WITH robust Ryan Burrows in such destructive mood, Yorkshire Carnegie were always likely to maintain their 100 per cent start to the Championship season.
The marauding No 8 – back as captain yesterday after Chris Jones failed a late fitness test – was largely unplayable as he continually tore through winless Ealing Trailfinders.
With elusive full-back Jonah Holmes in the mood, too, and 19-year-old scrum-half Max Green making an assured try-scoring debut, the hosts eventually sealed a third successive win to become the competition’s early leaders.
However, Bryan Redpath’s side – the only unbeaten club after just three rounds – did not have it all their own way against bottom-placed visitors who refused to capitulate in the second half.
Carnegie struggled in the set-piece for large periods and were twice down to 14 men with Burrows and Charlie Beech sin-binned for professional fouls as they tried to ease mounting pressure. They were grateful Ealing’s kickers had such a poor afternoon as well, missing a potential 12 points.
Nevertheless, Carnegie – who host London Scottish on Saturday evening – had just too much class, illustrated by a succession of fine tries that secured a bonus point inside just 34 minutes.
David Doherty got their opener early on as the winger latched onto Green’s lovely overhead pass inside and raced in from 25m.
Ealing struck back with two penalties by Alex Davies as Carnegie’s set-piece faltered but they soon emerged with a fine effort from Holmes, switched with impressive results to 15 from his usual wing role.
With the ball moved wide to the left, centre James Fitzpatrick managed to get his arms free out of a tackle to pop it around the corner for the full-back to finish with a 40m scurry.
The best was still to come, however, when Green scored in the 23rd minute. All the hard work was done by Burrows, who produced a stunning 60m run down the middle of the park after quickly taking a free-kick.
He swatted off countless defenders and almost rounded Ealing full-back James Love with another change of pace, before squeezing out a pass to his scrum-half having been stopped just 10m short.
Burrows was yellow-carded soon after, though, having moved offside when trying to stop Ealing as the visitors pressed on his side’s goalline.
Their opponents immediately capitalised with Halifax-born Nathan Hannay, the former Carnegie lock, crashing over for Davies to narrow the gap to just six points at 19-13.
But Redpath’s side showed their character by scoring that fourth try while still down to 14 men. They had conceded a scrum penalty yet Davies’s effort fell wide and, soon after, Holmes gathered a high kick and set off on another mazy run through Ealing’s porous middle to supply Andy Forsyth with his first try for the club.
Harry Leonard again converted to make it 26-13 at the break.
The visitors had two scrums on Carnegie’s five-metre line, initially causing problems, but Beech’s arrival off the bench helped shore that up and after all that Ealing pressure, Burrows bulldozed his way clear again to furnish winger Seb Stegmann in the 58th minute.
An inventive chip-and-chase from winger Phil Chesters saw Ealing respond and when Beech was yellow carded for dragging down a maul, Danny Kenny added another try.
Carnegie replacement hooker Phil Nilsen scored after another swift Holmes break but Ealing earned a deserved bonus point, their first point this season, when Rhys Crane crossed late on.
Yorkshire Carnegie: Holmes; Stegman, Forsyth, Fitzpatrick, Doherty; Leonard, Green (Pilgrim 56); Imiolek (Beech 48), J Walker (Nilsen 65), Tideswell (O’Donnell 56), Schofield (Myerscough 65), Ryder, Williams, C Walker (Bainbridge 75), Burrows.
Ealing Trailfinders: Love; Crane, Kinloch (Wilson 63), Munro, Chesters; Roberts, Davies (Bliss 65); Davis (Kilbane 64), Thompson (Walker 60), Holford (Penny 55), Hannay, Jones (Preocanin 75), Kenny, Ellis (Orr 51), York.
Referee: G Macdonald (RFU).