28/09/19 Tigers  9  -  10 Preston Grasshoppers

It was only raining intermittently as the game got under way. The Hoppers artificial surface looking unnaturally green and carpet like, I wouldn’t even know if I was to wear long, short, medium studs, training shoes or carpet slippers. Or even do you remember the football boots back in the 70’s or 80’s that had a revolving circle of studs which was supposed to mean that you turned on a sixpence? Needless to say it looked a state of the art pitch which was more than fitting for their sesquicentenary, formed in 1869 and still here, well done Preston Grasshoppers!

Tigers kicked off and hunted the ball down. They put the pressure on for the first 10 minutes. Probing the Hoppers defence, Ryan Holmes keeping the backs in play, James Newman and Alan Symcox immediately shouldering the direct running responsibility, ably supported by Ed Simmons, Louis Townsend and Nick Bingham. The Tigers handling was quite adept given the amount of precipitation that was still making its presence felt. On 12 minutes Tigers played advantage on a high tackle and got within 10m of the Hoppers line. However with the play coming to a halt the ref brought play back to the Hoppers 40m mark on the right handside for Mark Ireland to kick into the corner. A beautiful take from Symcox and drive from Newman was halted by Hoppers bringing the maul down. The ref initially went with a penalty to Tigers but a conversation from the assistant referee produced a yellow card for Symcox who duly departed for a 10 minute rest. Despite being a man down Tigers continued to pressurise the Hoppers defence and kept turning ball over. Hoppers were struggling to make any headway into the Tigers half. On 17 minutes Tigers were awarded a penalty at a Hoppers scrum, presumably some unseen antics in the front row. Ireland stepped up for the kick at goal from 45m, however just missed in the slowly deteriorating conditions. Ben Waddington really came into this game as it went along, covering a lot of ground and always causing Hoppers concern at the breakdown. Still Tigers kept the pressure on Hoppers and on 20 minutes, Simmons picked and drove, Holmes to Bingham who drove to the 15m mark, two more drives and 8m out to the right of the Hoppers posts. Liam Wallace then Simmons drove again and then they performed an interplay that took them to 3m out. Holmes then releases the backs left and Jamie Broadley took the ball and hit the encroaching centres as best he could, but came off worst, ball turned over, and Broadley was slow to get back up. He was later taken off for precautionary reasons but did make a comeback in the second half as injuries started to mount, especially for Tommy Hart who was assisted from the field limping heavily in the third quarter. Hart, however played his full part in releasing his partner Broadley whenever possible. Still Tigers pressed up the field, but Hoppers managed to defend effectively, if at times last ditch, and kept the try out that Tigers kept threatening to score. On one of the few occasions that Hoppers got into the Tigers 22m in the first half, they kicked a loose ball upfield and as the Hoppers winger bore down on the empty space, Mark Ireland appeared as if from nowhere, went down on the ball, secured it, immediately got up and ran into the oncoming Hoppers tackler, spun away and kicked to touch. A show of sublime skills in the wet conditions. Hoppers took the lineout and kicked through again, but the dependable and fleet of foot Greg Mellor picked up well and returned the ball with interest in a 35m kick to the Hoppers 45m. Although Hoppers took the ball, Nick Gregson and Alex Hurst manufactured another knock on in midfield and Tigers got the scrum. Holmes again fired up the back line with Hart and Broadley making 30m. There again followed a period of sustained attack and on 33 minutes Tigers were awarded a penalty for offside, middle of the park 40m out and this time Ireland made no mistake, 0 - 3 Tigers. From the kickoff Tigers played up to the 40m line and gave the ball away, only for the Hoppers centres to knock on again (was it Bill or was it Ben?). Tigers secured the scrum and Holmes gave Ireland the opportunity to make a great kick into the left hand corner 15m out. Hoppers took and drove, however Tigers stalled the forward movement in the 22m. Hoppers put up the kick and Mellor took a fine catch and sprinted downfield. Hoppers brought him down, but the ever present Tigers back row were there to support, protect and set up the ruck. Moving right Hart, Broadley took it on, Newman, Waddington drove it up to the 22m where Hoppers strayed offside again on 38 minutes. Mark Ireland nailed the penalty from the 22m and Tigers went in 0 - 6 at half time.
The rain which had been a constant feature of the first half, became a monumental monsoon of biblical proportions just after the second half began; which had 90% of the crowd running for the clubhouse.
2 minutes into the second half, Joe Prior the Hoppers 10 kicked into the left hand corner. A good take from Newman, who was imperious at the lineout all day, led to Bingham and then Waddington driving out to the 30m area. An interception followed and Hoppers found themselves for about the only time in the game, with the ball, in control, in the Tigers 22m. The Hoppers pack picked and drove and Matt Lamprey the Hoppers number 8, and for my money the best Hoppers player, scored from the drive, just right of the Tigers posts making the conversion a certainty for Hurst, to put Hoppers 7 - 6 up.
The pattern of the second half then followed the script of the first, with Tigers enjoying possession and territory, but just not managing to make the break that would bring a try. On 47 minutes, Hoppers wheeled the scrum and Ireland kicked the penalty from 30m in front of goal to take Tigers back into the lead 9 - 6. The ball was kicked dead from the restart and Tigers took the scrum and headed downfield again. For the next 20 minutes the play flowed across the pitch with no one side gaining a substantive upper hand. Then with 10 minutes to go Tigers gave away one of the few penalties they made all game. Hurst stepped up and put the kick over to go 9 - 10 to Hoppers.Tigers gave their all until the final whistle, however the score they so richly deserved did not materialise and Hoppers held out.
Given the conditions, Tigers made very few handling errors, with Robbie Davidson and Peter Swatkins rock steady under several high Hoppers clearance kicks. However, the rub of the plastic (luminescent green plastic!) just produced static for Tigers this time.

