Sheffield Tigers v Sheffield RUFC: Tigers show their pre-season teeth with a dominant win in friendly with Sheffield
Sheffield Tigers put an early marker down for the forthcoming season with a comfortable victory over their city rivals Sheffield RUFC, writes Dick Knowles.
On a breezy day at Dore Moor the two premier rugby union teams in the city met in a pre-season friendly to contest the annual Glyn Chandler Trophy. A good crowd of several hundred enjoyed a typically competitive fixture despite Sheffield Club being a division below Tigers.
Mark Ireland scored a penalty for Tigers in the second minute after Sheffield intentionally wheeled a scrum.
Despite the setback, Sheffield quickly recovered their composure and strong defence resulted in the Tigers centres being hammered on the gain line.
Tigers’ scrum produced a lot of ball but Sheffield remained in the contest and from a retreating scrum the Sheffield captain and number eight Alex Fawdry did well, with smart carrying leading to the Blues earning a penalty in front of the posts to level the scores at 3-3 midway through the first half.
With continued good ball coming from their powerful pack Tigers adapted well by probing wide. Right wing Pond was released to make good ground and then a smart pass by the home prop Simcox took two defenders out, and Mellor was in to score an unconverted try.
Trailing by 8-3 at half time Sheffield failed to deal with the restart which was gathered by Tigers who generated two quick rucks. Then Hart despatched a terrific cut out pass to the wing Packard who skated in for a fine try.
Sheffield, to their credit, responded immediately when Tigers then failed to look after their own possession and, in a moment, Sheffield were back in the game with a breakout try scored by Lewis Bowman to bring the score to 15-8 to Tigers.
This was to be the last real resistance from Sheffield as Tigers powered up their game with hard carrying and scrummaging by their pack.
Sheffield kept them out for some time but quick rucks close to the their own line produced good ball for Packard to pounce again in the left corner.
By now, Sheffield were wobbling, and as Sheffield forced the pass in their backline, Broadley, the Tigers centre capitalised on a fumble to score under the post to make the score 26-8 to the Tigers.
Overall, a dominant Tigers scrum.
Some smart finishing was also the difference between two sides who know each other well.
Man of the match: Tommy Hart – aggressive defence allied to some classy touches.