March 23, 2013. The Tigers hosted the Storm on a warming spring day. We had suffered through some terrible weather this winter and were glad to have a nice day to play. The pitch was putting on grass, the ground was soft… a beautiful day to play some rugby. John Sullivan came out to call the match and enjoy the festivities.
All in all it was an enjoyable day for the Tigers. This was a friendly and everyone got to play. The final score was 38-24, but this score did not reflect the dominance of the Tigers. We spent most of the day in their half knocking on the door. The storm had a few breaks late in the match to make it respectable, but they were never a threat.
The match was fun to watch and the Tigers were clearly enjoying themselves. Scott Smith got on the board first with a nice fill in from his fullback spot. He hit the gap so fast that they didn’t see it coming. He romped for 50 meters to score under the posts. John Elmore slotted the conversion and we were off to the races.
John scored second by working his way to the try line from the fly half spot. He broke through the line on third phase ball that was nicely rucked by the forwards. Weaving through the defense, he continually looked for the pass. The defense took the bait and John cut inside for his points. Nice try John. JC Russell put up the conversion.
Josiah Shipley scored the third try by running through people. He is so strong in his upper body that he is hard to take down. He spends much of the day muscling the ball away from the opposition and turning the field. For his try, he stole the ball and outran the defense in a 40 meter run.
Brandon Worley stood at the flanker spot and had a blast with the freedom to fly across the pitch. He scored his try by blowing over the top of players. He is tough to stop when he has a full head of steam. Kyle Baker kicked the conversion to start his points for the day.
Thomas Strickland has had a good year, and he is so stinking fast that he is almost impossible to catch if you give him a step. He finally got the ball on the wing and was gone. He dotted the ball under the posts. Kyle converted.
The most impressive try for the day was a collaborative effort between Chris Lemons and Ian Curry. Chris had the ball on the 8 driving toward the posts but knew he was going to get stopped before he could get in, so he flipped over on his back and popped the ball up to Ian who dove over Chris to score the try. It was fantastic to see the future of Tiger Rugby handling the ball with such precision and grace.
We say all the time that the “future is bright”. We know it is bright because when we get all of our players on the pitch we look great. As the season winds down, this match was perfect to remind us who we were in the world of rugby. We can play this game and we are pretty good when we have all of our horses… or Tigers.
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