27/01/18 Tigers 1st XV 20 v 71 Tynedale


No Match report.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (3)
Conversions: Ireland (1)
Penalties: Ireland (1)

Team: Bennett , McDonald, Archer (Hopkins), Ellis, Symcox Al (Orton), Wragg, Monks, Adcock (Bloor), Talbot (Holmes), Ireland, Taylor, Wallace,  Broadley (Pond), Mellor, Swatkins

Replacements:  Hopkins, Orton, Bloor, Pond, Holmes

Match Report:

20/01/18 Tigers 1st XV 5 v 36 Hinckley

So near ... yet so far

Tigers faced high flying Hinckley on a typical Tigers winters day. The pitch was crisp and visiting manager George Chuter could be seen checking that the top pitch wasn’t a better pitch. It wasn’t and the game saw Tigers kicking off towards the scoreboard end. Tigers set off as they always do, determined to make the opposition realise that with ball in hand they are a threat to any team. After a few tentative runs to test out the Hinckley backs Jamie Broadley made a good break down the wing only to be brought down by the full back on the visitors 22. The first scrum showed that the big Hinckley pack was not just all show. The Tigers scrum creaked and a penalty allowed the visitors to clear up to the half way line. With Frank Wragg unavailable it was down to the back-row trio of Matt Nesbit, Ben Sullivan and Lee Monks to try and gain possession in open play and set pieces. They contested well and Monks was often to be seen so high he came down with snow on his head – there again it might have been that it was snowing. Tigers attacked again through Peter Swatkins, who was captaining the side in place of the injured Tom Coates, but the Hinckley defence looked solid. From their own 22 the visitors launched an attack but good defence by Tigers back-row and the three-quarter line up of George Talbot, Mark Ireland, Tom Hart and Jamie Broadley was equal to it. Tigers defended well and when the chances came the big boys, Al Symcox and Sam Ellis were happy to act as battering rams to set up the ball. Before the game the Hinckley coach had said they were going to play a 10 man game and, after 15 minutes that’s just what they did. From a bruising forward run they all got behind the tight head prop and drove him over in the corner to record the first points of the match. The conversion was missed but they now felt they had a way to score. Tigers continued to be put under pressure in the scrums but good defence and the ability of Monks to pick the ball up on the retreat meant that Tigers were still able to launch their own attacks. Both teams were rock solid in defence with Nesbit, Hart and co putting in some big tackles. An injury to Hart meant an early appearance for Louis Taylor. He went to the wing and the versatile Liam Wallace moved into the centre. Almost immediately Nesbit made a good break and found Wallace who powered into the Hinckley defence and fed Broadley who continued the run taking two tacklers with him. Eventually he was brought down and Hinckley turned the ball over and attacked. Tigers held them up on the 22 but were then penalised for going over the top. The visitors realised that points were at a premium and, rather than going for the corner opted for the 3 points to make it 0 – 8 with just 8 minutes to half time. With the 40 minutes just about up Hinckley managed another attack which Tigers defended well. Another penalty resulted, however, and with the referee indicating that there was time for the lineout they kicked for the corner. From the line-out they rolled over the line for a try by the loose head prop which was well converted. The whistle went and Tigers, maybe a little unluckily, found themselves 0 - 15 down but having done enough to show that they could live with the big boys.
The second half saw Hinckley kick long and Swatkins return it with interest. Tigers were in full attack mode with the visitors showing all of their defensive prowess. Swatkins was getting more and more involved with the attacks and was doing some powerful clearing out in the loose! Talbot was providing good ball and Monks continued doing a sterling job behind a scrum that was no longer being pushed around quite as easily. Lewis Bloor replaced Symcox and much of the play was between the two 22’s with neither side willing to give ground. Swatkins, Taylor, Broadley and Wallace were all making some good breaks but Hinckley always seemed to have cover and a stalemate ensued. Eventually Tigers got a penalty on the half-way line and Ireland stepped up and slotted the ball right into the corner. From the resulting line-out Tigers did what everyone else seems to do. They set up the rolling maul and hard-working Will Bennett went over for one of his rare tries. From wide out Ireland’s kick was just wide but Tigers, deservedly, now had points on the board 5 - 15 with 25 minutes to go. From the restart Tigers kept the pressure on and two successive penalties allowed Ireland to put Tigers in the corner again. From the line-out Tigers got another penalty on the 5m line. Tigers were cranking up the pressure but Hinckley aren’t at the top of the table by luck. They held Tigers out and turned the ball over to launch their own attack. They moved up the pitch but good play by Monks saw Tigers regain possession and Swatkins and Ireland launched a counterattack. The to and fro of the game continued but in the 71st minute Hinckley showed that they too could be dangerous in attack when left wing Martin made a break and ran in to the corner for a try which was well converted by Wilson. 5 - 22 seemed harsh on a Tigers side that had attacked and defended well. With just 6 minutes left it got worse as Tigers seemed to tire and leave gaps which the visitors were happy to exploit. First outside centre Sykes crossed the line followed just two minutes later by the winger Martin again. Both were converted and as the whistle blew Tigers found themselves 5 – 36 down.
The result did not reflect the play but did show, yet again, that you have to play for the full 80 minutes or the good sides will punish you. Credit goes to all the players for giving everything they had but turning off, even for a few minutes, invariably has consequences.
Next week the team make the trip to Tynedale and a win needs to be the objective. We have shown that we can live with the top teams now we have to turn it into points. Our best wishes go out the Lee Monks who is having a shoulder operation this week. Get back soon Lee – missing you already!!

