Friday, 1 March 2013

Croft Captains Tigers

Tom Croft will captain Tigers on his 100th start for the club after Geordan Murphy was once again ruled out through injury.  This means a return to the starting team of Mat Tait, Niall Morris returns to fitness and is preferred on the wing to Scott Hamilton whilst Flying Fijian Vereniki Goneva is once again over looked.  Anthony Allen is still injured and Manu Tuilagi held by England so Matt Smith and Dan Bowden continue their partnership in midfield.  Stuart Lancaster has released Thomas Waldrom who drops straight into the first XV at the expense of Jordan Crane who takes Richard Thorpe's place on the bench.

I can't hide my disappointment at this team, but equally I can't see any other result that a thumping Tigers win.  The crowd and the coaches will simply not allow any other result.  Why Tait is giving yet more chances at full back is a genuine mystery.  How Murphy can be as fit as he's ever been one week then not even on the bench the next is baffling.  Why Goneva, the only wing who has looked capable of creating a try for another player, is ignored a conundrum.

Sale leave their star signings Danny Cipriani and Ritchie Gray on the bench alongside international props Tony Buckley and Alasdair Dickinson and Welsh international number 8 Andy Powell.  This game won't be over at an hour whatever the score given Tigers refusal to use their bench and Sale's strength in reserve.  With Ross Harrison, Henry Thomas and James Gaskell in the tight five Tigers should have an early advantage up front and will have to exploit that before the cavalry arrives.

Referee for Saturday will be, once again, Wayne Barnes known as Mr. Kerr to his friends.  All 2 of them.  This will incredibly be the 31st game Tigers game the veritable Barnes has officiated and the 20th Sale game.  It will be his 18th game at Welford Road and the second time he has taken charge of a Tigers Sale game at Welford Road.  The last time was in April 2009 when Julian White saw red for a punch on Andrew Sheridan and 14 man Tigers scored two second half tries in 5 minutes to secure a bonus point win.  He also took charge of the reverse fixture earlier this year.

Sheridan Misses, White Doesn't

15 Mathew Tait
14 Niall Morris
13 Matt Smith
12 Dan Bowden
11 Adam Thompstone
10 George Ford
9 Sam Harrison
1 Marcos Ayerza
2 Rob Hawkins
3 Logovi'i Mulipola
4 Ed Slater
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Tom Croft (c)
7 Julian Salvi
8 Thomas Waldrom

16 George Chuter
17 Kieran Brookes
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Brett Deacon
20 Jordan Crane
21 Micky Young
22 Matt Cornwell
23 Scott Hamilton

Sale Sharks: 
15 Cameron Shepherd
14 Tom Brady
13 Jonny Leota
12 Sammy Tuitupou
11 Will Addison
10 Nick Macleod
9 Cillian Willis
1 Ross Harrison
2 Marc Jones
3 Henry Thomas
4 James Gaskell
5 Fraser McKenzie
6 Dan Braid
7 David Seymour (c) 
8 Richie Vernon Replacements: 
16 Tommy Taylor
17 Alasdair Dickinson
18 Tony Buckley
19 Richie Gray
20 Andy Powell
21 Nathan Fowles
22 Danny Cipriani
23 Jordan Davies

No comments:

Post a Comment