Tigers stay top after five-try blitz against Thetford

Ely Tigers v Thetford RFU

Ely Tigers v Thetford RFU - Credit: Archant

Rugby Ely Tigers 38 Thetford 20

Ely Tigers v Thetford RFU

Ely Tigers v Thetford RFU - Credit: Archant

Ely recovered from an early setback to overawe visitors Thetford on Saturday.

The visitors capitalised on some lethargic Ely defence to take an early lead but the Tigers were quick to respond, getting back on terms before moving clear of their plucky opponents with a five-try blitz.

Victory keeps Lloyd Palmer’s side top of the table, with three wins from three matches played so far.

But that run will be put to the test on October 11, the Tigers next match, when they face off against joint-leaders Southwold at the Downham Road ground.

Thetford had a strong start and turned some head when they scored in the opening 15 minutes. The ball was passed into the midfield from a line-out and the visitor’s number eight crashed over for a converted try.

But Ely fought back with good defence after the kick-off, forcing Thetford to concede a penalty, which Joel Scott Paul sent over.

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Ely continued with their aggressive defence and Harry Rogerson forced a turnover at the ruck. The ball was offloaded to man of the match, Mark Ryder, who sprinted 30 metres and touched down under the posts for a converted try.

Thetford conceded multiple penalties and Ely went for territory and kicked for a line-out on the opposition five metre line. The Tigers won the throw and the ball came down to Ricky Neale who crashed over with a storming run for a converted try. Before the end of the half, Ely conceded a penalty for offside and Thetford kicked the three points.

In the opening minutes of the second half, Ely were in opposition territory again as they looked to step up the pace. Strong pressure on the Thetford defence forced them to concede a penalty and Ryder seized his chance, darting under the posts for a converted try.

Moments later, Ely caught the kick-off and moved the ball up with the forwards. A fine show of handling from the backs forced the ball wide to Giles Skiba on the wing. He side-stepped three players and touched down in the corner for a converted try.

Ely continued to tear Thetford’s defence to shreds and were quickly in the opposition twenty-two after the re-start. A sloppy pass came out to fly-half, Kieran Kennett, who scooped the ball up and scurried through the opposition defence and touched down under the posts for a converted try.

Thetford fought hard in the dying minutes of the game and were able to score two tries against a tired Ely defence. The Tigers were able to hold on long enough to deny them a losing bonus point.