Rugby Union: Skipper Nick calls on the Tigers to bear their teeth, ahead of tough season run-in

Man Of The Match Sheffield Tigers Nick Pearson hands off a Caldy player as he powers his way forward
Man Of The Match Sheffield Tigers Nick Pearson hands off a Caldy player as he powers his way forward
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Sheffield Tigers have been in flying form, winning 10 league games on the trot - and captain Nick Pearson believes his side can continue their ruthless streak in the hunt for league promotion.

The Dore Moor-based side, currently in third place in National Three on 97 points, have enjoyed a week off over Easter.

But Pearson, aged 32, insists his side are eager to return this weekend and is demanding a substantial win against eighth-placed opponents Lymm.

The Tigers can take great confidence into their last home game of the season after beating tricky Morley 22-14 away in their last match.

They also beat tomorrow’s opponents 34-15 in the reverse fixture in December and Pearson said: “Everybody is raring to go and we want to give the home support something to really shout about on the weekend, so as soon as that whistle blows I want ruthless players on the pitch.

“It’s a must to finish the season on a high and we are still in the mix for promotion so we need to go full steam ahead and get the maximum points out of the last two games.

“Lymm won’t roll over, even though they are mid-table with technically nothing to play for.

“They want to be beating the top teams so we need to dominate the set pieces and make sure we play fast ball to the backs.

“Our communication has come on leaps and bounds and I want to see us utilise this on the pitch.

“Hopefully we can give an unforgettable last performance for the fans tomorrow.”

The Sheffield side have a tall order to creep into the final promotion place as they are currently eight points behind top of the table Sandal, whilst closest rivals Sale - who they’ve beat twice this season - are seven ahead. But Sale have a tricky two final games - facing ninth placed Wirral away, followed by the league leaders at home - whilst Tigers’ remaining game is away, against league strugglers Burnage.

“We are disappointed that we threw some silly points away this season but all we can do now is put ourselves in the best position to challenge by getting maximum points,” said former Macclesfield star Pearson.

“Beating Sale has shown how good we are but we have to be patient now.

“It’s been a thrilling season and may come down to the very last game - we have really improved and it’s great to see youth and experience working together well in the side and finally coming together.”

The maroon and gold side will be confident of holding a strong defensive line on Saturday as they boast the best record in the division.

They’ve only conceded 359 points whilst scoring 725, with backs Henri Packard and Peter Swatkins diving over for 46 tries between them.

Meanwhile Sheffield RUFC are determined to hang onto the top of North One, and the only automatic promotion spot, but face a tough challenge as they take on fifth-placed Percy Park away tomorrow.

The blue and whites enjoyed a resilient 28-19 victory over Pocklington in their last match, where they scored a vital fourth try in the last few minutes of the game to collect bonus points.

The Sheffield side, whose last game of the season is against ninth placed West Hartlepool, cannot afford to drop any points as league challengers Ilkely are just one behind.

“Players are nervous and it is tense in the squad right now,” explained skipper Jimmy Pearson.

“But it should be like that because we cannot afford to relax and we have to be completely on the top of our games.

“I want players to use this adrenaline in a positive way.

“Percy Park are tough, they have a big front line like so many teams in this league and we are on their turf.

“They will want to give their fans a lot to shout about.

“But we are going to get a big win, we need to smash them in every area and I want every player giving everything.

“Our defence will be crucial on the weekend, and we’ve worked to tighten that up.”