u16s: Retford East 5-36 Tigers

Sunday 5th March 2017

With an impressive home win over Retford East in the autumn, Tigers were optimistic about this return fixture. Under threatening skies, Max Baggaley captained the full-strength Tigers/Tupton team as they kicked off into the drear grey morning.

A brief messy period of play ended a 5-metre scrum for Tigers. Saul Hinchcliffe, again at 8, snatched the ball from the back of the scrum and bundled the ball over for an early try. A tricky conversion was missed – the score was 0-5.

From the restart, Retford showed their improved form and managed to turnover possession in the Tigers half. A penalty at the Tigers 10: Retford opted for a scrum which they duly won. Tigers intercepted a pass but lost the ball forward. Despite the big Retford shove, Tigers pinched the ball. Jacob dodged and scrambled the entire length of the pitch to ground the ball down beneath the home team’s posts. 0-10 to the visitors.

Jake’s conversion brought the visitors’ score to 0-12.

After the restart, convincing attacking play and a couple of penalties brought Tigers close enough for Morgan to run in yet another try – again converted by Jake. 0-19 to the visitors.

A fumble shortly after the restart allowed Retford to counterattack. This ended with a Tigers scrum at their own 22. Jake and Adam run an impressive line up the blind side of the scrum but spilled the ball just inside the Retford half …

… and the rain began to fall.

Scrappy play brought Tigers a line out in the opposition 22, then a scrum at the 5 metre line. Saul scooped up the ball and crashed it down. Just before half time, Jake’s conversion brought the score to 0-26.

From the restart, in the persistent rain, the ball became like soap. Handling errors were everywhere.

A penalty won by Tigers failed to find touch. The subsequent kick from Retford did. From the lineout, the ball was fumbled forwards to Retford but Tigers filched the ball from the maul that followed. Poor clearance and more shambolic play ended with a Tigers scrum just inside their own half. Tigers counterattacked to gain a penalty at the Retford 22.

It was pouring.

From a tap and run, Jacob scored again – an unconverted try and a score of 0-31 to the visitors.

Restart. Slippery, sloppy ball handling from Tigers gave Retford an attacking penalty. They won the line out but it was soon scrum Tigers which, despite the huge Retford push, they won. Promptly, Tigers fumbled the ball forward and granted the home team a penalty deep in the Tigers half. Retford tapped and ran but were quickly forced into touch.

From the line-out, a scrum in the Retford half was turned over by Tigers. Tigers penalty kicked to the corner. Off the back of the line out Ultan, playing a scrum half, weaselled through but was held short of the line. Retford managed to clear. Cold, wet Tigers hands allowed Retford to counterattack. A try held up on the Retford line was followed shortly by a Retford flanker lifting the ball from the scrum and crossing the line. 5-31. The try was not converted.

From the restart, Tigers repelled a Retford maul, gained the try and then a penalty in the Retford half. Almost inevitably, the 5-metre scrum at the Retford line resulted in a second hat trick in as many games for Saul Hinchcliffe.

The conversion was missed and the game ended 5-36 to the visitors.

The emphatic win for Tigers but credit must go to Retford for their determined play and much improved scrum. Thanks too to the club for the generous post-match food for the players.

Tristan was awarded man of the match.

The reporter would like to apologise for muddling some of the players’ names in last week’s report and would particularly like to thank Quentin Hinchcliffe for kindly bringing the matter to his attention. Repeatedly.

Ozymandias Clarke, 5th March 2017

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