Last Saturday we were on the road to unbeaten league leaders Caldy. The last time the teams played each other was the season before last when they won the league and gained promotion into National One. We were the only to team to beat them in that campaign both home and away and this was always going to be a huge challenge for both teams.
Conditions on the day were difficult with a driving wind going down the pitch. They started well with a penalty in the first 15 minutes playing into the elements. We responded with a Steve Collins penalty 5 minutes later to equal the scores. Then from a good lineout and drive from the forwards Caldy took the lead with a lovely line break try from their right winger. 8-3 after 23 minutes. We continued to test the Caldy defences and hit back with a great try wide out on the left for winger Jamie Harrison after a patient and controlled build up within their 22. This brought the half time score to 8-8 and although a solid performance from the Tigers perhaps we needed more points after playing with the elements in the first half.
We started the second half well with a second penalty for Steve after 52 minutes to take the lead 11-8. However Caldy hit back straight away with a penalty of their own to level the scores. Then after 65 minutes they took the lead with a converted try after a well controlled driving maul from their big forwards. At this point we seemed to lose our shape and organisation by giving penalties away and giving Caldy field position within our 22. Another lineout drive from their pack gave them their third converted try to further extend the lead 11-25. Unfortunately at this point we lost Steve Collins with a dead leg after a late tackle from their flanker. Despite this we seemed to regain some shape and tempo and had a number of opportunities to score within their 22 but were unable to break down their solid defences. Caldy then sealed the victory after we turned the ball over and they broke through to score their fourth converted try. Final score 11-32 and the bonus point for them. Caldy deserved the win and good luck to them when they get promoted back into Nat 1, but the scoreline does not reflect the overall performance of the boys. We played some solid rugby for large periods of the game and need to take the positives going forward into our next game.
On Saturday we play Loughborough Students at home. They took the honours earlier in the season at their ground so this going to be a big challenge. Come along and support your excellent Tigers team.