Video: Record crowds turn out for win over England Deaf Rugby team

PUBLISHED: 16:28 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:46 04 May 2010


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RECORD crowds turned out at the weekend to see Ely Tigers hold on for a momentous 24-20 win over the England Deaf Rugby Team.  Excellent handling and movement saw the Tigers power into a substantial lead in the first-half but a resurgent England team com

Action from the match

RECORD crowds turned out at the weekend to see Ely Tigers hold on for a momentous 24-20 win over the England Deaf Rugby Team.

Excellent handling and movement saw the Tigers power into a substantial lead in the first-half but a resurgent England team come back right back into contention in the second half forcing Ely to defend like Trojans to secure the win.

Tigers Captain Mark Mitzman, said: "Every one of the players did the club proud and stood up and was counted.

"The coaching staff has worked hard to improve our game and I couldn't ask for any more from anyone."

Eager to prove that they could provide worthy opposition to the visiting England team, Ely started the game at an unremitting pace. By contrast to the previous week's defeat to Shelford, Ely's passing game was sinuous and purposeful, making them a threat at almost every attack.

The deadlock was finally broken by a marauding Scott Rowbotham, who got full value from a gap in the England defence to run through and score under the posts.

Keen to build on their opening score, Ely pressed hard at the restart and soon found themselves back within the England 22. It wasn't long thereafter that Ely secured their second try as Jon Hunt slid over following a neat offload from Lloyd Palmer.

Despite being pegged back for much of the half, England were far from out of the match and reminded the watching hundreds of their class as a forward drive saw them breach the Ely defence for their first score, keeping them in the match as the teams broke for half-time.

The first 15 minutes of the second-half saw the Tigers continue their assault and they were soon rewarded as Sam Sanders Hewett completed a fine solo run by sliding over the line to hand Ely some breathing space.

Stirred into action by the try, a determined England pack hunted down the ball from the restart and quickly mounted a renewed attack. Ely's defence initially repelled the attacks but eventually the weight of numbers told and England added their second try of the game.

The pressure of the close score line and the weight of expectation began to take its toll as the Tigers began to give away a number of needless penalties seeing the score narrowed to 19-15.

After the restart and from within his own half Jamie Russell put tremendous pressure on the opposite scrum half and following a fumble he gathered the ball and dashed towards the line sliding over to take the deficit beyond a converted try.

In the last five minutes the England squad again scored to bring the scores impossibly tight but the Tigers defended resolutely to secure a memorable victory.

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