Tigers show their teeth
RUGBY Ely Tigers 29 Thetford 20 A LARGE crowd saw a thrilling match as Ely won their first home game of the season on Saturday to maintain their perfect start. Ely took the lead early on when they gained territorial advantage with a scrum and then releas
Ely Tigers 29
A LARGE crowd saw a thrilling match as Ely won their first home game of the season on Saturday to maintain their perfect start.
Ely took the lead early on when they gained territorial advantage with a scrum and then released the ball out to the backs who passed well and created an overlap for the prolific Tom Jackson to run in and score.
Gavin Ross converted to give the Tigers a 7-0, but this was quickly reduced to 7-3 when Thetford won a penalty from the kick-off.
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The Tigers dominated but their cutting edge was compromised by handling and offside errors, and the visitors kicked another penalty to reduce the lead to 7-6.
Ely then tried the rolling maul tactic to hold in the defence and it was effective enough to put Jackson through to score under the posts.
Ross converted, giving the Tigers a 14-6 lead and, despite further Ely pressure, the scores remained this way at half-time.
Ely extended their lead early in the second half when they forced a line-out, 15 metres from the Thetford line, and when the visitors fumbled, hooker Alan Mason pounced on the ball and dived over the line, to give Ely a 19-6 lead.
Thetford tightened their defence but the Tigers continued to make ground with some good combinations of half and full breaks.
It was such a combination of forwards and backs play which led to a scrum 30 metres from the Thetford line.
Ely disrupted the Thetford possession and Daniel Coulson, having his best game of the year, stole the ball, broke and put Jackson in to score his hat-trick. Ross converted for a 29-6 lead.
Thetford steadily came back into the game and they reduced the lead to 29-13 when a well executed backs move sliced through the centre of the Ely defence.
As legs began to tire, Ely lost their discipline and conceded far too many penalties.
From this platform the visitors were able to launch a number of attacks, to raise their hopes, and eventually to score a try with eight minutes remaining, but the score remained 29-20 as Ely finished on the offensive.