Scorers: Tries:
Penalties: Ireland (3)

Team: Bingham (Bennett), Townsend (Johnson), Simmons, Newman, Symcox Al (Hughes), Waddington,  Redfern-Brown, Wallace, Holmes, Ireland, Davidson, Hart, Broadley (Duffy), Packard (Swatkins), Mellor

Replacements: Johnson, Bennett, Hughes, Duffy, Swatkins

Match Report by:  Paul Wrench


21/09/19 Tigers  7  -  37 Caldy

Tigers kicked off on another hot sunny afternoon (that’s climate change for you!) against Caldy who essentially are a League One team having lost only two players from last year’s squad. Caldy received and drove forward, although met with good tackling from Tigers it was evident that they had come with their focus intact, not like Chester who had turned up expecting to win. The Caldy pack made good metres and then were awarded a penalty 15 metres out after 5 minutes. The lineout ball was taken cleanly and put down the line, although Caldy men were tackled, up popped Lewis Barker the Caldy 10 who ghosted through to score under the posts and then converted. Tigers went again and produced more pressure, themselves playing some great interplay rugby, with Louis Townsend producing a magnificent tackle, putting his man into touch, and then not a minute later making a huge clean break before being hauled back for a Caldy scrum. There then followed a period of good open play, both sides driving and releasing their backs. From a scrum on the Caldy 10m line to the right, they fed the backs who made ground down the middle, the pack arrived and Josiah Dickinson the Caldy 8, made a break and went over for the visitors second try. The conversion was missed and it was 0 - 12 after 20 minutes. Tigers swept down the field and were awarded a penalty which Mark Ireland kicked to touch for a 10m throw in. Alan Symcox took the ball and there followed a series of intense probing runs as the Tigers pack attacked the Caldy tryline. Caldy, showing their class, repelled each move and eventually turned over the ball to relieve the pressure. Caldy kicked down field and Tigers returned with interest as the pack, Sam Waddington, Alan Symcox, Lee Orton, Nick Bingham all took the ball into contact, until they were harshly adjudged to have held on and Caldy cleared the resultant penalty into the Tigers half. The vistor's Barker was growing in confidence and ably backed up by Rhys Hayes they started to stretch the Tigers dogged defence. The ball got tied up 5 metres out and from the ensuing maul the Caldy pack drove over, Thomas Sanders scored, and with the conversion went 0 - 19 up after 32 minutes. A couple of distance penalties in the last 9 minutes really gave Caldy the upper hand as they went in at half time 0 - 25 up.
Tigers took up the challenge at half-time and came out with an extra shot of steeliness about them. They took the kick-off and with some disciplined forward play, drove forward with Ryan Holmes bringing the back division into play. The atmosphere went up a notch and Tigers were giving as good as they got. Only in the 62nd minute did Caldy's Lewis break, gave the ball to Hayes who gave it back to Lewis to take out the threat of the tackle from Peter Swatkins and run in under the posts. You had to admire it, it was just like watching Tigers backs on a different day!! Still Tigers kept going at the Caldy team, showing them far less respect than they had done in the first half and repeatedly made incursions into the Caldy 22m. Caldy showed excellent defence and were able to force errors occasionally. It wasn’t until the 76th minute that Caldy scored their next and last try to go 0 - 37 up. Tigers were always in this game, although the score may suggest otherwise, it was a lesson in the difference being the smallest of errors. However, there is one thing this Tigers team does this season and that is play right to the final whistle. In the last minute of the game, Jamie Broadley, broke, quick hands to Tom Hart, both making 20m apiece, supplied the ball to Swatkins 40m out from the Caldy try line, who beat three players to run in under the posts in majestic style. Up stepped Mark Ireland to convert, and Tigers had the last emphatic say against the class outfit of Caldy.

