Rusty Ely Battle To Win
ALMOST a month without competitive Rugby hampered Ely s performance despite a 34-13 win over struggling Dereham. Bad weather and unwilling opposition in recent weeks has left the Tigers with precious little playing time, but, despite errors creeping in
ALMOST a month without competitive Rugby hampered Ely's performance despite a 34-13 win over struggling Dereham.
Bad weather and unwilling opposition in recent weeks has left the Tigers with precious little playing time, but, despite errors creeping into their game, Ely battled through to pick up an important win.
A relieved stand-in captain Tom Jackson, said: "It was noticeable that Ely hadn't trained and played in recent weeks, the set piece was scrappy and a lot of poor discipline let us down.
"This was however still a win and it moves us closer to our ultimate goal."
Captain Mark Mitzman was absent through injury for the game so the role of captain was handed to Tom Jackson, who was looking to repeat the 44-0 win the Tigers picked up against Dereham in the corresponding fixture late last year.
The Tigers started the game strongly and were soon were putting the Dereham defence to the test with their niggling persistence. The first try came from a Dereham scrum as Dan Coulson tripped his opposite number and quick thinking from his brother Lee afforded the visitors the first try.
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A lack of match practice soon told however, and indiscipline crept in to the Tigers game as Dereham were awarded a penalty which they kicked for three points.
The Tigers rallied again after the setback and continued to apply pressure, eventually earning themselves a scrum in a dangerous area. Quick ball from the scrum was shipped wide for Jackson to feed winger Joel Scott-Paul who outpaced his opposite man on the outside and dived over to score.
As the Tigers increasingly began to find their feet in the game they became better able to exploit Dereham's defensive frailty and further tries were soon forthcoming courtesy of a double from Kimi Hattingh.
The arrival of the second half also heralded the return of Ely's indiscipline though, and several adverse refereeing decisions saw Dereham score twice from sustained attack bringing the score to a unnerving 22-13.
Ely quashed any hopes of a late Dereham comeback as Karl Hayler collected the ball from a opposition ruck and off-loaded to Kieren Kennett who drove over the line.
The scoring was completed by Jon Hunt, who stepped his way through the defence having collected the ball from an Ely line out at the 22 metre line to crash over and score.
The win sees Ely regain their place at the top of the league by virtue of tries scored as they sit level with rivals Southwold on both points and try-difference.