25/03/17 Tigers 1st XV 34 - 33 Otley

Mid-table Otley were hot favourites to win this game but nobody told Tigers. With two recent wins under their belts the Tigers went out and played with spirit and determination. They went ahead after just 1 minute when Jamie Broadley went over wide out for a try which Ireland only narrowly missed to give them the lead 0 -5. Otley struck back almost immediately with a try from a rolling maul with the hooker crossing the line but the kick was missed and, with just 5 minutes gone, it was 5 -5.
Otley were testing the Tigers defence but it stood strong and from a quick break Swatkins touched down. This time Ireland made no mistake and Tigers moved ahead 5 -12 with 15 minutes played. The next chance again fell to Ireland who, once again, was in imperious form. The penalty went over and Tigers stretched their lead to 5 -15 and a few minutes later, following another penalty it was 5 -18 with just 20 minutes played.
Otley began a fightback and once again their forward led the way with the prop going over for an unconverted try. 10 -18 and just 3 minutes later it was the turn of the wing forward to score with a converted try to make it 17 -18 and 10 minutes to half time. The sides slugged it out but, on the stroke of half time, the home sides winger found his way over the line  for another unconverted try to give them a 22 -18 as they went in to the dressing rooms. 
The second half started and both sides looked determined to take the points. It was Tigers who struck first with another try for Broadley and another conversion for Ireland to give Tigers a narrow 22 -25 lead. The home side were back in front just 6 minutes later as the outside centre crossed the line. A change of kicker brought the same result as the kick missed abut Otley were ahead by 27 -25. Both sides were conceding penalties and eventually Otley managed to convert one to stretch their lead to 30 -25 but it was answered almost immediately by Ireland cut the lead to just 2 points. Tigers were looking for the elusive 4th try to give them the win and a bonus point but it was Otley who scored again with another penalty to stretch the lead to 33 -28. Tigers were going all out for the score but in the 74th minute took the points with a penalty to bring it to 33 -31. With just 1 minute left Tigers took the opportunity to win the game with another pinpoint penalty by Ireland as the final whistle went and Tigers had won by 33 -34.
A great result away from home and a great performance by all the players. Next up are Hinckley who Tigers will want to take the maximum points off to keep up their late push to avoid relegation. Make sure you are their to cheer them on.

Scorers: Tries: Broadley (2), Swatkins (1)
Conversions: Ireland (2)
Penalties: Ireland (5)

Team: Bennett (Bingham), Thornton (Coates), Simmons (Bennett), Orton, Leeming, Wragg (Monks) , Monks (Townsend), Walker,  Holmes (Dunn), Ireland, Searle, Wallace, Buchanan , Broadley, Swatkins

Replacements:  Coates, Bingham, Townsend, Farrell, Dunn

Match Report:

18/03/17 Tigers 1st XV 38 - 14 Hull Ionians (Yorkshire Cup)

No match report, just the statistics this week.
Scorers: Tries: Broadley (1), Holmes (1), Searle (1), Swatkins (1), Wallace (2)
Conversions: Farrell (4)

Team: Bennett, Thornton (Coates), Gelsthorpe (Simmons), Orton (Symcox), Wragg , Leeming, Monks (Townsend), Walker,  Holmes, Farrell, Heaton (Swatkins), Wallace, Pond , Searle, Broadley

Replacements:  Coates, Simmons, Symcox, Townsend, Swatkins

Match Report:

11/03/17 Tigers 1st XV 30 - 0 Preston Grasshoppers

The game was moved onto the top pitch because of the heavy ground on the first-team pitch. From the start of the game Tigers were looking to attack as they knew this was a game that they had to win if they were to have any chance of remaining in National 2. From the kick-off Tigers passed the ball through the backs and eventually into the hands of Peter Swatkins who set off down the wing heading for the try line. He found Jamie Broadley on his inside and fed him the ball for Tigers to score their first try within one minute of the start. From wide out Mark Ireland converted for Tigers to take a 7-0 lead. Preston kept finding themselves on the wrong side of the referee’s decisions as they desperately tried to retain the ball under severe pressure from the marauding Tigers pack. After just 8 minutes Ireland found himself in kicking range and slotted over a penalty to give Tigers a 10 - 0 lead. The Preston team now seemed to wake up and began to put some pressure of their own on Tigers. They move towards the Tigers 22 following a penalty and then proceeded to try and batter their way through the solid Tigers defence. As we’ve seen many times in the past Tigers defended well and held the opposition at bay. Eventually, however, they conceded a penalty in a kickable position but, somewhat surprisingly, Preston decided to take the scrum rather than the three points. They clearly thought that they could score from the push over. Tigers conceded two more penalties and had to replace injured prop Neil Bingham with Will Bennett. At the next reset Tigers looked as if they were going to concede a penalty try but the Preston no8 picked up from the back of the scrum and headed over the line only to be pulled back by the referee who deemed a crossing offence and awarded a penalty to Tigers. Ireland cleared the ball to the halfway line but just failed to make touch which allowed Preston to attack again. Two Tigers players were quickly up to tackle the player and the referee then penalised Preston for not releasing. This time Ireland made no mistake and cleared the ball well into the Preston half. From the lineout Tigers launched another attack but turned the ball over and the Preston scrum-half, not for the last time in the match, put in a high box kick for his forwards to chase. Uncharacteristically Swatkins misjudged the ball and the Preston recovered to kick the ball further into the Tigers half. From the lineout loose ball enabled Tigers to flood through and break away but a knock-on resulted in a scrum. Tigers were contesting well in both the scrums and in loose play with some powerful runs by Ed Simmons, Will Bennett and the impressive Jake Tyas. The Preston scrum half, Ryan Glynn, was pulling all the strings for Preston and again put up a high box kick which was beautifully taken by Swatkins who fed it to Broadley. Although he was brought down Tigers recycled the ball and continued to put pressure on until a turnover saw the visitors launch their own attack. As the Preston player went to ground Steve Walker was over him trying to get the ball and won Tigers a penalty. Ireland put a beautiful kick into the corner and, from the subsequent lineout, Swatkins again crossed the line – note to self when you cross the line don’t drop the ball! From the scrum, Preston cleared but straight into Swatkins hands. A familiar weaving run saw him gain 20m before eventually going to ground. Walker cleared up as the referee indicated a penalty. With a free play of the ball Walker set off feeding to Tyas who made ground before passing to Tom Coates who tried to lay the ball off to the centres. The referee deemed insufficient advantage and went back for the penalty which Ireland converted to make it 13 -0 at half time.

