Richmond admits to ‘frustration’ as Tigers prepare to face leaders

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Dan Richmond has admitted there is a huge amount of frustration lingering amongst his squad after their latest defeat to Caldy at the weekend.

In the penultimate game before the Christmas break, Sheffield Tigers slipped to a 20-11 defeat in the torrential weather that Richmond, the club’s director of rugby, believes Caldy acclimatised to better to than his team.

Tigers’ twelfth defeat of the season means the club remain second bottom in the National 2 North division - but are now five points from safety, after Hull picked up a crucial 10-3 victory over Otley.

“There was a huge amount of frustration after the game because we didn’t play the conditions as well as Caldy did,” Richmond told the Telegraph.

“We had the wind with us in the first half and we didn’t build a big enough lead to make things tough for them in the second half.

“Discipline wise, we also let ourselves down and gave them a huge penalty count which meant they went in at the break level, when we should have been ahead.

“This week we will talk to those players because they have to look at the bigger picture of what their actions can amount to.

“We saw the consequences of that on Saturday.”

Tigers play their final game of 2013 this Saturday, when they travel to face league leaders Macclesfield at Priory Park.

Macclesfield have only lost one of their 15 fixtures so far this season, a 32-17 loss at home to Birmingham & Solihull last month - but Richmond believes his side can cause Macclesfield problems, despite their differing fortunes this season.

“When we played them [Macclesfield] at home we created four clear chances,” he said.

“We took one and went really close with the other three.

“As a group we are aware of our attacking ability and know we can cause them problems.

“When you play a top team, possession is important. We are going to have to be accurate with our basics, as well as being bold and brave when we go there.”

* Meanwhile, Ben Wade says Sheffield were left disappointed after they narrowly fell to defeat at home to Driffield last weekend.

Despite Sheffield leading 17-6 at half time, Driffield fought back to win the game 24-20.

That result, combined with wins for second bottom Northern and Alnwick, consequently means Sheffield are now 15 points from safety ahead of their game in hand against Rochdale this weekend.

“We were all bitterly disappointed,” Wade, Sheffield’s director of rugby, said.

“We had an early lead after two tries and, after Joe Cribley went off with an ankle injury, it made things difficult.

“We were on the brink of a bonus point victory, but Driffield put a lot of pressure on us and they nicked it in the end.

“We were really unlucky.”

Like Tigers, Sheffield will also play their final game of 2013 when they face Rochdale this weekend.

The game was initially scheduled to be played two weeks ago but, following a freak accident to referee Wayne Spencer, the game was abandoned after 32 minutes.

And Wade believes the postponement could work in Sheffield’s favour, as they look to end a slump of seven straight defeats.

“After playing them two weeks ago, we have an idea of Rochdale’s strengths and weaknesses,” Wade added.

“We have analysed that, and the players know what they have to do.

“We know what mistakes we made the first time.

“It’s all about making sure we don’t make the same mistakes twice.”