Coach’s Talk – A Report from Steve Hazzelby

Last Saturday we were on the road to the Yorkshire Dales to play old rivals Wharfedale up in Grassington. A beautiful part of the country but a difficult place to go and get a result. Conditions on the day were excellent with a warm day, a dry pitch perfect for an open, fast game of Rugby.

We choose to play down the hill in the first half and were hoping for a dynamic, powerful start and getting points on the scoreboard early. However, it was Wharfedale who scored first with a well worked, converted try after 6 minutes to give them a 7-0 lead. Despite the early setback the Tigers were patient with their build up and from a scrum 10 metres out, No 8 Tom Ailes picked up from the base and drove over for a great try. Unfortunately we were unable to get the conversion but we were now well and truly back in the game 5-7. We continued to put pressure on the Yorkshire men and should have scored at least another two tries, but unforced errors frustrated the boys. It was not until 35 minutes that we scored a lovely try out wide for debut winger Rhys Henderson, converted by Steve Collins to go into half time 12-7 up.

This was a disappointing first half for the boys and we knew that we should have had a bigger lead going into the second half, playing up the hill. Wharfedale started strongly with a converted try after 2 minutes to retake the lead 12-14 but we hit back five minutes later with a great try for hooker Matt Gallagher, converted by Piggy, after powerful work by the forwards. However Wharfedale continued to test our defence and with the home crowd behind them scored another two tries giving them a 19-26 lead going into the last twenty minutes.

This was a testing time for the boys having to play catch up but the reaction was unbelievable. A second try for hooker Matt after 62 minutes, a second for winger Rhys two minutes later both converted by Piggy to put us back in the lead 33-26. Another lovely score for full back Andy Riley on 72 minutes and a final touch down for debut winger Kian Stewart in the 80th minute gave the Tigers the win 43-26 and a hard earned 5 points. This was an immense effort, four tries in the last twenty minutes and a special mention to all the players who came off the bench to give us fresh legs and a huge boost.

This coming Saturday we are on the road again to take on Sheffield Tigers, another difficult ground to go to and get a result. We know that we will have to be at our best to get the points and make sure we convert all the chances that we create into a positive performance. Come and give your full support to this wonderful Tigers team and enjoy your day.

Cheers, Hazz