Swatkins can lead Tigers to their first win of the season

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Director of rugby Dan Richmond is pinning his hopes on hat-trick hero Peter Swatkins as Sheffield Tigers bid to finally win an SSE National League Two North game.

Ahead of tomorrow’s home date with Stourbridge, the two clubs could not be in more polar opposite form with the visitors gaining maximum 25 points from their first five games. Tigers are still seeking their first point and are bottom of the table.

But signs were there against Leicester Lions that the tide could be turning, Tigers losing 34-22 but full-back Swatkins helping himself to a hat-trick. “We know what a talent Swatkins is and hopefully he can kick on from the last game,” said Richmond.

“When we give players like Pete quality ball in space, with outstanding distribution from the people inside him, from Will Carrington and Tom Buchanan and Tom Outrum, we can release this talent on the outside and they’re devastating. Credit goes to not only Pete for his excellent running but also it’s about the build-up play. For us to produce that quality of ball that takes opposition back out of the game and the precision and the passing from the fly-half and centres to release Pete is exactly what we have been building on and producing time and time again. We saw that against Leicester and hopefully we can replicate that.”

Richmond felt that his side were let down by the officials as they went in search of a first win of the season last time out against Stourbridge, adamant his Tigers weren’t getting the rub of green at scrum time after the interval.

And the director of rugby is keeping his fingers crossed for a different story this time around, even if he is adamant things need changing in the long run.

“I think it’s important that the RFU are supporting the next generation of officials where possible and develop their decision-making and understanding with the new scrum engagement laws,” he added.

“I felt that that was a key turning point in the Leicester game where certainly dubious interpretations were given and that caused us to lose field position and put us into our defensive third.”

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