The lesson to take away from this game is, give no one respect from the kick-off, Tigers only lost the second half 7 - 12!

Scorers: Tries: Swatkins (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)

Team: Bingham, Townsend (Johnson), Simmons (Bennett), Newman, Orton (Hughes), Wallace, Waddington, Al Symcox (Redfern-Brown), Holmes, Ireland, Mellor, Hart, Broadley,  Davidson (Packard), Swatkins

Replacements: Johnson, Bennett, Redfern-Brown, Hughes, Packard

Match Report by:  Paul Wrench


14/09/19 Tigers  31  -  27 Scunthorpe

Tigers were given a warm and hearty welcome to Heslam Park on a sunny Scunny afternoon.

Tigers kicked off and both sides started bright and breezy as Jacob Hardy the Scunthorpe No. 7 took a clean catch and returned with interest. In the following interplay Tigers gave away a penalty and the men in Green kicked for touch 30m out from Tigers tryline. A great catch and the ball was put down the line, an unfortunate missed tackle in the centre allowed the Greens’ 13 Will Robinson to go in unopposed under the posts and then converted his own effort. Three minutes and Scunthorpe were 7 - 0 up. Tigers kicked off again and pressured the Scunthorpe pack. Almost immediately Greens gave away a penalty for offside 30m out to the left of the posts. Mark Ireland cooly stepped up and landed the penalty, via an upright, to make it 7 - 3. Again from the kick off Greens drove down the pitch and into the Tigers 22m going left. Their pack picked and drove from 15m out and look certain to score again after 10 minutes when the luckless Oliver Cole the Scunthorpe no. 3, knocked-on and gave Tigers a defending scrum 10 metres out. The threat was cleared away to touch, however in an ensuing scrum Tigers unusually, were driven backwards and the scrum turned with the ref awarding a penalty to Scunthorpe which Robinson converted to go 10 - 3 up. Following the kick-off Scunthorpe kicked 70 metres into the right hand corner. The quick thinking Peter Swatkins threw quickly to Henri Packard before anyone arrived at the lineout,a quick interchange and Ryan Holmes gave Ireland the chance to clear for touch on the 10m line. Scunthorpe took quick ball from the lineout and put it down the backs however, Ben Hyde, Greens no.8 dropped the ball in the centre of the field which Tigers immediately pounce upon and put it down their back line again. More intelligent and well timed passing put Swatkins over to score on 14 minutes. Ireland converted and the scores were tied 10 - 10. Tigers were producing a lot of errors and for the next 10 minutes Scunthorpe enjoyed the majority of the possession and although Tigers got in to the Scunthorpe half, errors gave Scunthorpe the chance to kick to touch and keep Tigers defending. On 20 minutes Scunthorpe took the lineout but a well marshalled Tigers pack drove them backwards in the maul, however the ball went down the backs and Robinson enjoying a good game made a half break but Tom Hart and Jamie Broadley extinguished any hope from this as their ferocious tackling produced a knock-on and scrum Tigers. Driven back once again the under pressure Tigers pack lost one against the head. Josh Bird  the Greens no 9 again set their backs in play and after going through several phase s left them with the Tigers tryline beckoning, one of the most noticeable forward passes of the century was thrown and Tigers were let off with a scrum. Holmes working the space well for Ireland to clear and play moved up to the halfway