Coach’s Talk – A report from Steve Hazzelby

Last Saturday we were playing our eighth away game of the season with a late 4pm kick off against Loughborough Students. With a number of key players missing and debut appearances for the young Alex Bemba and Max Jackson this turned out to be a great performance from the Tigers.

Playing on the fast artificial pitch we started strongly gaining territory, keeping possession, producing quick ball which resulted in a well worked score for Steve Collins within the first six minutes. Our shape in attack was excellent, moving play left and right constantly stretching the students defence. A scrum deep in their 22 saw captain Matt Riley make a powerful line break which resulted in scrum half Jacob Tansey touching down. Steve added the conversion and we were up 12-0 after 25 minutes.

This was followed quickly with a third try of the afternoon for winger Rhys Henderson who collected a lovely chip to the corner by Matt Riley. Steve added the extras and we now had a commanding lead going into half time. To their credit the students defended resolutely with excellent line speed and were rewarded with a deserved converted try to get back in the game 19-7 at the break.

The second half started well for the Tigers with driving play from the forwards and backs combined constantly getting behind the students defence. A lovely line break from Matt Riley and a pick and go through the ruck saw Steve Collins feed centre Oli Glasse who outstripped three defenders to score our fourth try and secure the bonus point. It was relentless pressure from the Tigers which the students found difficult to deal with. A lovely kick wide from Oli Glasse was collected by Rhys Henderson who fed hooker Matt Gallagher who raced into the left hand corner for the fifth score. 31-7 up and playing dynamic, controlled rugby at every opportunity.

Top try scorer Matt Gallagher got his second after a well practiced line out and front peel and we were now in an unassailable lead. Loughborough did get a second score but the game was finished off with a great try for full back Andy Riley after a lovely line break by Oli Glasse. 43-14 at the final whistle and  a wonderful performance from all of the Tigers squad with a seven try bonus point win.

This Saturday we entertain Huddersfield in our final game before the Xmas break. We are looking for another strong performance to maintain our top of the league position. Always a hard encounter from this powerful Yorkshire side so please come down to Park Lane and support your wonderful Tigers team,