Director of rugby Dan Richmond warns competition for places at Sheffield Tigers is getting fierce – and so it proved as they claimed their first win of the SSE National League Two North season.
After seven successive defeats, Tigers saw off Luctonians 29-5 thanks mainly to Peter Swatkins’ double and three conversions and a penalty from William Carrington. Michael Bradford and Tom Coates dotted down the other tries.
And Richmond is adamant the floodgates can now open. “It was good to get a victory. It comes as no surprise based on the performances we’ve had previously. Those boys selected took their opportunity and put a marker down” he said.
“Moving forward the competition for places is now getting as strong as I was hoping for. There were some outstanding individual performances. Players have been performing consistently well but they added an extra one or two per cent.
“Dave Bradford let from the front and was phenomenal in defence and ferocious off the back of the scrum with his ball carrying.
“John Buchanan had their midfield in knots. Every time he had the ball you could see the opposition were scared about what might happen.
“When your captain and vice captain have performances like that it’s easy for others to follow. We had some fantastic performances.”
The win for the Tigers means Dudley Kingswinford are now the only winless team in SSE National League Two North.
Dudley Kingswinford are just a point behind the Tigers though having claimed three more bonus points but Richmond did allow his players to revel in the victory.
“The boys are certainly enjoying the moment. The club and the squad are really healthy and there’s plenty of competition for places,” he added.
“I’ve said that if you can consistently perform well in the Stingers [Sheffield’s second team] and do well in training you get an opportunity for the first XV.
“When you get that opportunity you have the responsibility of producing a performance and the 20 players did a fantastic job.”
*SSE, proud sponsor of the National and Divisional Leagues, has £10,000 of SSE Energy Credits available for clubs to win. To find out how go to www.SSERugby.com