The win was down to an excellent all-round team performance from the Tykes, with the pack in particularly fine form as they set the platform for Van Straaten’s kicking feats, which included a 55 metre penalty.
After a scrappy first quarter which saw the score poised at 6-3 in Leeds’ favour, the Tykes made a stunning breakthrough with a well-crafted try that demonstrated just how potent their attack is this season, Dan Hyde finishing off a flowing move that had started some 60 metres downfield through a break by Puma wing Diego Albanese.
After great work from fly-half Gordon Ross and Dan Scarborough, a rising star of the English game, prop Hyde grabbing the touchdown.
With Van Straaten adding the two points, Leeds were in a good position at 13-6, until Irish clawed their way back into the game through a try by Michael Horak, converted by Everitt.
The score was 19-13 in the Tykes’ favour at half-time and after the break the home side stepped up a gear, allowing Van Straaten to inflict serious damage on the Exiles through the boot, the centre on target with five second half penalties.
Leeds sealed the result with a good individual try from Ross, who side-stepped the defence to score under the posts, leaving Van Straaten to round off proceedings with the conversion.
Leeds Tykes:Tries: Dan Hyde, Gordon RossPens: Braam van Straaten (9)Cons: Braam van Straaten (2)
London Irish:Tries: Michael HorakCons: Barry Everitt (3)Pens: Barry Everitt