Sat 23
1st XV
Sheffield Tigers
S Depledge (2)
M Ireland (3)D Clayden, S Casey, A Hodgson
P Swatkins, J BroadleyS Depledge (2)
M Ireland
Sheffield RUFC  25  -  21  Sheffield Tigers RUFC

Sheffield RUFC 25 - 21 Sheffield Tigers RUFC

By Roger Keegan
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Sheffield dig deep, very, very deep to overcome local rivals

Sheffield RUFC 25 - 21 Sheffield Tigers RUFC

Team Selection for Saturday, 23rd December 2017

15. Fergus Wood
14. Lewis Bowman
13. Jamie Pearson
12. Frankie Robson
11. Gareth Morley
10. Matt Law
9. Steve Depledge

1. Tommy Marples
2. Sam Whitworth
3. Dan Rylance
4. Dom Parsons (Capt)
5. Dave Clayden
6. Connor Mitchell
7. Sean Casey
8. Gareth Burns

24. Ben Whitney (FR)
20. Joe Cooke (FR)
17. Angus Hughes (FR)
19. Thulani Kuyumani
18. Andy Hodgson

This was the first match in the second half of the fixture list and the second of the season against our local rivals, Sheffield Tigers. Having lost the first match at Tigers at the death early in the season Sheffield were desperate to win and put the show back on the road. Sheffield saw the return of Tommy Marples at loose head prop, but the loss of, both hooker Sam Graham and wing Rupert Broadley. We also saw the return to the squad of fly half Andy Hodgson, making his return on the bench. The squad is also still without the services of Tom Womack, Jonny France, Ryan Seabright and Ianto Jones.

The match started well for Sheffield, Tigers kicked off, but Sheffield were immediately on the attack with Tigers conceding quick penalties and former Sheffield Junior Will Bennett being sent to the sin bin after just 2 minutes. Steve Depledge converted and Sheffield had a nearly 3 point to nil lead. However, Tigers were soon back in the game. Sheffield missed a couple of tackles in the Tigers half and full back Pete Swatkins swept the length of the pitch to score under the posts. Former Sheffield player Mark Ireland added the conversion and Tigers led by 7points to 3 after 7 minutes. Sheffield were left reeling and Tigers turned the screw. Two penalties saw Tigers attacking in front of the posts and Mark Ireland added the points again to take Tigers into a 10 point to 3 lead after 12 minutes. Sheffield began to rebuild and slowly fought their way back into the match and without what can only be described as heroic defence from Tigers Sheffield would have taken the lead comfortably. However, eventually the dam broke and Sheffield pack got on top with second row Dave Clayden scoring the vital first try for Sheffield. Steve Depledge added the conversion and the scores were tied at 10 points all after 36 minutes. Sheffield had one more opportunity to add to their score with time in the half running out. They were awarded a penalty almost in front of the post some 25 metres out, but decided to go to the corner instead of for the posts. However, with the line begging they managed to turn the ball over and the opportunity was lost and referee, Chris Bennett decided to give us all a break and blew for half time.

The second half saw the battle rage on with the sides exchanging penalties on 42 minutes, Steve Depledge for Sheffield and 51 minutes, Mark Ireland for Tigers to leave the match on stalemate at 13 points all. Sheffield were now very much more in control, but |Tigers defence continued to be exceptional, but Sheffield once more managed to punch a hole in it when the pack put Sean Casey in for the second Sheffield try. Steve Depledge added to conversion and Sheffield moved into s 7 point lead at 20 points to 13 after 56 minutes. Tigers responded with a penalty kick from Mark Ireland on 62 minutes to reduce the lead to 20 points to 16. Sheffield's determination to win this match rekindled itself, the pressure mounted and open-side flanker, Ben Sullivan, another Sheffield junior, was sent to the sin bin and minutes later replacement fly half Andy Hodgson went over for the third Sheffield try out on the left. Steve Depledge missed the conversion, but Sheffield held a small 9 point lead at 25 points to 16. Sheffield continued to press and should have scored at least once more in the remaining time available, but suddenly the error count went up as they tried that little bit too hard to break down Tigers whose defence stayed strong despite having conceding 3 tries. A couple penalties given in frustration by Sheffield saw Tigers with both territory and possession and inevitably, their centre and captain, Jamie Broadley, another Sheffield junior and elder brother of Rupert went over for the Tigers 2nd try. Mark Ireland rushed the kick to try and get a further score, but missed leaving Sheffield with a 25 point to 21 lead and referee Chris Bennett decided we had all spent far too long outside and blew for time; Sheffield had the win and very important 4 points in the league.

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Match details

Match date

Sat 23, Dec 2017



Meet time



National League 2 North

League position

Sheffield Tigers