One game down, five to go and the first proved a real kick in the teeth for Dan Richmond after Sheffield Tigers slipped to a 18-16 defeat to Hull after the visitors converted a last minute penalty kick.
In the week building up to the crucial National 2 North bottom of the table clash, Richmond, Sheffield Tigers’ director of rugby, had announced that the next six games, starting with Hull, would shape their season after they had been dealt a difficult start.
Tigers had been in control for much of the contest and Richmond admitted he was left ‘very disappointed’ in the manner with which Tigers lost the game after leading for such a large period of the game.
“It was very disappointing to see us lose the game in the manner that we did,” Richmond told the Telegraph.
“We looked in control and we really caused Hull some problems, but the winter came in the second half and we had to play into those conditions.
“We defended heroically and we thought we had done enough. The boys will learn a lesson from this.
“We got the point, but we were still disappointed to lose that game.”
That defeat leaves Tigers six points off Hull, who remain third bottom, ahead of their trip to Bromsgrove this weekend.
Although they reside in the bottom four, the Worcestershire side still retain an unbeaten home record going into the game and Richmond has called on his players to put in a ‘ultra disciplined’ performance as they look to get back to winning ways.
“We need to be physically dominant when we go to Bromsgrove.
“We were very pleased with the defensive display against Hull and we have got to take that into this weekend’s game.
“We are going to have to be ultra disciplined, but the boys are looking forward to the task.”
Meanwhile, Ben Wade believes his Sheffield team did not get the rub of the green in their 20-8 defeat to West Hartlepool.
The latest set back – Sheffield’s ninth defeat in 10 games – leaves Wade’s side rooted to the foot of the North 1 East table and seven points behind second bottom Driffield heading into the scheduled weekend break this week.
“The lads played a fantastic game, unfortunately, though, over the course of the game a number of decisions went against us and at one point we had three players sin binned,” Wade, Sheffield’s director of rugby said. “We scored a great try, but when you’re at the bottom of the league you tend to not get the rub of the green, not just in terms of decisions, but in terms of general play and opportunities not been taken.”
Looking back at the previous two performances, Wade also believes that the belief within his team is starting to come back and also maintains that Sheffield will end their current plight sooner rather than later.
“This week will give us a rest and give us chance to get some of the players back fit that have been missing for a while now.
“We are downhearted about the defeat, but the players seem to have a bit more belief about themselves at the minute.
“We have got to build on this performance, if we perform like that there is no reason why we can’t go to Malton and get a result. I still believe we can get out of this position we find ourselves in.”