Rugby Union: Trip to forget for Tigers, but three victories for Sheffield

Will Bennett drives forward for Sheffield RUFC vs Darlington
Will Bennett drives forward for Sheffield RUFC vs Darlington
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Sheffield Tigers made their first visit to Portway, the home of Birmingham & Solihull - but it was a trip to forget as the visitors went down 19-0.

On a bitterly cold day, with an even colder wind blowing, Tigers struggled to adapt to the conditions against a resolute home defence.

The deadlock was broken after 14 minutes when Jack Jolly opened the home side’s account with a penalty, and they continued to enjoy most of the possession around the Tigers’ ten-metre line.

With Matt Long, eventually named man of the match, dominating proceedings at the scrum, Jolly then added a second penalty after 26 minutes.

His third kick, just before the half-time whistle, saw Tigers go into the break 9-0 behind.

Tigers continued to struggle in the ruck, however, and conceded a fourth penalty, duly converted by Jolly, nine minutes into the second half.

Captain Andy Barnes was warned by referee Douglas Neagle about killing the ball at rucks, and Tigers’ lack of ball retention was threatening to cost them dearly.

Anthony Ross replaced Anton O’Donnell and Steve Walker for Harry Hannon, but Ross’s spell on the field was short-lived as he was yellow carded for killing the ball at a ruck.

Walker was then forced to leave the pitch to allow Ed Simmons to complete the front-row for scrums.

Tigers were being forced to spend most of the time in their own half and it came as no surprise when Bees scored the only try of the match.

Again the basis for the try was the scrum, followed by good recycling and forward drives before prop Matt Long dived over for a seven pointer after 67 minutes to extend the lead to 19-0.

“This was a disappointing performance,” Tigers’ Nigel Dakin said, “albeit against an improved Birmingham team needing points to climb clear of the relegation places.”

Tigers dropped to seventh in the table, but are at home this weekend against Dudley Kingswinford.

Tigers: O’Donnell (Ross - Simmons), Hannon (Walker), Chivers, Joel, Barnes, White, Argyle, Pearce, Drage, Outram, Wallace, Tahraoui (Buchanan – Bird), Broadley, Holmes, Swatkins.

Sheffield RUFC, meanwhile, enjoyed triple cheer at Abbeydale on Saturday after all three senior sides registered league victories.

The club’s first team ran in four tries within the first 20 minutes of their game against Darlington, and eventually secured a 50-14 win.

Sheffield’s seconds took on National League club Harrogate and came from behind to win 39-22.

And the Abbeydale third team completed the hat-trick, beating Thorne by a scoreline of 27-3.