Seventh heaven as Sheffield RUFC stay top of the table - but Sheffield Tigers players get a warning after disappointing defeat

Sheffield captain Tommy Marples: 'We showed how determined we are to win games'
Sheffield captain Tommy Marples: 'We showed how determined we are to win games'
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Sheffield RUFC’s first team are aiming to stay top of the league after clinging on at the top of North One East with a resilient 27-22 victory against struggling Old Crossleyans.

The Sheffield side’s seventh victory of the season was only in sight in the 69th minute of the game when open-side flank forward Dave Bradford found his way to the try line taking the score to 24-22 and victory was secured seven minutes later when Ben Parker added a penalty kick.

Captain for the game Tommy Marples was not impressed with the side’s performance but believed the injury to referee Colin Tovey in the first half affected the side’s rhythm in the game.

“We didn’t play well but we still achieved a bonus point win. It wasn’t an ideal performance in any way but at least it shows we are able to churn a result out when we need to,” he said.

“The stoppage half way through the first half when the referee pulled his calf didn’t help us. We had just got in to our stride when the referee picked up the injury, which led to a 40 minute delay, and we were once again slow to restart the game.”

He added: “We showed good character during the game and when the chance to take a penalty kick and get three points were turned down in favour of searching for a try, it really showed how determined we are as a team to win games.”

Sheffield RUFC face a tough challenge this weekend as they travel to National 3 North side Cleckheaton in the Cup, who are also the Tigers next opposition.

Sheffield Tigers RUFC’s head coach Thiu Barnard has warned his side must improve in every aspect ahead of their next home match against Cleckheaton on November 15 after losing away to Rossendale last Saturday.

The Tigers’ disappointing defeat saw them move down to fifth in the table on 28 points, whilst their opponents leapfrogged them into fourth with 30 points.

The South African coach was critical of his side’s performance and stressed that the players must be more consistent or they may find themselves slipping down the league in a difficult division.

“I think the high of the Sale game caught up with us. We never got into the game as Rossendale dominated the play and took advantage of our mistakes and ill-discipline,” explained the Port Elizabeth born coach.

“Our set piece struggled and we never had a stable set piece to work from. Also defensively we missed too many tackles and lost the contact area way too often.

“We have to be more direct the next game. We need to be more disciplined and find consistency in our performances.

“We can’t afford to play well three or four out of five games.

“It is a very difficult league that we are in and we have to be focused and ready for each team we meet because no side is just going to roll over.”