First win showed our quality, says Tigers hooker Bradford

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Hooker Michael Bradford believes Sheffield Tigers showed all of their qualities as they picked up their first win of the season at the weekend.

Tigers’ victory over Luctonians was their first of the campaign, at the eighth attempt, and was enough to move them off the foot of the National 2 North table.

Bradford powered over for one of the four tries scored by the Tigers - Peter Swatkins scored two and Tom Coates the other - as Dan Richmond’s side comfortably beat Luctonians 29-5, to pick up all four points as well as the bonus point.

“It was a special day for me as it’s always nice to score a try when your family have come up to watch,” Bradford said.

“The pack all worked very hard for each other.

“We not only created a solid platform for our backs, but we also worked well in the set pieces and mauls to create two forwards tries.

“It was a good all-round team effort.”

Following that victory, Tigers director of rugby Richmond has called on his players to take that same ‘attitude and application’ into their clash with Darlington Mowden Park this weekend.

Darlington currently reside in third after winning seven of their opening eight games, but Richmond says league standings at this time do not count for anything - as they proved against Luctonians

“The boys are in a fantastic mood, ready to take this confidence forward into the away game at Darlington’,” Richmond said.

“Luctonians were in fifth position, which just goes to show that this early in the season league positions count for nothing.

“It’s about the attitude and application of the players and it’s all about the performance on the day that counts.”

Meanwhile, Nick Crapper has temporarily stepped down from taking Sheffield RUFC’s training sessions to concentrate on his family and new job, but is expected to resume his duties before Christmas.

The first team head coach will still be in the dugout for Saturday’s matches, but following a meeting last week, the club has decided to let Crapper have some time off.

“We had a meeting and Nick said he was a bit tired and wants to concentrate on his family for a bit,” Sheffield chief Ben Wade told the Telegraph.

“Family must come first and he has done a good job.

“I have come in so I will take the pressure off of him until he’s back.

“I will discuss selection with him and he will still be attending the matches.

“We are hoping he will be back full time, though, before Christmas.”

Sheffield slipped back to the bottom of the North 1 East division after a heavy 37-7 defeat to Yorkshire rivals Wheatley Hills at the weekend.

Wade says a lot of his players shut off and “let themselves down” in the clash - and believes that this weekend’s weekend’s crucial trip to Middlesbrough now represents a “must-win” game for the club.

A number of changes are expected to be made for the trip to the North East, and there will also be a new face on the Sheffield bench after the club completed the registration of former Redcar winger Ryan Seabright.

“Wheatley are a very experienced side, and we can’t go and give teams like that a twenty point head start,” Wade added.

“They played a very good game, but we shut off and the errors creaked back in and we really let ourselves down.”

He added: “Middlesbrough have moved off the bottom of the league now, but we have to go up there and get a win.

“We had a good training session on Tuesday and we really need a performance.”