Saturday saw the Tigers taking on the biggest challenge of the campaign so far with a home game against the infamous Rotherham Titans. The Titans have historically been a great team with spells in the Championship, National one and briefly in the Premiership. They base their game on an enormous pack of well drilled forwards who are able to test the defence and resolve of any team they come up against. They had started their season quite well with four wins but unexpected losses to Hull Ionians away and Fylde at home. We had played them twice last season with a draw at home and a narrow defeat at their ground and were looking to record our first victory against them.
We had prepared well in training, spirits were high anticipating a huge challenge. Rotherham started strongly with a try after 7 minutes with a powerful catch and drive line out from their forwards. We got on the scoreboard with a penalty from fly half Steve Collins on 15 minutes to reduce the lead to 3-5. Exchanges were fierce between the sides with neither team giving ground.
We took the lead after 28 minutes with a great score for hooker Adam Mallinson after a penalty line out catch and drive from the Tigers pack and were now 8-5 in front. We extended this lead four minutes later with a wonderful score for winger Rhys Henderson after a lovely break down the right from centre Oli Glasse. Steve added the conversion and we now 15-5 up going into the last ten minutes of the half. Rotherham, however, hit back with their second converted try after powerful drives by their big forwards deep within our 22. Half time 15-12 to the Tigers.
We started the second half taking the game to them at every opportunity and looking to play rugby in their half. However it was the visitors who scored first after we turned the ball over in their half, they gathered, kicked ahead and won the race to touch down in the top right hand corner taking the lead 15-17. Five minutes later, we were awarded a penalty and Steve put us back in the lead 18-17.
This game was always going to hinge on the team who would execute their chances in a tight hard fought match, where both defences were sound and uncompromising. Both teams rang the changes hoping fresh legs would give them impetus to go on and seal a victory. A magic moment from fly half Steve after 66 minutes saw him make a lovely break, beat two defenders, off load to prop Alex Brookes who touched down under the Rotherham posts. Steve added the conversion and the game finished 25-17 to the Tigers and a well deserved four point win. A marvellous achievement for the boys maintaining our unbeaten run.
The effort and commitment by the whole squad was unbelievable and testament to this exceptional group of players. Next Saturday another huge challenge away to Wharfedale who were well beaten by league leaders Fylde. We take nothing for granted and another good performance is needed if we are to keep the pressure on at the top, so please make the trip up to the Dales and support your wonderful Tigers team.
We also have some photos of the Game from Dave Morton which can be found HERE
… and you can see Glen Hutton’s photos on his FB page HERE along with other photos and videos of the Club.