Coupland in form as Tigers rack up memorable win

Ely Tigers Rugby V southwold

Ely Tigers Rugby V southwold - Credit: Archant

Rugby Ely Tigers 67 Southwold 10

Ely Tigers Rugby V southwold

Ely Tigers Rugby V southwold - Credit: Archant

CHARLIE Coupland ran over a hat-trick of tries as Ely crushed lowly Southwold on Saturday.

All told, the Tigers came away with an impressive haul of 10 tries, with man of the match Coupland leading the way with a second-half hat-trick to seal a memorable win.

The victory keeps John Dibb’s side in third place in Eastern Counties Division One, keeping daylight between themselves and fourth-placed outfit Crusaders.

Within the first two minutes of the match, a blind-side sprint and offload from Lee Coulson put Sam Benzie into space and drove on just metres from the line. A quick recycle of the ball was fed to Luke Cornwell and he slid over the first score of the day.

A few minutes later, a switch of play put Tim Evans in for another unconverted try. After the restart, Benzie kicked a three point penalty after Southwold were penalised for hands in the ruck. Sam Smith was next to get on the board after a well-worked maul.

Just before half-time, the Tigers ran the ball back up field. Joel Scott Paul broke the opposition defensive line and threw a perfectly aimed pass to Duncan Fraser who touched down in the corner.

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Ely were able to score two tries in the first five minutes of the second half. Coupland received the ball on the wing and was able to beat his opposite number for pace for the first before Cornwell registered his second.

Beaten but not bowed, Southwold were able to get a couple of consolation tries either side of Tim Evans’ second score, after a decent period of possession.

Soon after, a sideways run from Coulson allowed him to offload straight to the wing. Coupland caught the ball at full speed and was able to beat his opposite number again, for a converted try.

Moments later, Coupland collected his hat-trick after he caught a clearance kick, bouncing off his tackler to place down over the line.

Just before the end of the match, quick passing down the line found its way to Kevin Houghton. He kicked a magnificent up-and-under and was able dive on the ball in the corner.