lead to a cushy promotion for any club during mostseasons.

But for serial winners Leeds Tykes, this season competing in National League Two, the promotion battle is far from over – despite being 11 points clear of second-placed Rotherham Titans.

The Titans, whose only loss this season was a 26-20 defeat away to the Tykes, have a game in hand over their Yorkshire rivals as both former Premiership sides vie for a place in rugby union’s third tier.

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Leeds general manager Jake Brady, pictured, believes this extraordinary level of competition is one of three key reasons behind the club’s perfectionism so far this term.

Jake BradyJake Brady
Jake Brady

He told The Yorkshire Post: “Rotherham are hot on our heels, aren’t they?

“We’ve only got to lose one game and they’ll be a point or two behind us, so they’re pushing us all the way.

“We’ve also got decent strength in depth, so when we’re rotating the squad the replacement has a chance to keep their hands on that shirt.

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“The boys coming in are really trying to take that opportunity.

“It keeps everyone on their toes, pushing forward and playing their best. Additionally, everyone is enjoying training and playing their rugby.

“When you’re getting that enjoyment from playing the game, you’re going to play well.

“Those are the three main things keeping us motivated, performing and picking up five points.”

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Since the New Year, the West Yorkshire side have seemingly done the impossible by improving their scoring rate.

Their average points per game stood at a strong 39.3 pre-Christmas, but that has since risen to an outstanding 51.7 average during the first six league games of 2024.

As they prepare for a season-defining run of matches next month – including crunch fixtures away to fifth-placed Wharfedale and Rotherham – Brady regards this successful attacking habit as a promising trait.

He added: “We’ve been improving all season. We’re trying to make ourselves harder to beat and not providing any chances for the opposition.

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“The momentum in the club is great and there’s a real buzz among the supporters.

“The way we’ve structured training since Christmas is to aim for peak performances in March.

“We’ve got another two weeks for that. When we get into that run, we’ll be as fresh as we possibly can be for every match and at the top of our game.”

Yet there have been some notable hitches to this plan, with back-rower Charlie Venables and fly-half Seremaia Bai Turagabeci suffering long-term injuries in recent games against Huddersfield and Preston Grasshoppers, respectively.

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These losses have been eased by the loan arrivals of Doncaster Knights youth players James Harrison and Archie Upton, who will bolster the squad’s back-row options until the season’s end.

It has also been confirmed their final match this term, against Sheffield, will be played at Headingley Stadium.

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