Coach Talk – A report from Steve Hazzelby

It has been a disappointing two weeks for the players, coaches and management team. A home loss against league leaders Caldy followed by an away loss to Luctonians in atrocious weather conditions.

Our last home game two weeks ago was against league leaders Caldy in a rearranged fixture. We had played them at their ground two weeks earlier and went down 11-32 in a hard fought battle. We started the game with a well taken try out wide for winger Adam Cheshire after a patient build up by the forwards in their 22. However Caldy hit back with a try after 18 minutes after a strong drive from their big forwards. They then extended their lead six minutes later with a try for their fly half after a well executed catch and drive from the line out. They further extended their lead before the interval with another line out catch and drive from the forwards. Despite the score , the Tigers were well in this game for large periods of play. We did score deep in the second half with a great line out drive from our forwards but the Caldy won the game 10-27 to take the points. A frustrating loss and as the score line does not reflect the performance of the boys.

Last Saturday we were away to Luctonians on the long journey down to Leominster. Conditions on the day were atrocious and it is difficult to understand how the game was on. Their first team pitch was unplayable so we had to play on the second team pitch which was just a heavy bog. Luctonians went ahead with a converted try after 4 minutes after a missed tackle. We hit back with a penalty from Steve Collins eight minutes later and went further ahead with a well taken try for young hooker Matt Gallagher converted by Piggy to put us in the lead 10-7. We were playing with a strong wind at our backs and Luctonians could not get in our half. Another penalty for Steve on 39 minutes gave us the lead 13-7 at half time. The second half was always going to be difficult playing into a gale force wind and defending a slender lead. They were awarded a penalty try after 48 minutes which gave them the lead 13-14 and to add to this we were down to fourteen men after Piggy received a yellow card. We did have chances to score a number of times when we managed to get near their line but strong defence kept us out. Luctonians got another try and a penalty to eventually win the game 13-22 but this was a very disappointing result for the Tigers.

Perhaps we needed to get more points on the board in the first half when we were playing with the wind. Also we need to make better decisions when playing in these conditions and be patient and look after possession. Despite this the last three losses does not make us a poor team. We have to review our recent performances, train well and be positive.

On Saturday we entertain Hull here at Park Lane. We took the honours at their ground earlier in the season but we know that this will be a big challenge and that we will have to be at our best to take the points. Come along and support your great Tigers team.

Cheers, Hazz

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