Scorers: Tries: Bennett (1)

Team: Bennett (Hopkins), McDonald, Archer (Cone), Ellis ( Orton), Symcox Al (Bloor), Nesbit, Monks, Sullivan, Talbot, Ireland, Wallace,  Hart (Taylor), Broadley, Mellor, Swatkins

Replacements:  Cone, Hopkins, Orton, Bloor, Taylor

Man of the Match: Lee Monks

Match Report: Graham Cockshutt

13/01/18 Tigers 1st XV 16 v 22 South Leicester

Tigers in losing bonus point defeat

Last weekend Tigers travelled away to South Leicester who were just a few points above them in the League so it promised to be an evenly matched game. Tigers had a few changes in the squad, back Jamie Broadley was playing at no. 7 in the pack, and 2 debutantes on the bench - back Louis Taylor and forward Lewis Bloor.

The home side kicked off and just 6 minutes into the game, Tigers were awarded a penalty for not releasing, which Mark Ireland effortlessly converted to give Tigers a lead of 0 - 3. This was shortly followed by a penalty for South Leicester which was converted to equal the score at 3 - 3. Then, 20 minutes in, another penalty was awarded to Tigers in front of the posts which was an easy kick for Ireland to put Tigers back into a slight lead of 3 - 6. This was short lived however, as Tiger's prop Will Archer was given a yellow card for something he did in the scrum. With pressure on Tigers line, South Leicester opted for a scrum 5m from the try line. Winger Greg Mellor was replaced by prop Charlie Cone to make up for the man down in the scrum (not to go on the wing, although Charlie Cone as replacement winger would be a sight). Despite this change, South Leicester’s pack drove Tigers backwards over the try line to score the first try of the match. Following a successful conversion the home side were once again back in the lead 10 - 6. On 30 minutes into the first half, Tigers were still playing with 14 men. An impressive penalty kick from Ireland put Tigers well into the home sides 22. From a lineout, Tigers mauled the ball towards the try line followed by a quick pass to Jamie Broadley who broke through the South Leicester defence to score the first try for Tigers and his first try as a number 7. Ireland yet again converted the try, to re take the lead, 10 - 13. Subsequent to the try, Archer was back on the pitch and Tigers were back to a 15 man strong team. Then the first thing that happened was South Leicester were awarded a convertible penalty which they executed to equal the scores at 13 -13. Within a minute of that penalty, Tigers too were awarded a penalty. Unfortunately the kick was missed so the half time score was all square at  13 - 13.
The second half was underway and had begun how most of the first half had been - with a penalty. 8 minutes in, South Leicester were given a penalty for Tigers not rolling away which they converted making the score 16 - 13. Within 2 minutes a penalty was awarded to Tigers for offside which Ireland converted, once again equalling the scores at 16 - 16. 20 minutes into the second half South Leicester’s second row was given a yellow card for a repeated offside offence. Despite their best efforts Tigers were unable to score and instead, South Leicester were given a penalty for a collapsed scrum which they also converted, putting them into a slight lead of 19 - 16. With just 4 minutes left, Tigers were determined to come away with a win and attacking from deep, but unfortunately another penalty was given away for crossing, which again, South Leicester converted to increase their lead to 22 - 16. With less than a minute left on the clock, Tigers were on the offensive in the home sides 22 and putting a lot of pressure on South Leicester. The visitors determination and hope was evident, however an unfortunate knock on saw their hopes of a victory slip through their fingers with the ball. South Leicester booted the ball off the pitch to end the game winners at 22 - 16.

