24/02/18 Tigers 1st XV - No Match
Blank league saturday for Tigers as no postponed matches to complete.
Tigers 2nd XV 24 v 10 Sheffield 2nds
17/02/18 Tigers 1st XV 25 v 20 Luctonians
2nd double of the season
Another Saturday and another crucial match. Having blown their chances at Otley through poor handling Tigers needed to get back on track knowing that 5 points would be a big step to making sure they were a National 2 side next season. With the visitors fighting for survival you could be sure that they were not going to be a roll over.
From the kick off Tigers received the ball and went onto the attack. Jamie Broadley was quickly into his stride and launched a stinging attack down the touchline. He was eventually stopped but Tigers had shown their intent. Unfortunately, that was to be something of a flash in the pan for the first half as Luctonians began to put pressure on the lineouts and scrums. Tigers were defending well with Will Bennett, Sam Ellis and the outstanding Ross Thornton getting through a lot of work. The backs showed glimpses of what they could do but looked a little lack lustre and, too frequently, were losing the ball. Eventually the inevitable happened and from a lineout on Tigers 22m the Luctonian forwards trundled towards the line and their wing forward, the elegantly named Sebastian Robinson-Hall, crossed the line. Not for the last time in the afternoon the Luctonians kicker missed and the lead was just 0 – 5. From the restart Peter Swatkins gathered the ball and made good ground. Tigers retained possession but were finding it difficult to make any yardage even though the forwards were battering away. The Luctonians defensive line was up quick and the threequarters kept finding themselves being driven back. Another penalty allowed the visitors the opportunity to use the lineout as their springboard and, although Tigers defended well the maul eventually went over for a try by the hooker Kirkby. The referee, who was just a metre away, could not see if it was a try so asked his touch judge who from 20 metres was able to confirm the try. The conversion went over and Tigers found themselves 0 - 12 down and, to be fair, looking decidedly second best. Individuals were playing well but as a team they were “flat”. It got worse when Tigers started to fall off tackles and allowed the limited Luctonians backs a chance to run. Only some last-ditch tackles, and poor place kicking, prevented the visitors from building up a good lead and it was thanks to a Mark Ireland penalty that the home side eventually got some points to make it 3 – 12. The game was enlivened when a long kick sailed into the crowd to be expertly caught by veteran winger Richard Knowles which gained the biggest cheer of the day. Unfortunately, on the pitch Tigers were still dropping the ball and not really getting any sort of game together. Lewis Bloor was replaced by Ben Sullivan and Tigers resumed the arm wrestle that the game was becoming. Suddenly, from a scrum just outside the Luctonians 22m, Ellis made a break and linked up with the backs. Broadley was on hand to make ground with Tom Hart backing up to put the finishing touch and cross over for a try in the corner. The conversion just missed but it gave hope for the second half at 8 – 12. That hope seemed short lived as on the stroke of half-time Luctonians finally managed to put a kick over which allowed them to go in with a lead of 8 -15.
From the start of the second half Tigers looked more switched on and purposeful. The lineouts were beginning to function and the scrums seemed more stable. A missed penalty by the visitors was capitalised on as Tigers began to attack. Ellis was still making the hard yards and Sullivan and Thornton were putting in some crunching tackles. Louis Taylor came on for Greg Mellor and Tigers went for the win. A great break by Sullivan saw the ball eventually end up in the hands of Swatkins who went over for the try which was converted from the touchline by Ireland to make it 15 - 15. Game on! Bloor returned for the hard-working Alan Symcox and Tigers began to push on. Frank Wragg was calling the lineouts well having juggled the jumpers around at half-time and a box kick was taken by the speedy Taylor. Tigers continued to pressure and a penalty allowed Ireland to push up field. Tigers set up a rolling maul then quickly got the ball out for Taylor to make a spectacular dive into the corner for a try. From right on the touchline Ireland’s conversion dropped just inches below the bar but Tigers were now ahead 20 – 15. The visitors now realised that what they thought was going to be a win was slipping away and began to attack the Tigers line with a new intensity. Tigers defended well and looked to be in control but were a little pedestrian in the speed they were launching their own attacks and this was allowing Luctonians to defend without being put under any real pressure. Just as it looked like Tigers had it all in hand a long kick by the visitors headed towards the Tigers try line and, in a move reminiscent of the French team from the 80’s, it was run out to launch an attack. Unfortunately, it resulted in Luctonians getting a lineout on the 5m line and the predictable rolling maul saw their prop cross the line to make it 20 - 20 with just 10 minutes left. The watching spectators were dumbstruck but quickly got over it and began to shout the team on. Tom Outram was replaced by Liam Wallace and Tigers did what they do best and attacked, this time at pace. They moved up the pitch and, from a scrum on the visitors 10m line, launched a devastating attack. Ryan Holmes gave the ball to Ireland who, with a miss pass, found the indefatigable Broadley who forced his way over in the corner. Ireland’s conversion from right on the touchline and into a stiffening breeze, looked to be going over only to strike the inside of the upright and drop down on the wrong side of the bar. 25 – 20 and 5 minutes to go. Tigers continued to attack up to the final whistle and the game finished 25 - 20. A bonus point victory that was needed and a little of the pressure was eased.
The team are clearly feeling the pressure of needing points but the second half showed what they can do when their heads are in gear. There were some good performances from Broadley, Swatkins, Ireland, Sullivan, Bennett and Ellis who week by week is showing the potential we knew he had. The man of the match, however, was Ross Thornton who was powerful and dominating in both attack and defence.
Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1), Hart (1), Swatkins (1), Taylor (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)
Penalties: Ireland (1)
Team: Bennett, Thornton, Simmons, Symcox Al (Bloor), Ellis, Wragg, Adcock, Bloor (Sullivan), Holmes, Ireland, Mellor (Taylor), Outram (Wallace), Hart, Broadley, Swatkins
Replacements: Cone, McDonald, Sullivan, Taylor, Wallace
Man of the match: Ross Thornton
Match Report: Graham Cockshutt
10/02/18 Tigers 1st XV 17 v 28 Otley
No Match report.
Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1), Swatkins (1)
Conversions: Ireland (2)
Penalties: Ireland (1)
Team: Cone (Simmons), Archer (Thornton), Bennett, Symcox Al (Ellis), Orton, Wragg, Adcock, Bloor, Holmes, Ireland, Taylor, Outram (Hart), Broadley (Wallace), Mellor, Swatkins
Replacements: Simmons, Thornton, Ellis, Hart, Wallace
03/02/18 Tigers 1st XV 10 v 0 Macclesfield
First double of the season
On a typical winters day at Dore Moor, with the sleet falling steadily, the Tigers faithful turned out to see if the team could bounce back after last weeks disappointment at Tynedale. With injuries and unavailability Tigers rejigged front row found Charlie Cone, Will Archer and Matt Hopkins starting the game in the front row and Ryan Holmes returning to captain the side at scrum-half against a Macclesfield side who were just one place – and one point – behind Tigers in the league. For both teams it was one of those must win games.
Tigers received the kick-off and Macclesfield immediately showed their attacking intent by pressuring Mark Ireland as he took the ball. The forwards were there to defend and Charlie Cone made a powerful run taking 3 of the visitors with him. The ball went out to the backs but a knock on gave Macclesfield a scrum and they showed their power as Tigers went back at a rate of knots. From the resulting penalty Tigers found themselves back in their own 22. They stole the lineout and, not for the last time, gave the ball to Ireland who hoisted a high kick which was chased and caught by Peter Swatkins. He broke and gave the ball to Jamie Broadley who made good ground before a forward pass brought the move to an end. This time the scrum was solid and Tigers were in the faces of the visitors back line and forced a turnover. Tigers attacked again through Ireland and the impressive Louis Taylor but lost the ball and found themselves back on the halfway line. A penalty to the visitors moved them up to the 22 but good defending by Matt Nesbit, Al Symcox and Lee Orton and excellent breakout work by Frank Wragg and Matt Adcock kept them at bay. Tigers were showing the defensive qualities we know they have and both backs and forwards were keeping their shape under considerable pressure. Good play by Holmes led to a break involving Orton who powered into the opposition and then Swatkins who gave the ball to the very lively Taylor. He made good yards and fed Broadley who was faced with a 5 on 1 situation – he was the 1! He still managed to make ground and from a penalty and lineout Tigers resumed the attack until a knock on gave the visitors a chance to clear their line. Both sides were showing that they could defend but after 20 minutes the deadlock was broken by Tigers making a break which involved Broadley, Taylor and Orton and ended with a 5m lineout to Tigers. Tigers took the ball and set up the dreaded rolling maul. This time they were the beneficiaries as they crossed the line for hooker Archer to score. From the touchline Ireland slotted over the kick and it was first blood to Tigers and a lead of 7 - 0. Macclesfield came back and pressured the Tigers line but the defence was solid. One mistake, however, gave the visitors a chance and only a great tackle by Swatkins stopped them scoring. They kept the pressure on but good tackles by Tom Outram and Taylor brought back memories of the early season Stourbridge game as the visitors became frustrated at not being able to break through. A good pickup by Nesbit from a 5m scrum allowed Ireland to put in a long clearance kick. Orton was putting in a lot of work with powerful tackles and Tigers were looking solid and safe. Suddenly Macclesfield made a break and Tigers missed 3 tackles allowing them a chance to peg the score back. A knock on brought the move to an end. With half time approaching Tigers made a break and Broadley kicked the ball through as he chased it Macclesfield picked up and then blocked off Broadley as he was going in for the tackle. The resulting penalty was slotted over and half time found Tigers going in 10 - 0 ahead.
The second half had Tigers kicking off and Macclesfield seeming to run out of ideas. They attacked but strong Tigers defence saw them putting up high kicks which were quickly claimed by Swatkins who made several strong runs. The game ebbed and flowed with first one side applying pressure and then the other returning the favour. The pack was now performing well and after 53 minutes Tigers saw the return of Ed Simmons after a long lay of and Ross Thornton after illness. Broadley, Swatkins and Taylor continued to probe and Orton and the rest of the forwards and backs continue to defend when necessary. The two defences cancelled each other out and, with no score in the second half, Tigers heard the final whistle and took the 4 points. It was a solid performance and the points were needed. Well done to all of the players who put in a workmanlike performance sticking to the plan worked out by Jamie and Charlie Maddson during the week.
Lee Orton was man of the match and a special mention has to go to Liam Wallace who came on as No 8 late in the match. Just one more position he can add to his repertoire.
Next up is Otley away and another tight game can be expected
Scorers: Tries: Archer (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)
Penalties: Ireland (1)
Team: Cone (Simmons) , Archer, Hopkins (Thornton), Symcox Al, Orton, Adcock (Bloor), Wragg, Nesbit (Wallace), Holmes, Ireland, Taylor, Outram, Broadley, Mellor, Swatkins
Replacements: Thornton, McDonald, Simmons, Bloor, Wallace
Man of the match: Lee Orton
Match Report: Graham Cockshutt