IT PROMISES to be a long, hard winter for Sheffield Tigers.
The National Two North side suffered their fifth league defeat in a row at Hull last weekend and the club’s third in succession on the road.
In an entertaining Yorkshire derby, Tigers actually out-scored Hull by five tries to four which helped them clinch an eighth bonus point.
Although the visitors raced into a 7-0 lead after six minutes through a converted try from winger Jamie Broadley, Hull fought back to win 40-31.
Tigers simply could not get to grips with Greg Lound and his flawless kicking game in a topsy turvy encounter.
Just after the half hour mark, Tigers actually led 19-10 following Broadley’s second effort and the first of full-back Pete Swatkins’ three tries.
But Hull dominated after centre Lee Radford touched down on the stroke of half-time.
Now sixth-placed Tigers travel to Preston Grasshoppers on Saturday looking to end 2012 on a high note.
Sheffield, meanwhile, claimed a hard fought 13-11 victory over Cleckheaton in North One East. Jimmy Pearson held his nerve to slot in two penalties and the stand-off crucially converted Chris Dale’s try as Sheffield sealed their 10th win in 14 outings.
Wheatley Hills, in second position in the standings, crusied to a 22-3 success over Durham City. But they still trail league leaders Beverley by 10 points after they thrashed Morpeth.