 Tigers showed a lot of passion throughout the match, however it was more like watching a tennis match than rugby as penalty after penalty was given. Unfortunately Tigers couldn’t quite grasp the win, but did come away with a losing bonus point. Next week Tigers face second in the league, Hinckley, which will be a tough game, but Tigers are known to beat the top teams so anything could happen.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)
Penalties: Ireland (3)

Team: Bennett, McDonald, Archer (Cone), Ellis , Orton, Symcox Al (Bloor), Monks, Broadley, Talbot, Ireland, Wallace, Outram, Hart, Mellor (Taylor), Swatkins

Replacements:  Cone, Hopkins, Bloor, Taylor, Farrell

Match Report: Hazel Joel

06/01/18 Tigers 1st XV 16 v 27 Sale

Tigers put their teeth back in!

On a cold day at the Tiger Dome the troops really turned up to entertain a healthy crowd who knew that Sale would offer a stern test.
Tigers kicked off with a strong north – easterly wind at their backs and the knowledge that a Sale side full of experience was going to be looking to stamp their authority on the game. The visitors showed their intentions with strong runs from the forwards and a willingness to try and get their backs running. Good tackling by Tigers kept Sale in their own half and a penalty against the visitors for going over the top gave Mark Ireland the chance to have a shot at goal. From just inside the opposition half he slotted a kick straight between the posts to give Tigers a 3 – 0 lead after just 3 minutes. As you would expect from a side pushing for promotion Sale came back and their experienced, and powerful, pack made inroads and set up a maul which saw their prop Daniel Birchall go over in the scoreboard corner. The conversion was missed but after 8 minutes Sale were ahead by 3 – 5. From the restart Tigers showed their intent to run the ball with Peter Swatkins making a good run and Captain Tom Coates driving through with power and determination. He was ably backed up by Lee Monks who was brought down by an offside player just on the halfway line. Ireland immediately pointed to the posts and Tigers regained the lead with the second of his three fine penalty goals 6 - 5 and only ten minutes played. Just three minutes later Tigers had opened up a 13 – 5 lead after Frank Wragg put pressure on a Sale player with powerful tackles which twice stopped Sale attacks behind the gain line. With the Sale players looking flummoxed a dropped ball was picked up by Jamie Broadley and he was in under the posts to give Ireland an easy conversion, 13 - 5. The visitors suddenly realised that this was not going to be the “easy” game they might have anticipated and seemed to up their game. They increased the pressure in the scrums but off the back of a wobbling scrum Monks broke off and fed George Talbot who quickly gave it to Swatkins who found his reliable ally Broadley outside him. He ran deep into Sale territory but was brought down short of the line. Tigers were spending periods where they had to defend and Will Bennett, Will Archer, Matt Nesbitt, Sam Ellis and the indomitable Wragg were all putting in some big tackles. On 25 minutes the Sale flanker, Andrew Hughes, was penalised at the breakdown and Ireland stepped up to slot over another fine kick to make it 16 - 5. By now Tigers were confident and their accurate handling game was beginning to trouble their larger opponents. Good breaks by Ireland and Bennett saw Tigers back up to the Sale 22 and a penalty was taken quickly by Talbot as he spotted a gap. Unfortunately, Sale had also spotted it and the backrow quickly closed it off. Tigers continued to press but a loose Tigers pass was intercepted by fly half Johnson. Although he was stopped on halfway the penalty that resulted allowed Sale to set up a lineout and get another penalty. They opted for the scrum and the power came on and Sale pushed the home pack right to their own line to score an unconverted try by No. 8 Jake Barron. 