mark. Turnover ball led to another phase of running play and Tigers gave away a penalty 35m out to the right of the posts for offside. Robinson missed the kick and Tigers came away with a drop-out. Lee Orton, Ant Symcox, Liam Wallace followed on from their performances last week and were tackling for all they were worth. The front row were working hard and Louis Townsend still produced some scintillating breaks. On 29 minutes Tigers gave away another penalty 35m out in almost the same spot. On this occasion Robinson made no mistake to give the home side the lead at 13 - 10. From the kick-off Scunthorpe kept possession and Tigers conceded another penalty to allow a kick to the left hand corner. This time Greens made no mistake with the rolling maul with Hardy the beneficary of his forwards’ hard work. Robinson was again accurate with the kick and mirroring Ireland’s earlier kick, converted in off the far post.Scunthorpe went in at half time 20 - 10 up.
Scunthorpe kicked off the second half and a more determined Tigers returned with interest. Holmes getting the pack driving forward and then opening up through the backs. Still errors were being produced and some turnover conceded. However Tigers were playing further up field and creating pressure of their own. Townsend with a beautiful run was supported by Swatkins who produced the opportunity for Holmes to snipe over for the try. Ireland converted and Tigers came back to within 3 points of the home team, 20 - 17. Another 15 minute period of open running rugby, ebbed and flowed between the 22m’s with no side really getting the upper hand in the second half. Until from a Tigers’ defensive scrum on their own 22m the back line produced the move of the match with Hart, Broadley, Swatkins all interlinking to free Packard to break the defence and head for the line. The covering Scunthorpe defence seemingly hustled Packard into touch, but with a lovely timed pass inside to Ireland who was left free to run in on the touchline and score. A fanastic conversion from out on the wing gave Tigers the lead for the first time in the game 20 - 24. With play now heading into the last 5 minutes, Greens took a line out 15 metres out and drove on with the maul enabling Ollie Cole (No.3) to go over. Robinson converted and with very few minutes left Scunthorpe were heading for a 27 - 24 win. Tigers assembled for the kick off and Ireland kicked long into the right side of the Greens 22m. The defence went for the ball and created a huge looping knock-on. Working hard and following play dilligently with laser focus, seemingly out of nowhere Packard arrived as the ball rose into his hands. With 18 metres to go to the line, Packard swept past the hapless stunned defence and scored, to the raptuous delight of the travelling Tigers’ faithful. It may have appeared fortuitous, but to score this type of try it is hard work to get into the right position to give you the best chance and 100% belief that given the opportunity,it can be taken! Once again the imperious Ireland kicking was accurate and true 27 - 31 with 2 minutes to go. Scunthorpe gained possession from the kick-off and pressed down field once again, relentlessly driving for the Tigers line. However, over eager at the end they gave away a penalty. Tigers fired into touch and celebrated a hard fought win.
Although punctuated with errors, it was a testament to the team self belief that drove them on for the 80 minutes – and the fastest man on the pitch Henri Packard.

