Tigers Pre-Season Success Makes It Three In A Row

PUBLISHED: 18:02 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 May 2010

RUGBY ST NEOTS I 12 ELY 1st XV 20 AFTER successive Trial Game wins against Biggleswade A (10-7) and a Royston (34-7), Ely travelled to St Neots for their final pre-season outing. Tigers were forced to field an almost entirely different back line from the

RUGBY

ST NEOTS I 12 ELY 1st XV 20

AFTER successive Trial Game wins against Biggleswade A (10-7) and a Royston (34-7), Ely travelled to St Neots for their final pre-season outing.

Tigers were forced to field an almost entirely different back line from the previous week, and made several other changes too.

Lee Coulson played out on the wing instead of in his customary back row position, and - in the absence of a second team fixture - Ely called up several players from that team, including Andy Hugo and Pete Vousden.

They won the toss and took advantage of the wind, but tried to force the game too much and frequently wasted possession.

Their first points came following a five-metre scrum, with St Neots unable to stop Mike McDougal crashing over the line after good work by the forwards.

Ed Fahy then fired over a penalty to make it 10-0, but a converted try just before half-time put St Neots back in the match.

Tigers struck again at the start of the second period however, after winning possession from a well-worked line-out.

A long rolling maul pushed back the home defence, and Dan Gardner eventually went over for a try that was unconverted.

Gardner then scored again, but the conversion was again wide of the mark as the visitors established a 20-7 lead.

St Neots managed another try themselves towards the finish, but it was not enough to prevent Ely from running out worthy winners.

"The key to our success today was communication," said Head Coach Paul Coulson afterwards. "The players listened and adapted to the conditions well."

Captain Mark Mitzman was even more upbeat about the team's display. "This was a performance that Ely should be proud of," he said.

"The forwards in particular were strong in every area, and if we can maintain our dominance at the set piece we will really reap the rewards.

"I was particularly impressed with the guys from the second team who slotted into the squad seamlessly, and this goes to show that we now have a very strong squad, but with our first league fixture away to Hadleigh next week we must now train hard to iron out any weak areas."

Ely Tigers 2nd XV had their friendly fixture against Wisbech 2 called off.

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