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New Faces Deliver A Solid Tiger Win


After three recent games at home the Tigers hit the road again yesterday, travelling back up towards Glasgow for our away game against the Glasgow Giants, and in windy conditions we managed to bank a 37 point win against a spirited Giants opposition.  


And – for a few reasons – the game was a fascinating watch.


Firstly, the Tiger line up looked quite a bit different to the Tiger teams that have run out to play in recent seasons, especially in our back line set up. 


On that score, the absence of a few of the more experienced Tigers meant that there was plenty of opportunity for coach Chris Rodger to test the increased depth and flexibility of the 2024 Tiger playing group, and despite the occasional ‘coach killer’ moment (especially in the face of the Giants sustained first half pressure and a wind that meant disposal efficiency was a bit hit and miss) by and large the Tigers acquitted themselves well, and every player contributed to the win.


First gamers Max Shearman and Jason Groves were physical in the contests they found themselves involved in, and players like Adam Trewick, Zach Haddon, Paddy Cain, Ben Bell and Matty O’Brien all worked hard to step up and compete when asked to shore up a backline that leaked a bit too easily in the first half.


But three stand out performances deserve special mention. Nick Hrdina put in another ‘best on ground’ performance with his sustained ‘all day’ run and creativity, Harvey Marks was impressive again with his work in the ruck and his follow up play around the ground, and Brady Evans was pivotal in steadying a Tiger backline that at times was unsettled by the running efforts of the Giants.


Secondly, the windy conditions tested the skills and fitness of both teams. The Giants more than matched the running efforts of the more highly favoured Tigers up until half time, but a strong third quarter performance from the whole Tiger team saw them lift and turn a 6 point half time lead into a 40 point three quarter time lead that they then strongly defended against the wind in the last quarter.


And thirdly, the game emphasised the importance of building the ‘understanding of role’ that develops amongst players when they manage to string a number of games together over a season or two. That tight, instinctive understanding of where to position oneself to defend an opposition attack, how to contribute to attacking creatively ourselves, or where to be (and when) to be close enough to support a team mate who is about to come under pressure only comes with time and experience playing together.


That – of course – is a process, and in that light (and in addition to banking the win) perhaps getting that game time into players still developing that instinctive understanding of the game was the most important outcome for the Tigers yesterday? It's certainly something we need to keep working on at training!


And we’ll need to, because our next game is away to the Edinburgh Bloods 1 team, and they just happen to be the team that sets the standard in our league with respect to that ‘understanding of role’ that wins games. 


That said, It’s always fun to test ourselves against the best, so let’s see what next week brings!!


Carn the Tiges! 

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