Scorers: Tries: Holmes (1), Ireland (1), Packard (1), Swatkins (1)

Conversions: Ireland (4)
Penalties: Ireland (1)

Team: Bennett (Bingham), Townsend (Johnson), Simmons, Ant Symcox (Waddington), Orton , Wallace,  Fitzsimons (Bamforth), Al Symcox, Holmes, Ireland, Packard, Hart (Duffy), Broadley,  Davidson, Swatkins

Replacements: Johnson, Bingham, Bamforth, Waddington, Duffy

Match Report by:  Paul Wrench



07/09/19 Tigers  25  -  19 Chester

On Saturday Tigers welcomed last season’s league 2 North runners up and beaten League 2  playoff contestants in what always promised to be a tough examination of the progress that Tigers have made during the close season.

Once again Chester brought with them the huge pack that in physical terms left most of the Tigers forwards standing in the shade and with Thomas Foden (rumoured to be the less beautiful looking brother of Ben) in their back unit, this was shaping up to be a very stern test indeed.

Chester kicked off with the sun at their back and Tigers immediately gathered and took the battle straight to the Chester pack. The ball however was turned over on the halfway line and Chester started, what would become, their signature route one approach of pick and drive, using their initially fresh large front five. Tigers met rampaging runs with thunderous tackles, drawing their own line in the sand as to the standards they were going to play to for the afternoon. In four Chester runs, Tigers took them back 10 metres with Anthony Simcox, Liam Wallace especially prominent with early huge hits. Then the Chester scrum-half Holloway threw a pass left where upon his intended target took the ball, got hit by Jamie Broadley, dropped the ball and Broadley was immediately on his feet, picked the ball up and headed off for the left hand corner. He handed off the Chester centre Van Sertima and hit his stride, taking a beautifully angled run to score in the corner ( amid the roars of the incredulous crowd! ) to give no chance of being caught by the chasing Chester fullback and wing. 5 minutes into the game and Tigers 5 - 0 up. Mark Ireland narrowly failed to convert the try in what turned out to be his only missed kick of the game. Tigers took the kick-off cleanly and drove up the middle of the pitch, showing no fear of the Chester pack and not giving an inch in ground. The next 10 minutes was spent with both sides driving at each other between the two 10 metre lines as both teams were guilty of allowing turnovers. Chester picked and drove time and again with Captain Ed Simmons, Lee Orton, Wallace and Anthony Symcox driving into the tackles and shuddering Chester backwards. Then came a break from David Ford, the Chester 6, who made 10 metres and then supplied ball to his support. Chester were finally stopped 10 metres from the Tigers try line and Louis Townend came up with a tremendous turnover which enabled Tigers to drive up to a few metres short of their own 10 metre line. Unfortunately, the ref blew for a penalty and Chester opted to kick into the right hand corner. Chester duly took the resulting throw-in and drove over (against very stubborn defence) for their first try on 18 minutes. The Chester tactics have not changed much since last season! Callum Bennett ( No relation to Phil as far as I know!) converted and Chester took the lead 5 - 7 and restored a semblance of order for the brave Chester supporters who had made the trip and who have high expectations for their team this season. From the kick-off Tigers tackled ferociously and were defending inside the Chester 10 metre line, when they forced an error but were adjudged to have knocked the ball forward. Chester took the scrum and with another Ford break, backed up by Foden and Van Sertima, they made their way deep into the Tigers 22. Good solid defence from Peter Swatkins, Greg Mellor and Henri Packard forced another penalty from Chester and Ireland cleared to touch. The throw-in was taken cleanly and Tigers driving through Frank Wragg, Alan Symcox and Wallace forced the Chester pack to give a penalty away one metre inside their own half. The crowd went quiet as Ireland prepared and approached the kick. The crowd then erupted as it sailed perfectly between the posts. Half an hour gone Tigers 8 - 7 up and matching Chester everywhere on the park. The pack discipline in the set piece was exceptional against the opposition who were probably a stone a man heavier (although that was concentrated mainly in their numbers 1,3, 4 & 5!). Three minutes later Chester broke down the right wing through another Ford break releasing the Chester back unit – with the right wing Harrison Vare making an impact. Despite heroic defence from Tom Hart, Broadley and Swatkins. Chester scored in the left hand corner with Bennett unable to convert, and looked to be heading for half-time 8 - 12 ahead. However from the kick-off Tigers went hunting, hounding and harrying Chester and regained possession. Ryan Holmes got Ireland moving down the left wing, he ran straight at the Chester defence and gave a beautiful pass to Packard who took his chance and left the Chester right wing Vare for dead. Speeding down the wing, Packard drew the fullback Sean Green and passed inside to Broadley who ran in unopposed to score. Ireland claimed the conversion and Tigers were 15 - 12 up. From the kick off Chester gave away a penalty for offside and Ireland kicked for the corner. What a turn round, the end of the first half saw Tigers driving the Chester pack backwards in a well controlled rolling maul. They drove over the line, the crowd cheered, the ref (who had a great game and was right on the scene) adjudged held up. For all you Major League fans “personally I felt we got hosed on that call!” . NB this is a humouress reference and in no way any slight on the ref, it was just an opportunity for me to use the quote – before you start writing to complain!

