Tadley Tigers U13 v Andover RFC
Tigers Roar into the 2nd Round of Hants Cup!
The Tigers U13's first outing in the Hampshire Cup saw us taking on Andover RFC, with what looked like a very tough fixture to start our campaign. After some early morning shenanigans; the head coach was finally at Andover by 10am and ready to kick-off at 10.30am! ;0)
The game started very evenly with both sides weighing up the other in loose and set plays. Andover had some very strong runners and were particularly keen to get the ball to their strong backs; however, Tadley held firm and tackled well to ensure there were no tries. Equally, The Tigers put together some strong forward play with our big runners, Impey, Routledge and Clark making inroads but coming up against an equally strong defence.
The deadlock was finally broken midway through the first half, with some great rucking by our forwards and a break from the base by Clark releasing Capt. Cooper who handed off superbly to convert the chance and put the Tigers into a well deserved lead. Tadley's continued dominance at the breakdown was starting to prove decisive, with Routledge in particular starting to show his power and pace in the loose and further 1st half tries followed for Clark and Routledge.
The 2nd half started with Andover putting far more pressure on the forwards, an area they had clearly discussed at half time. In fact, Andover were arguably the stronger side in the opening exchanges and their hard work was rewarded with a well taken try in the corner. However, any ideas of a comeback were quickly squashed with a superb solo effort from Clark, who having handed off a couple of players and side-stepping a few more ran the length of the pitch to score. Edwards followed with another great piece of individual play of his own and this was quickly followed by a great team try converted by Brooks with a dazzling run, side step and hand off in the corner. Finally another great break by Petersen who unselfishly passed to Coops as he was about to be tackled close to the line.
The 35-5 scoreline was a little flattering as the game was far more competitive than the score suggests; however, it is a tribute to all the Tigers that once again our defence held very firm throughout, with Keeling putting in some crunching tackles, along with Marshall, Wirth and Smales in the backs.
The forwards led by Routledge were outstanding with Lane, Beeching, Cox and Greenhalgh all putting in great work at the scrum and breakdown and generally causing havoc wherever they went!
Final mention to Man of the Match; Ben Calderbank, who having been thrown in at scrum half at the last minute, gave an outstanding performance, both with his distribution from the base of the scrum, his vision and his all round play; an unanimous decision by the opposition coaches!
So onwards to the next round of matches; to be played on November 18th against...... BASINGSTOKE! :)