Sheffield Tigers boss Dan Richmond refused to criticise his players despite seeing them lose a thriller 18-14 against Birmingham & Solihull.
In a closely fought encounter at Dore Moor two penalties in the final quarter proved the difference as visitors Birmingham & Solihull return to the Midlands with the four points.
“It was a very tight one,” said Richmond. “There were quite a few mistakes from both sides due to the weather conditions.
“Birmingham had an organised defence but I was very pleased with the shape of our attack. We were able to force errors from Birmingham and forced them to give away penalties.
“In very tight games it comes down to ball retention. We had an opportunity at the end but weren’t able to get over the line. We got one or two opportunities but unfortunately we came off the wrong side of it.”
It was all Birmingham in the opening half and with two tries ‘in the bag’ perhaps deserved more than a 12-9 lead at the interval.
A break through midfield by Robert Connolly followed by swift recycling and good hands across the park created the opportunity for Oscar Heath coming up from full back.
As Sheffield came more into the game two penalties, both struck by Tom Outram, afforded the home side a 6-5 lead but a break by Matthew Spink that set up good field position got Heath away on the outside for his second.
Pressure again by the home pack gave Outram the opportunity to slot his third penalty for 9-12 at half time.
Sheffield had the better of the opening stages of the second period and from a penalty pushed into touch, David Bradford was driven over for Sheffield to take a two point lead before the two penalties from Briggs sealed the win for the visitors.
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