Thunder, Lightning...and a Tiger Loss
The Tigers final ‘home and away’ game of Season 2023 (our return game against reigning premiers the Edinburgh Bloods) took place yesterday and unfortunately saw the Bloods come home strongly in the last quarter to post a three goal win over the Tigers (13.18.96 to 11.12.78).
But – while the disappointment at our loss was palpable after the game – there were actually a lot of positives to take out of the game.
The Tigers focus and application was obvious from the very start of the game. They were generally beating the opponents to the ball all over the ground, were matching the physicality of a strong Bloods playing group, and scored the first three goals of the match.
The strength of the Tigers play was hugely aided by big man Ben Bell and the run and bounce of debutant Ryota ‘Yoda’ Kawase, whilst David Hodgson played a huge game as our key marking target up forward.
This blend of new faces and old – not just in this game but in all of our other games this year as well - has been a major highlight of our season thus far, and a key part of our ongoing journey to build a club that has the strength, skill and depth to win a premiership in the near future.
But – returning to yesterday’s game, and in a genuine nod of respect to the class and fitness of the current premiers - we knew that even though we had ‘won’ the first three quarters of the game the Bloods would come out strongly in the fourth quarter.
And that is exactly what they did, kicking about six unanswered goals in that quarter to turn a three goal ¾ time deficit into a three goal win by full time.
Were we disappointed? Absolutely! But can we feel the gap narrowing between our best and that of our key rivals in this league? Again, absolutely!
We now return to the training field this Wednesday knowing that there remains work to be done, but also confident that we have booked a place in the first weekend of the finals on the 5th of August.
Our opponents – whoever they may turn out to be – can expect us to be ready and up for the challenge across the whole four quarters.
Carn the Tiges!