16 - 10 with seven minutes of the half left. Sale now launched a number of attacks but good defence, especially from backs Tom Hart, Liam Wallace and Tom Outram, kept them at bay. From a crunching tackle by Hart the loose ball was picked up by Broadley who gave it to Monks. He was brought down and then penalised for not releasing. Sale used it as an opportunity to attack but Monks made up for his earlier mistake by breaking the Sale attack down and allowing Swatkins to clear. From the lineout Wragg took the ball, one of four of the oppositions lineouts he took, and Tigers looked to be in control. With only a minute to go what had been a simmering antagonism between Bennett and Sale’s 7, Andrew Hughes (is that the Sale Sharks player?), broke into a scuffle and Bennett left the field for 10 minutes. This cost Tigers as it allowed Sale to convert the penalty and go in at half time feeling better with the score 16 - 13.
From the start of the second half Tigers received the ball and, typically, tried to run the ball from their own half. Unfortunately, it was turned over and the visitors left wing, Aaron Reed, England U18 and upcoming star of Sale Sharks, went over to score in the corner. Having not had the best of days the Sale kicker, Andrew Johnson, put over a good conversion and Sale now pulled out a lead of 16 - 20. Coates was now replaced by that man mountain known as Charlie Cone and Al Symcox by Jed McDonald. With Tigers a man down, this was Sale’s best period. They attacked the Tigers line but the defence was firm. The scrums were also now more of a competition but credit also has to go to the Sale defence who, in fairness looked as solid as any Tigers have played against. Wragg continued to take ball and Talbot, Ireland and Outram linked up to make some powerful runs. The problem was that they were being held on, or behind the gain line by the Sale defence. Chris Pond replaced Outram and Lee Orton came on for McDonald and, whilst the scrums and lineouts functioned well, Tigers could still not make any real headway and on 50 minutes a Tigers clearance kick was fielded by the Sale fullback. Tigers chase was poor, and he made good ground with the ball, recycled and a passing move on the blind side put the ball into the hands of 7’s international and former American footballer, Anthony Bingham who found space down the wing and dived, acrobatically, over the defenders to touch down in the corner. Another fine conversion made it 27 - 16 to Sale and Tigers needed to score a try to salvage what would have been a deserved point for their defensive play and persistence. Unfortunately, sentimentality has no role in the game and although the Tigers scrum began to push the visitors around and the backs had some half breaks they could not break down the solid and well drilled Sale defence. The application of the Tigers team in the final 20 minutes kept the crowd interested and good defence by Swatkins, powerful runs by the hard working Broadley and solid play by Talbot had the crowd shouting right to the finish as they appreciated their team’s efforts. As the whistle went and the home supporters hurried inside, Tigers had shown that they are now comfortable in this division. Sale are clearly a team on a mission and deserved their victory but Tigers didn’t make it easy for them and really did deserve to take something out of the game. Well played to all players and to the supporters for the vociferous support they gave the team.
Man of the match, decided by the players, was Lee Monks.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)
Penalties: Ireland (3)

Team: Bennett, Coates (McDonald), Archer (Cone), Ellis ,Symcox Al (Orton), Wragg , Monks, Nesbit, Talbot, Ireland, Wallace, Outram (Pond), Hart, Broadley,  Swatkins

Replacements:  Cone, Mc Donald, Orton, Pond, Farrell

Man of the Match: Lee Monks

Match Report: Dick Knowles/Graham Cockshutt