Monday, 28 January 2013

ABC Thoughts from Saturday's double header

A.  Tiger Cubs tear into Gloucester

After this Saturday’s first team win against Wasps Tigers fans were treated to a second game as the Academy entertained Gloucester in the new Under 18s Academy League.  This was Tigers fourth game of the season and they went in unbeaten after wins against Leeds, Worcester and Newcastle having yet to concede a try.  They showed the future is bright with a thumping 48-15 win, maintaining the unbeaten record and scoring 8 tries but unfortunately conceding two, something to work on during the week!  Welsh wing wizard Rhys Williams caught my eye with two tries including a lovely inside line for his first.  To emphases how young these players are when Williams made his second team debut against Worcester he played against Craig Gilles who had made his Bath debut before Williams was even born!  Other players to impress were the centres Javiah Pohe and Henry Purdy, two of the three “over age” players allowed in the side, as well as fly half and captain Oli Bryant. 

B.  Tigers Strength Finds New Depths

Tigers’ squad depth was to the fore on the Saturday as we coped without 14 players on international duty with England, Italy and England Saxons as well as missing 3 players to injury and 6 players voluntarily rested.  Despite that full matchday squad of players missing we could still get the bonus point at a canter.  Micky Young and Dan Bowden showed top form and must be pushing for starts against London Welsh whilst Vereniki Goneva was back on top form and provided the spark of genius for the last try that we have sometimes been missing this season.  Cockerill really does have some top options available to him; I hope he can use them to the best of their ability.

C.   Tigers a-peeling

Mulipola’s try was the second in this season’s LV Cup from a lineout peel move.  This time Tom Price claimed the lineout before dropping the ball into Rob Andrew’s hands, the burly South African then popped the ball to Mulipola wrapping round from the back of the line out down the 5m channel.  Earlier in the year against London Irish It was Ed Slater who claimed the lineout before Michael Noone peeled round from front to back and off load out of the tackle to Rob Andrew who buried over by the posts.  Are we using the LV Cup to fine tune some moves in a less pressurised and less analysed environment that we plan to use at the end of the season?  Or just running through the play book to keep our eye in?  Or is the “peel” a favourite of Rob Andrew who seems to be calling the shots in these games?  I won’t be surprised if we see it used in Toulon as a “surprise” attack.

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