17/12/16 Tigers 1st XV 12 - 26 Scunthorpe

Tigers kicked off and Scunthorpe returned the ball which was picked up by Peter Swatkins. His high return was gathered by the fullback and from the ensuing ruck the home side attacked and, with just 1 minute played Tigers found themselves 5 – 0 down. Tigers were finding themselves under pressure and, although they were holding their own in some of the scrums in others they were finding themselves being pushed around. The lineouts were also proving problematic with too many of throws going astray. Tigers found themselves under pressure and from a penalty kicked to touch, Scunthorpe set up the now inevitable rolling maul. On this occasion, Tigers defended well and from the subsequent scrum cleared the ball up field where the home fullback knocked on and the scrummage resulted in a Tigers penalty on the halfway line. Angus Bowyer attempted the long-range kick but it went just wide of the uprights. From the restart Tigers made some ground with Liam Wallace and John Buchanan making some powerful runs. From another penalty to Tigers the ball ended up in the hands of Swatkins who, as usual, found Henri Packard running alongside him. With perfect timing, he was fed the ball and won the footrace down the wing to score in the corner. Bowyer converted from the touchline and after 17 minutes Tigers were in the lead 5 - 7. Tigers immediately gave away a penalty which was immediately kicked into the corner. Scunthorpe took the lineout but could not make ground. It made no difference because Tigers were adjudged offside and an easy kick in front of the posts restored the home teams advantage at 8 - 7. Scunthorpe now began to put pressure on the Tigers try line and, with the visitords lineout misfiring, found it easy to stay in the Tigers 22. Tigers defended well and held them out with Swatkins making numerous clearances. Hooker Tom Coates, injured after a brave tackle, was substituted with Ross Thornton coming on as the replacement. Scunthorpe were still pressing and, when Tigers got the ball, they passed it along the line but could not break down the homesides defence. From a clearance kick by Tigers Frank Wragg was deemed to have tackled the man in the air and received a yellow. The penalty resulted in a scrum with Tigers being pushed back and penalised. Scunthorpe took the points and moved further ahead making it 11 - 7. Charlie Wright replaced prop Charlie Cone and Scunthorpe again put pressure on but Tigers were holding them. Jamie Broadley made a brilliant break and Stevie Walker kicked the ball through but just lost the foot race to touch it down. Tigers problems got worse when Thornton was yellow carded and they were down to 13 men. Scunthorpe could not take advantage and although they pressured it was Tigers who made a quick break through Wallace who found himself supported by Broadley. Wallace timed his pass to perfection and Broadley score in the corner. The conversion was missed but Tigers went in at half time with a 11 - 12 advantage.
The second half saw Scunthorpe come out on the attack. There was a bit of a stalemate with neither side able to make real progress. Penalties allowed Scunthorpe to slowly move up the field and from a scrum the flanker went over to make it 16 – 12.  
Tigers now began to apply some pressure of their own with Packard making a run down the middle of the pitch. His progress was only stopped by a head high arm which, to many spectators surprise, resulted in only a yellow card. He was slow to recover but Tigers continued to pressure the Scunthorpe line. Scunthorpe now attacked and slowly moved up field. A good move by the homesides centres found the secondrow in space and he crossed the line to score a converted try to make it 23 - 12. Tigers now applied pressure for 10 minutes - possibly more. They were now showing some power in the scrum and two successive scrum offences on their the Scunthorpe line looked like a score was on the cards. Tigers decided to run the ball from the third scrum and, again, failed to break through the determined home defence. Al Symcox replaced Lee Orton but the forwards could not cross the line. Packard made another quick break but was again crudely brought down which resulted in another yellow card. Tigers could not break through and the lineouts were still proving a problem with Tigers losing the ball 5m out. Scunthorpe countered but seemed equally unlikely to score. They lost another player to a yellow card which, given that it was the same player who had been penalised for bringing Packard down earlier, should have been a red. The referee seemed to miss it but then it happens.
Tigers conceded another kickable penalty near the end of the game to make it 26 – 12 with 5 minutes left. With the final whistle beckoning Packard took the ball behind his own line and set off on another storming run that would have at least meant a bonus point. He looked to be in the clear when another high tackle on the halfway line stopped him in his tracks. Instead of dealing with it the referee blew the final whistle leaving the player on the floor.

Another game that we could have won. Many of the players looked, and almost certainly are, tired and in need of a rest. Let’s hope the Christmas break does them good.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1), Packard (1)
Conversions: Bowyer (1)

Team: Bennett, Coates (Thornton), Cone (Wright), Orton (Symcox), Wragg, Tufail-Smith, Townsend, Walker, Holmes, Bowyer (Farrell), Broadley, Wallace, Buchanan (Keetley), Packard, Swatkins

Replacements:  Thornton, Wright, Symcox, Farrell, Keetley

Match Report: Graham Cockshutt

10/12/16 Tigers 1st XV 13 - 25 South Leicester

No match report.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1)
Conversions: Bowyer (1)
Penalties: Bowyer (2)

Team: Bennett (Cone), Coates (Thornton), Simmons, Orton (Symcox), Wragg, Tufail-Smith, Townsend, Walker, Holmes, Bowyer (Farrell), Broadley, Wallace, Buchanan, Keetley (Packard), Swatkins

Replacements:  Thornton, Cone, Symcox, Farrell, Packard

Match Report:

