Rugby union round-up: Tigers celebrate after promotion secured in style!

Thiu Barnard celebrates with some of his title-winning Tigers
Thiu Barnard celebrates with some of his title-winning Tigers
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Sheffield Tigers secured promotion to the National League 2 North - with three games to spare - when they crushed bottom-of-the-table Burnage 55-27 on Saturday.

The National League 3 North champions are 20 points clear at the top of the table and after second placed Wirral slipped to a shock defeat against Cleckheaton, the Tigers can no longer be caught.

The Dore Moor-based side still have to face Hull, Billingham and Ilkley but regardless of the results in the upcoming games, their current total of 102 points is enough to see them comfortably promoted.

Richard Joel, of Tigers, said: “It has been a great season for the club and achieving promotion has been amazing.

“It has taken a lot of hard work from our head coach, Thiu Barnard, the head of rugby, Jonathan Buchanan, as well as the players and all back room volunteers.

“The last two games to seal promotion have been tough, but it is hard to get into a game rhythm when you know you are only points away from being crowned champions.

“All credit to the squad; they have dug in and produced some convincing wins.

“When Thiu came to the Tigers he wanted the fittest and most organised team in the league.

“The statistics of having the best attack and defence in the league, capped off with winning the league, is proof that he has made his mark.

“The Tigers have only lost two games all season and are undefeated at home for a season and a half.

“Visiting teams know the Dore Moor is a formidable place to visit.”

Outside centre Liam Wallace scored a hat-trick of tries, while others came from prop Will Bennett, flanker Steve Walker, full-back Pete Swatkins and winger Henri Packard, while Mark Ireland was in great kicking form, adding most of the conversions and a penalty.

Across the city, Sheffield RUFC continued their surge for the league play-off spot with a win 17-12 win over Birkenhead Park.

The result means the gap to second place is now just nine points - but for any chance of promotion, Sheffield have to win all of their remaining games and hope other results go their way.

The Abbeydale side travel to face Rossendale on Saturday.