Last Saturday we were playing our fifth away game of the season against former National One team Hull Ionians. Past results against Hull have always been close games with the home team usually taking the points.
We were upbeat and positive following a great start to the season but were taking nothing for granted and knew that we had to start well against a well organised defensive team. It was a lively start with both teams kicking tactically to gain territory and possession.
We looked to work the ball into the wide channels and stretch their defence at every opportunity. Our phase play was excellent and from a line out in their 22 we drove the ball over for hooker Matt Gallagher to record the first score. 5-0 up within ten minutes.
Our set piece was good with a solid scrum and accurate lineout but it was Hull who took the lead after 25 minutes with a well taken try for their full back who broke the line at pace and power. 5-7 to the home team. It was looking that we might go into the half time break chasing the game and playing into a strong wind in the second half but a great score for young prop John Blanchard after a patient build up by the whole team, gave us a 12-7 lead.
The second half started well with a great drop goal into the wind from fly half Steve Collins after one minute. This was followed eight minutes later with a wonder try for centre Oli Glasse after a searing break from full back Andy Riley, supported by winger Jamie Harrison. Steve added the conversion and we were now 22-7 in the lead.
However Hull broke back with a converted try for their powerful flanker to stay in the game 22-14. The game at this point could have gone either way with both teams going uncompromisingly hard at each other with no ground given. Another opportunist drop goal from Steve Collins further extended our lead but a breakaway score for Hull saw the game finely balanced 25-21 going into the final stages of the match.
Another penalty for Steve saw us take the points 28-21 and a four-point win against a very good side, who will win the majority of their games this season. We were a bit disappointed that we could not get the bonus point but were happy with the win, still undefeated and still top of the league.
This Saturday we are at home to old rivals Luctonians. They have not started the season well with only one win. Despite this, they are always a hard team to play against with a strong pack of forwards and hard running backs.
We are looking to put in a solid performance, with a win, before we have a well deserved break the week after. All support is welcome so come down and support the Tigers and have a great day watching the rugby and enjoying the hospitality.