Rugby round-up: Sheffield Tigers chief eyes a response after defeat to title rivals

Pictured is Sheffield Tigers 1st XV team coach Thiu Barnard during the derby game v Sheffield RUFC. Photo Credit: Ian Anderson
Pictured is Sheffield Tigers 1st XV team coach Thiu Barnard during the derby game v Sheffield RUFC. Photo Credit: Ian Anderson
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Only one match went ahead in the National League Three North on Saturday, with horrific weather conditions postponing play across the rest of the division.

Sheffield RUFC had their second consecutive match called off and the only fixture top-of-the-table Sheffield Tigers away to second place Wirral.

The hosts won 10-9 - but Tigers will argue that the scoreline was not an apt reflection of the game. The low scoring and close contest means that Wirral closed the gap at the top of the league by three points.

Tigers had won their previous eight games and the defeat is just their second so far this season. Despite the result, the Tigers are still 13 points ahead of Wirral in second, although Wirral do have a game in hand.

Tigers’ Thiu Barnard said: “I thought the better team lost. In fairness to them, their defence was superb but we did not take our chances and that’s what it came down to.

“Their try came from a lapse in concentration, it was the same move they scored from at our place so it was down to us. This sort of thing happens... we are just going to have to start again this week.

“It is a reality check, we are still on top by 13 points so it is not a big worry for me; we still managed to get the losing bonus point.

“We just need to concentrate on ourselves and not worry what anyone else is doing and bounce back.”

Tigers will be hoping to return to winning ways in their next match at home against fourth from bottom Birkenhead Park.

After the Tigers’ only other defeat so far this season, they went on to demolish their next opponents 80-3.

And Barnard, speaking about the upcoming game, said: “After our defeat prior in the season we came back and really played well, I am expecting the same thing.

“And speaking to them after the game I think we are going to have a massive reaction this week.

“I think the lads are certainly going to perform this week.

“I feel sorry for Birkenhead, to be honest with you!”

Meanwhile, Sheffield RUFC travel to face fellow promotion hopefuls Hull.