Captain David Bradford admits he is not happy with Sheffield Tigers’ lowly position in the SSE National League 2 North relegation places – but he won’t be approaching each game like a cup final.
The Tigers slipped to a fifth defeat in six league games on Saturday, 20-5 away at a damp Harrogate, and now sit 16 points adrift of safety with just five games left.
But flanker Bradford insists he’s not hitting the panic button just yet, despite his own personal frustrations.
“With us being in a relegation place it means we are not happy about it,” he said. “But if you approach every game like a cup game and as if it’s you last you will become physically and mentally tired.
“It can then take it out of you if you play a game as if it’s your last. There were parts in the Harrogate match where we enjoyed the physicality.
“It was one positive with the weather that it was a lot more personal and it felt good hitting people as well as getting hit.
“It was hard because obviously it was a nice pitch and nice weather, then suddenly the heavens opened and the game that we thought we were going to play had to change.”
After a cagey first half the teams went in all-square at 0-0, but within seven minutes of the restart Sheffield found themselves ten points behind.
Joe Rowntree knocked over a 42nd-minute penalty before converting Jacob Brady’s try five minutes later.
Winger Rowntree then added another three-pointer on 59 minutes and Aurin Yorke grabbed Harrogate’s second try of the game with six minutes remaining – Rowntree doing the honours once more from the kicking tee, converting to make it 20-0.
Replacement Thomas Coates did grab a late consolation try for the Tigers and Bradford added: “It was a really competitive game.
“We kept it quite close and the forwards played a big role.”