Coach Talk – A report from Steve Hazzelby

After a hard fought home win against Huddersfield the previous week we were looking to build on the performance and record our first away win of the New Year. Unfortunately this did not happen and we went down the fourth loss of the season

Last Saturday we made the long trip up to Tynedale in the first away game of the New Year. They had beaten us at home back in September 7-12 in a game that we could and should have won. We had trained well in the week leading up to the game and spirits were high within the squad. Unfortunately conditions on the day were not conducive to open Rugby with gale force winds and driving rain going straight down the pitch.

We started the game well playing into the elements keeping possession intelligently with good shape and excellent support from forwards and backs. This was rewarded with a lovely try for scrum half Danny Openshaw after a great line break from captain Bob Birtwell. The conversion was impossible to make against the wind but the 5-0 lead was reward for all the effort and hard work from the players. Tynedale did make use of the strong wind with good kicks into our half putting pressure on our defence. This resulted in a well taken try after a nice break from their outside backs giving them the lead 5-7 going into the interval.

Make no mistake this was an excellent half of Rugby from the Tigers considering the conditions that we were playing into. Playing with the elements in the second half all we had to do was to use the wind and pin Tynedale in their own 22 and take our chances when they came. Unfortunately this did not happen and Tynedale defended resolutely. They scored a dubious break away try on 50 minutes after a kick and chase by their winger even though everyone except the referee thought it was a knock on by their player. 5-12 in the lead. They then added another three points after a scrum penalty which was another questionable decision by the referee.

We continued to test their defences for the rest of the half but could not break them down. We did have a number of opportunities to kick penalties one of which we took but the game ended with a home win for Tynedale 8-15. We did gain a losing bonus point but this was a very disappointing performance for the Tigers especially as second placed Fylde had also lost to Huddersfield.

On Saturday we entertain old rivals Stourbridge here at Park Lane. We did win back in October at their ground 28-25 but we know that this will be a hard game and we will have to be at our best to take the honours. I hope you all come along and support your Tigers team in what should be an excellent game of Rugby.

Cheers, Hazz

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