Hooker Gareth Williams bagged a try double as the Blues downed the Tykes in their Heineken Cup opener.

Dai Young’s men stormed back from a 13-6 deficit at halftime to score four second-half tries against the shell-shocked Guinness Premiership club, and now top Pool 2 ahead of this Friday’s daunting trip to Perpignan. Fellow front-rower John Yapp and in-form flanker Robin Sowden-Taylor scored the Blues’ other tries, with Nicky Robinson kicking goals from everywhere to score 20 points and impress Wales coach Mike Ruddock ahead of the autumn internationals.

“We’re a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team at the moment, as that first-half display proved,” he said. “We had a good first 10 minutes, but the rest of it was pretty poor.

“I didn’t have to say much at halftime, because the players felt they were better than those last 30 minutes of the first half. They handed the momentum back to Leeds and our gain-line efficiency simply wasn’t there.

“I told them they had to be more physical and to muscle up in the second half, and they did that. They went out and totally dominated that second half.

“Perhaps we might look to have a game before we start in Perpignan next week, so we get the bad start out of our system.”

Blues backs Marc Stcherbina and Chris Czekaj – who between them are worth about 1,000 points in Scrabble – made several early breaks against a nervous Tykes side, and fly-half Nicky Robinson punished the visitors with an early penalty goal.

Leeds struck back through a try to South African winger Andre Snyman after some good work from Justin Marshall, who added a cheeky dropped goal to extend the Tykes’ lead.

Robinson and Gordon Ross traded goals, although Ross’ effort looked to have drifted right of the right-hand upright, and the Tykes took a 13-6 lead into the break. A packed Arms Park showed what they thought of the first half by booing the Blues players as they trudged off.

The home side opened the second-half scoring with Robinson’s third goal, before Sowden-Taylor powered over in the corner in the tackle of two Tykes defenders. Video referee Jim Fleming ruled in the Blues’ favours and Robinson’s sideline conversion turned a seven-point halftime deficit into a three-point lead 10 minutes into the second spell.

Dai Young’s men kept up the pressure as they pushed for a match-winning lead, and hooker Williams produced a bit of magic to bring the home crowd to their feet. Williams threw a lineout ball to Craig Quinnell, who immediately threw it back to the little hooker and watched him scamper 25 metres for a try in the same corner as Sowden-Taylor’s effort.

Robinson produced another superb conversion to extend the lead, and a 70-metre clearance kick from Czekaj had the Arms Park fans starting to think about a victory.

That was confirmed by Yapp, who became the third Blues player to score in the same corner after winger Craig Morgan charged down a Tykes clearance. The extras were added by Robinson, who may as well have left his kicking tee in the same spot after Sowden-Taylor’s try.

The invaluable bonus point was confirmed when a rampant Blues pack shoved Williams over the line for his second try, and Robinson brought up 40 points with his eighth goal.