From the restart, Tigers began to put pressure on with good runs from Jon Buchanan, Ross Thornton, Simmons and Ben Sullivan. Aidan Leeming and Frank Wragg were working hard in the lineouts with Charlie Dunn distributing the ball and Ireland putting in some majestic kicks judged to perfection to push Tigers up the pitch. Preston tried to counter but the speed of the Tigers backs was causing them to make mistakes. From a Tigers scrum Walker made a break and went to ground but Preston were deemed to have come in from the side and Ireland converted the penalty to make it 16 - 0. Preston now began to put some attacks together and moved into the Tigers 22. The home sides defence stood strong but a careless penalty gave Preston the chance to get on the board. Yet again they went for the quick penalty rather than the points and regretted it when they were penalised, yet again, for not releasing. It got worse when, having spoken to them several times about talking and back chat, the referee lost patience and yellow carded the Preston wing forward.  Tigers cleared and from the lineout Buchanan made a bulldozing run before giving the ball to Simmons who made good ground. The recycled ball went from Dunne to Ireland to Wallace and then to Broadley who looked to have the legs of the Preston backs but was eventually brought down just 5m short. Preston cleared but a good Tigers take in the lineout had Ireland slotting a beautifully judged kick deep into the Preston 22. They continued to apply pressure but, yet again, made some errors that meant the pressure was not turning into points. From a 22m scrum Dunn again fed the ball quickly tor Ireland who fed it to Buchanan and then to Swatkins who went over in the corner for his first try of the day. The on-fire Ireland slotted over the conversion and the score moved to 23 – 0. With 10 minutes remaining Tigers needed to get 2 more tries. Ryan Holmes, returning from injury, came on for the hard-working Dunn and Aaron Langan for Wragg in the 2nd row. Tigers pressured and, with another yellow reducing Preston to 14, looked as if they might reach the bonus point. Another break by Broadley was stopped just short, Tigers took the lineout and again attacked. This time Broadley appeared in the centres to take the ball and go over for a try under the posts. Ireland drop kicked the conversion to make it 30 -0. That was the last kick of the game and Tigers went away happy with the win but feeling they could have achieved a bonus point.

 A good all-round performance with fewer mistakes and good defence. Tigers realised that the win comes first and you take your points when you get the chance. The youngsters Farrell and Dunn both had solid games and look like great prospects for the future. The man of the match, however, had to be Mark Ireland whose kicking and distribution were excellent and kept Tigers on the front foot. Next week they have an away trip to Hull Ionians  in the Yorkshire Cup which will be another testing game.
Scorers: Tries: Broadley (2), Swatkins (1)
Conversions: Ireland (3)
Penalties: Ireland (3)

Team: Simmons, Coates (Thornton), Bingham (Bennett), Leeming (Monks), Wragg (Langan), Tyas, Sullivan, Walker,  Dunn (Holmes), Ireland, Wallace, Buchanan , Broadley, Farrell, Swatkins

Replacements:  Thornton, Bennett, Langan, Monks, Holmes

Man of the match  - Mark Ireland

Match Report: Graham Cockshutt


04/03/17 Tigers 1st XV 7 - 41 Caldy

Tigers travelled to Caldy with forwards Ed Simmons and Steve Walker poised to each make their 100 1st team appearance. Caldy are top of the table, having only lost once so far this season,  and once again, Tigers found out that at the top level mistakes cost points. After just 3 minutes Caldy took the lead from a penalty and, to be fair, never looked back. Tigers defended well but could not keep Caldy out. After a quarter of an hour they moved further ahead with a converted try to make it 10 - 0. A great run by Peter Swatkins after 23minutes pulled Tigers to within three points following the successful conversion by Mark Ireland. The home side hit back within a couple of minutes to make it 17 - 7 and quickly followed this with a penalty and another converted try to make it 27 - 7 at half time.
The second half was just 3 minutes old when Caldy struck again with another converted try too make it 34 - 7. Tigers rang the changes bringing on forwards Ross Thornton, Aaron Langan, Will Bennett, Louis Townsend and back Chris Pond. Tigers were defending well and making some good breaks but could find no way through a determined and well organised side. They held out until the 74th minute when Caldy scored another converted try and the game finished with a score  of 41 - 7.
It sounds like a cliché but the difference between the two teams was not 34 points. In terms of players, skill and determination Tigers were well in contention. Caldy, however, kept mistakes to a minimum and maximised on any that Tigers made. A lesson learnt and one that has to be worked on for this weeks bottom of the table clash with Preston Grasshoppers at Dore Moor.
Scorers: Tries: Swatkins (1)
Conversions: Ireland (1)

Team: Simmons, Coates (Thornton), Bingham (Bennett), Leeming (Langan), Tyas, Monks (Townsend), Sullivan, Walker,  Dunn, Ireland, Wallace, Buchanan (Pond), Sykes, Broadley, Swatkins

Replacements:  Thornton, Bennett, Townsend, Langan, Pond

Match Report: