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Match Report: Saturday 29/4/23
Tigers Hold On Against Menacing Sharks
Tigers 13.21.99 defeated Glasgow Sharks 13.15.93

In our second game of Season 2023 the Tigers hosted last year’s Grand Finalists the Glasgow Sharks on our home turf in Gosforth, and after jumping out to an early lead in the game the Tigers were never headed and recorded our second win for the season.


However, it was a really close run thing and in all fairness to the Sharks the game could easily have gone either way!


First, the positives: Whilst the performances of Ben Hawtin, Roy Brannigan and Travis Barber-Sperling really caught the eye every person wearing a Tiger jumper yesterday made a strong contribution to the team’s performance, with a special mention going to Jack Bould who was solid in his debut game in the yellow and black. 


Captain Roy Brannigan was particularly pleased with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th efforts he saw so many players making in the contests around the ground, not just because this was indicative of players trying to get the best out of themselves, but also because it offered first hand evidence of the teams willingness to play for one another. 


Staying with that theme, a huge nod also goes to Ben Hawtin and David Hodgson for taking the field and playing inspirational football despite being a fair bit under the weather after a tough week with illness. Their efforts – like some of the guys who played last week despite various health challenges over the off season - couldn’t give you a better example of the ‘Fortis In Procella’ mindset that coach Chris Roger has been advocating all year.


The challenges? Well, we would rather have kicked 21.13 than 13.21, so we will keep working on our polish in front of the goals, but the other area that needs work is our defensive accountability.


The Tigers started the 4th quarter 24 points up, but – a little like our experiences in last years final series (and even to some extent like our experience in losing the last quarter of our game against the Roos last week) – the Sharks got a run on and came home hard in the last quarter. But for a couple of crucial misses of their own in front of goal they could easily have snatched a victory despite the fact that the Tigers had probably been the better team for the other three quarters of the game. 


The Sharks quick succession of 4th quarter goals was the obvious reward for their willingness to run off their half back line and out of centre clearances. They also provided us with a stark reminder of just how important it is to keep running in order to maintain defensive pressure in the centre and forward half of the ground if we are to minimise the pressure that otherwise builds on a valiant backline. 


For all of that we bank the win, we thank the Sharks for a great game, and we look forward to our repeat encounter with them in our next game up in Glasgow on May 13/5.


We’d also like to make special mention and thank Stuart Hook from the Backworth Colliery Band for joining us yesterday to play The Last Post and Reveille as we observed a minutes silence in remembrance of Anzac Day and all that it stands for. Thank you Stuart!


Carn the Tiges!   

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