Tigers ‘must keep momentum going’

Sheffield Tigers captain Andy Barnes is tackled by a Burton defender just before the try line
Sheffield Tigers captain Andy Barnes is tackled by a Burton defender just before the try line

Lucky 13? No such thing for Sheffield Tigers.

Well, OK, maybe a little help along the way but 13 wins on the bounce speaks volumes for the team that has forgotten what it feels like to lose.

Broadstreet was the latest team to be party to the Dore Moor experience as Tigers handed out a comprehensive 39-8 beating.

It lifted them to fourth in the National 3 Midlands table, four points behind Longton, five adrift of South Leicester and just eight short of leaders Bromsgrove but they’ve got matches in hand on all of them and, more importantly, they have to play them.

No-one would bet against Tigers taking maximum points from the visit of fourth-from-bottom Peterborough on Saturday but the following week comes the acid test ... Bromsgrove away.

Despite their incredible winning run, skipper Andy Barnes feels there’s still more to come from his team: “Saturday’s performance was still far from perfect but we finally did get it together in the second half.

“We all know we can play even better; there’s more to come from us, particularly a full 80 minutes.

“We’ve put ourselves in a good position as we’ve got games in hand over the leading three teams and we’ve still got to play them, so it’s in our hands.

“The main thing is to keep the momentum going. We’ve got a very talented squad and since Christmas it’s been far more settled, with around 18 players involved, and this has obviously helped us.

“Bromsgrove is a huge game. We beat them at Dore Moor in November but they’re a decent side and we know it will be a really tough test.”

Ironically in the Broadstreet clash, it was the visitors who put the first points on the board with an unconverted try after 22 minutes but the scores were level six minutes later courtesy of right wing Gareth Morley’s touchdown in the corner.

Broadstreet went ahead once more with a penalty only for Barnes’ men to regain the initiative - and the lead - after a moment of brilliance from leading scorer Jon Feeley.

He received the ball on the halfway line, showed it to a couple of defenders before racing through the gap he had created and outpacing defenders to score a try converted by West.

Feeley turned provider at the onset of the second half as his delayed pass set up left winger Callum MacKenzie for an unconverted try. West added a penalty to the tally and Tigers then bagged the bonus point when a good pick up and pass by Gregor Hayter enabled Morley to feed centre Tom Outram and then loop around for the return pass to score.

Despite a bit of niggle creeping into the game - the referee had a long chat with both captains - Tigers finished strongly as first replacement Wragg went over for a converted try and then from the final play of the match West again carved his way through a demoralised defence for a further seven points.

Team: Bunting (Cone), Thomson, Lockwood, Joel, Hayter, Barnes(C), Pearson, Cook (Wragg), Drage (Wright), West, MacKenzie, Buchanan, Outram, Morley, Feeley

Man of the match: Nick Pearson – tremendous work rate and tackle count.