The Tigers took the wind out of Sale with a brace of victories in the freezing sunshine at Manchester on Sunday.
Sale brought 9 players to Manchester so it was decided to play our touring 7s first with Coach Will looking after the emerging players during the first match.
Sale refereed the first game and how sorely missed was Coach John behind the whistle.
The Tigers started brightly enough, but it was obvious from the outset that the referee was going to struggle to get a grip on the game, with Sale sadly lacking any discipline. Much to the horror of the Manchester supporters, Sale came in at half time only trailing 1-0 to a trademark try by Luke. The referee, to his credit, kept the game flowing, however, Sale were guilty of carrying one handed throughout the game and the annoyance on the faces of the Tigers was clear to see by all.
The second half brought a further 5 tries by Sale, a pair apiece for Josh and Alex with Miles scoring a wonder try after taking a long pass from Luke to run half the length of the pitch to go over in the corner. At the final whistle, and, to the amazement of the Manchester coaches, Sale were awarded 7 tries by the referee. The scorecard showed that Sale had in fact only scored 5, with one not given for diving in at the corner and another not given as the Sale player only had one tag on. We accredited victory to the Tigers due to the refereeing blunders made throughout the match and the fact that the scorecard does not lie.
For the second match, Coach Ian took over refereeing duties and had a long discussion with both the Sale players and coaches about the use of two hands on the ball. The Sale coaches were not convinced that their players could carry the ball two handed and this was born out throughout the match with Coach Ian giving turn over ball to The Emerging Tigers time and time again. Even so, The Tigers could not take advantage of the possession and the teams came in at half time level, with Lightning Ben touching down for the home side for their only try of the half.
In the second half, Sale began to understand the need to carry the ball in both hands and this is where The Tigers excelled, pinning Sale back, harrying them when tagging and forcing turnover ball wherever they could. Taylor was able to exploit this on a couple of occasions and scored two scorching tries down the wing after Ben had gained the ball in the middle of the park and passed out wide. In the last play of the game, Frank came up with the ball after a string of passes and went over to seal a well deserved victory for the hungry Tigers.
Star Player status was awarded to Miles for his darting runs, excellent tagging and great long pass catches. It was also very apparent that Miles has really embraced the teamwork needed to be part of a successful Tiger team.