Rugby Union round-up: Barnard’s warning to his Tigers ahead of top of table clash

Sheffield Tigers RUFC 1st XV coach Thiu Barnard
Sheffield Tigers RUFC 1st XV coach Thiu Barnard

Sheffield Tigers maintained their 16 point lead at the top of the National League Three North with a 26-0 win over Cleckheaton - but chief Thiu Barnard was far from completely happy.

“We’ve had two weeks off, won 26-0 and got the five point win. I’ll take that,” Barnard said.

“I think at one point they had half a chance of scoring, other than that I can’t remember them getting anywhere near our try line.

“We were fantastic, of course there was a bit of rustiness after Christmas but we’ve won and its just another step towards promotion.

“I actually believe we left eight or nine tries out there, that’s just how big the score could have been. I’m just going to put it down to the break in games.

“People are happy with the win but I always look at the other side of things. Yes we won but we did not take all of our chances.”

Tigers travel to Wirral this weekend. Although they have a 16 point cushion on their rivals in second place, Wirral have a game in hand. So a good result is essential for the Tigers to continue their dominance at the top of the table.

“This weekend against Wirral... if we don’t take our chances we could lose,” Barnard added.

“Wirral have a game in hand. If they beat us on Saturday and they win their game in hand, then there is only six points between us and that changes everything.

“However if we win this one, we can go 20 or 21 points clear, so there is a lot riding on this game.

“We are just working on the little things. We need to be more clinical when we get chances and there are just one or two things in defence we need to sort out. We have to work on line-outs as well but other than that we will be fine.

Meanwhile, Sheffield RUFC had their game against Lymm called off due to horrible pitch and weather conditions. Even with results elsewhere, Sheffield did not move from fourth in the table - but pressure is building on the Abbeydale-based side, with teams from fourth to seventh only separated by a win.

On Saturday, Sheffield will hope to continue their challenge for promotion when they host bottom club Burnage.