Tigers kicked off the second-half and continued their momentum from the first half. The now trenchlike warfare between the 22’s as Chester’s pack picked and drove again and again, only to be repelled each time with rock solid tackling saw Chester gain more of a territorial advantage. They did not have an answer to the Tigers’ back line, who probed, tested and stretched Chester at every opportunity. To such effect that they gave away another penalty just outside their own 22 metre. Once again Ireland stepped up and kicked it with precision and Tigers were 18 - 12 up. After 10 minutes Luke Crofts came on to replace Louis Townsend who had a great game. Tigers retained possession on their own 22 and Holmes set Hart off who ghosted past his opposite centre and hared off down field. He passed to Broadley, just as he was being shut down, and Broadley jinked on and bore down on the hapless Green, giving a well timed pass to the lightening Packard to go over on the left hand side of the posts for Tigers third try and his 100th in a Tigers shirt. Ireland made sure of his spot kick and Tigers led 25 - 12 with 15 minutes gone in the second half. This galvanised the Chester team into action and in another pick up and drive sequence, Chester scored with an immediate try and conversionn reply, 25 - 19. It suddenly looked very ominous for the home team. However the following 20 minutes was one of pick and drive with Tigers still keeping their tackling standards up and penalty errors to one which ended in Wragg taking the Chester line-out much to the away side’s amazement! The last 5 minutes of the game Chester bombarded the Tigers' pack and backs with drive after drive, all of which were snuffed out, however Chester drove inexorably towards the Tigers' try line. There was a sense of deja vu for the loyal Tigers’ fans, who to ease their tensions just shouted their support and how the team responded! With three minutes to go and the ball out to the Chester wing, he knocked on (maybe at the surprise of getting a pass?) and Tigers scrummaged again. It was the only one the pack lost all afternoon and the Chester back-row drove for the line on the right hand side of the Tigers’ posts. The whole team kept formation, discipline and focus and after four drives had pushed the Chester attack out to the right hand touchline. Another Chester pick and go and it looked a certain try  - BUT NO! the ref awarded Tigers a penalty for holding on, Ireland kicked it dead and the team celebrated a fantastic hard fought win over an extremely good side. It was a great testament to the hard work put in pre-season and the team spirit that has evolved to another level and avenged the 18 - 24 loss that Chester inflicted on Tigers in the same fixture last season.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley(2), Packard (1)
Conversions: Ireland (2)
Penalties: Ireland (2)

Team: Bennett, Townsend (Crofts), Simmons (Bingham), Ant Symcox, Orton , Wragg (Fitzsimons) , Wallace, Al Symcox, Holmes, Ireland, Packard, Hart, Broadley,  Mellor, Swatkins

Replacements: Crofts, Bingham, Pond, Fitzsimons, Duffy

Man of the match  - Anthony Symcox & Liam Wallace

Match Report by:  Paul Wrench


Glyn Chandler Trophy

31/08/19 Tigers  27  -  8 Sheffield

Dore Moor decided to remind us why we love it so much. The day started out blustery with patchy sunshine. As we came to midday light rain then a downpour accompanied by a strengthening sou’wester arrived. Then almost immediately the sun came out for the rest of the day, although the wind stayed as a permanent fixture.

It was into the breeze that Sheffield kicked off straight into touch. A penalty at the resulting scrum then saw Mark Ireland step up, and reading the wind beautifully, slotted home his kick from 50 metres giving Tigers a 3 - 0 lead from the off. Sheffield kicked off again and applied pressure, matching tackle for tackle, industrious at the breakdown and having some success with half breaks that threatened a score. Tigers soaked up the pressure and although one or two of the more dangerous Sheffield breaks looked like producing a score, the back line always managed to make the last decisive tackle whilst covering players got back to harry, defend and force Sheffield errors. Eventually a Sheffield attack paid off as Tigers were penalised in front of their own posts. The penalty was sucessful to level the scores at 3 - 3. The Tigers pack were in imperious form at the set scrum, driving Sheffield backwards at every one, forcing them to deal with their own ball on retreat and restricting service to the back line. That was when Tigers had not claimed the ball as their own. James Newman and Lee Orton combining intuitively with the front row. Captain Ed Simmons leading from the front who with a great game from Nick Bingham and Louis Townsend, gave very little away the to Sheffield front row who endured a tough afternoon. The game remained tight with Tigers attacking and Sheffield defending with the occasional breakout. As half-time approached, a good handling move saw Henri Packard score in the corner. The conversion drifted wide and Tigers went into the break 8 - 3 ahead.

At the start of the second half , into the weather mix appeared a hurricane as Henri Packard and Greg Mellor both showed their pace and running flair as they outflanked the Sheffield defence to finish off flowing, open handling moves to break the Sheffield resolve. Ireland did well to convert one of the three from out on the touchline and Tigers took a 20 - 3 lead. Through this half Sheffield showed a magnificent spirit and never let up in their search to get back into the game and eventually they broke through and got a well taken and deserved try near enough to the posts to take the lottery out of the duly taken conversion, 20 - 8. In the last quarter Jamie Broadley stepped up to score a dazzling try through the centre of the field, finishing off an intricate handling display and setting up Ireland to finish the game as he started with a micrometre precision conversion and a final score of 27 - 8 to Tigers.

A wonderful game of rugby played in a great spirit and delivered the day that both clubs wanted – a day when rugby won!

In the early kick off match, Tigers (Barnsey) XV 39 - Sheffield XV 7

Report: Paul Wrench