03/12/16 Tigers 1st XV 12 - 34 Tynedale

Tigers welcomed Tynedale (based in Corbridge, Northumberland) for the first time as the visitors were relegated from National 1 last season.  On a cold, dry and windless day, Tynedale kicked off and Tigers immediately went on to the attack. After losing the ball in the breakdown the visitors took possession and began to launch wave after wave of attacks. Tigers defended well but eventually were penalised for not rolling away and Tynedale kicked into the corner for a lineout just short of the 5m line. From the lineout came the inevitable rolling maul which eventually resulted in the Tynedale hooker, Blamire, going over for an unconverted try to give the visitors and early 0 - 5 lead. From the restart Tynedale picked up where they had left off. They retained possession, used their forwards to drive the ball on and then, when the opportunity arose, set the three-quarter line in motion. Tigers were slipping off the tackles and this was allowing the visitors a lot of the ball. A clearance from behind Tigers line failed to find touch and Tynedale moved the ball to centre field and launched yet another attack. Missed tackles saw the outside centre in clear space and he crossed the line for another try which was converted to give the visitors a 0 - 12 lead after just 15 minutes. Tynedale gained possession from the restart and after an exchange of kicks went onto the attack once again. At this stage, it seemed like one way traffic and Tigers were spending most of their time defending and not gaining anywhere near enough possession. Without that it is difficult to score points. Finally, after 20 minutes, Tigers began to get in to the game and exert their own pressure and test out the Tynedale defence. They launched one forward drive after another then cleverly switched it to the backs. From a scrum on the Tynedale 5m line the opposition tried to clear the ball which was gathered up by the ever reliable Liam Wallace. He broke towards the centre of the pitch and the attack was continued by Jamie Broadley. Tynedale were quickly up but eventually the ball came out and a bulldozing run by Ed Simmons saw him go over with 4 opposition players clinging on to him. A try was awarded but the conversion was missed when Tom Outram’s foot slipped on the greasy surface. At least Tigers were on the board to make the score 5 - 12. From the restart Tynedale put the ball straight into touch and Tigers had a scrum on halfway. They once again went on the attack with good runs by Wallace, Jon Buchanan and Broadley showing what could be done. The Tynedale defence was holding up but showing signs of weakening. Tigers gained a penalty and kicked for touch. Not for the first, or last, time the lineout was lost and Tynedale tried to drive away. Tigers were penalised which gave the opposition a chance to clear their line. They failed to find touch and Tigers again went on the attack. The forwards once again were making some powerful runs led by Simmons and Will Bennett. When the ball went out Buchanan, Broadley and Wallace were making strong runs with Dan Kelly also getting involved. Steve Walker, Louis Townsend and Frank Tufail-Smith were beginning to chase and harry effectively. Tigers pressure resulted in a penalty which was kicked well down field. The visitors defended but a knock on resulted in a 5m scrum which Tigers took and Walker went over for a try converted by Angus Bowyer. 12 - 12 with half time looming and Tigers looking impressive. They continued to apply pressure but time ran out and the two sides went in all level at half time. It looked like we were in for a cracking second half with Tigers appearing to be the strong favourites to win a tight game.
Tigers kicked off the second half and Tynedale went on the attack. They immediately gained a penalty and went for the kick to touch. They took the lineout and Tigers successfully defended the rolling maul but the pressure was still on. From another attack, it took a great tackle by Lee Monks (on for the injured Walker) to prevent a try.  The next lineout went to Tigers but an overthrown ball was just missed by Tigers. Tigers were now being put under massive pressure by Tynedale and a penalty eventually gave the visitors 3 points to make it 12 - 15. Tigers had found getting possession difficult and without that it was going to be difficult to win. Tynedale appeared to have taken heed of the old maxim that if you have the ball the opposition cannot score. They retained possession well and waited for the pressure to bring results. From a lineout, they gave the ball out to the backs who with good control crossed the Tigers line to score almost under the posts for a converted try to give them a healthy 12 - 22 lead after 55 minutes of play. Tigers seemed to have gone off the boil and were under continuous pressure. The pack was holding its own in the scrums but the lineouts were proving problematic. There was the occasional breakout with Broadley trying to flat foot Tynedale by kicking the ball through or over them. The visitors were equally adept at clearing it up and counterattacking which eventually led to another unconverted try in the corner and stretched the lead to 12 - 27. Tigers now decided to try and attack but that does have the result of leaving gaps. The visitors now put pressure on and the penalties against Tigers began to mount. From one of these Tigers found themselves defending yet another driving maul. The visitors were held up over the line and the 5m scrum resulted in a succession of penalties culminating in a free kick under the Tigers posts. Tynedale pressured but Tigers managed to battle out to the halfway line but knocked-on to give a final scrum to the visitors. From this they launched an attack through their back line and, with good interplay between three players, went over for a final converted try to make it 12 - 34.

Scorers: Tries: Simmons (1), Walker (1)
Conversions: Bowyer (1)

Team: Simmons, Bennett, Wright (Coates),  Orton, Wragg (Thornton), Tufail-Smith (Symcox), Townsend, Walker (Monks),  Holmes, Bowyer, Wallace, Buchanan, Outram (Aspinall), Kelly, Broadley

Replacements:  Coates, Thornton, Symcox, Monks, Aspinall

Man of the match  - Louis Townsend

Match Report: Graham Cockshutt