It's Preliminary Finals weekend and things are hotting up in Tigertown.
The U12 Bronze team take on the Como Crocs on Saturday afternoon at Blaxland Oval and the U15 Silver team take on the Kingsgrove Colts on Sunday afternoon at Cahill Park.
The U12 Bronze team go into their game as slight favourites as they finished the season in second place on 17 points and their opponents finished in third place on 14 points. The teams have met once this season with the Tigers winning 28-6 in Round 11. The Tigers have scored 86 more points than the Crocs and they will be looking to put their try scoring ability to good use on Saturday.
In the Sunday game the Tigers U15 Silver team will be clear underdogs against the table topping Colts. The U15 Silvers finished in sixth place on 19 points and their opponents finished in first place on 26 points. The teams have met twice this year with the Colts taking out both games, 24-12 in Round 2 and 22-6 in Round 11. The Tigers will be at full strength for this game and although the Colts will be clear favourites, the Tigers may cause a shock especially if they play to the same level they did in defeating the Kookaburras in the semi final.
U12 Bronze Tigers 24 Como Crocs 10
The Tigers booked their place in next weeks Grand Final against the Aquinas Colts, winning a tight game against a brave and enthusiastic Crocs team who left everything on the field today.
A great kick by Mason Holiday got the Tigers off to the best possible start by kicking the ball dead and forcing a line drop out. Some good attacking play firstly by Liam Good and then Lewis Amesbury gave the Tigers good field position but the Crocs defence held firm. On the fourth tackle the ball was worked out to Bede Staniforth who beat a couple of defenders and scored in the corner to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead.
On the next set the Crocs threatened but strong defence by Lucius Viteri and then Leo Giovenco stopped the Crocs just short of the line. The Crocs team was playing with lots of energy were really up for the game in the early minutes. They tackled strongly and were forcing the Tigers into some early errors. The Tigers were struggling to get out of their twenty metre line and strong defence by Mason Holiday and then Hunter Loveday stopped another Croc attack. In the next set strong runs by Bailey Mason and Lewis Amesbury got the Tigers off their defensive line but more solid defence by the Crocs stopped them advancing any further. The Crocs pressure was relentless and they forced a goal line dropout midway through the first half. In the end the pressure paid off for the Crocs and they got on the board with a try to their big man up the middle to level the scores up at 6-6. From the kick off, the Tigers got some luck and scored to take the lead with Bede Staniforth finding some space in the middle and was able to dance through the Crocs players and score to put the Tigers ahead 12-6 just before the halftime whistle.
The Crocs got us underway in the second half and the ball was collected by Lewis Amesbury who advanced to the Tigers forty metre line. A good run by Zane Shoblom got the Tigers going forward and a clever kick by Levi Dawson, bounced kindly for the on rushing Jensen Bunyan, who outpaced the covering defenders to score and put the Tigers further ahead. This try lifted the Tigers who had been feeling the pressure due to the Crocs intensity, however on the next set, the Tigers became somewhat deflated as the Crocs got back in the game with a neat try and get the score back to 18-10.
A series of penalties to the Crocs got them good field position until a dropped ball relieved the pressure on the Tigers defence. A great run by Patrick Graham gave the Tigers good attacking position before a kick was collected by the Crocs who had the chance to attack again. Hunter Loveday was making tackle after tackle in the middle to keep the Crocs at bay and this pressure forced an error with a dropped ball by the Crocs. Strong runs by Zane Shoblom and Mason Holiday got the Tigers into the Crocs half before a clash of heads stopped play. A lengthy delay for over an hour while we waited for an ambulance took all the energy out of the game and when we resumed with seven minutes on the clock the Tigers had the ball on the fourth.
The Tigers attacked down the left through Leo Giovenco and then Bede Staniforth but were held up on the try line. An error by the Crocs gave the ball back to the Tigers and after Mason Holiday looked sure to score the ball was picked up by Bede Staniforth to burst through and score his third, giving the Tigers a 24-10 lead. In the final minute another error by the Crocs gave the Tigers the ball who then dropped the ball themselves and the game finished with the Crocs pushing for a consolation try at the end.
Congratulations to the Tigers who held their nerve in a tough contest. The Crocs came to play and in the first half they pinned the Tigers in their own half, holding them close to their defensive line. The Tigers defence was strong and at key moments throughout the game, they just had too much quality for the Crocs to contain. We wish the Crocs player a full recovery who had to leave the field and we look forward to meeting the Colts in next weeks Grand Final.
U15 Silver Tigers 6 Kingsgrove Colts 24
The Tigers go into today’s preliminary final as firm outsiders but recent form and some self-belief may help them get on top of the Colts today.
The Tigers received the ball with Harry Melbourne taking the first hit up. A good set got the Tigers to the 20 metre line and then the Tigers defended well and held the Colts out after a rushing tackle by Kobi Porter. The Tigers completed their second set without a mistake and a decent kick by Albie Lamaro got the Tigers close to the try line. On the next Tigers set a good break by Blake Burke put the Colts on the back foot and in the next play Bailey Murray went close but was held up on the line. On the next play the Colts knocked on from an Albie Lamaro kick and this time Bailey Murray did score by reaching out while being tackled, to score and put the Tigers 6-0 ahead.
The Colts were stung and they were tackling hard to try and get an advantage. The Tigers were holding them initially but a mistake in the play the ball gave the Colts the ball and they rolled forward through their big forwards to score and get it back to 6-4. On the next set the Colts dropped the ball after a strong tackle by Kobi Porter and good runs by Kade Bergman and then Alex Moussa got the Tigers into the Colts half. On the next set the Colts had a break and got to the Tigers try line but great defence by Bailey Murray forced an error and held the Colts out again.
With the first half coming to an end the Colts were looking dangerous and were running through the Tigers defence with ease. This pressure finally paid off and with the Colts camped on the Tigers line for a couple of sets, the Colts worked the ball neatly through hands to create a gap to score and go out to a 10-6 lead. In the final two minutes the Colts continued to attack and pressure the Tigers defence, however the Tigers held firm and went into the break relieved to be only 10-6 behind.
The Tigers started the game really strongly but as the half went on the Colts got on top, through their superior size and speed. At halftime the game is finely balanced, can the Tigers work themselves back into it or will the Colts get on top, the next twenty five minutes will have all the answers.
In the second half the Tigers kicked off and were pulled up for being in front of the kicker. A great run by Jacob Way got the Tigers on the front foot and a great chase by Bailey Murray from a kick forced an error from the Colts. The Tigers attacked the left and a pass by Alex Moussa nearly found Fintan Kelly but was intercepted by the Colts. More good defence from the Tigers forced another error and then a late hit on Jai McEwen gave the ball back to the Tigers. Another penalty allowed the Tigers to attack through Will Price and then Kobi Porter before Like Fenton had a run to the line. Some good play got the Tigers close but Bailey Murray was forced out two metres out.
This was a good period for the Tigers, the Colts were blowing hard and were definitely on the back foot with the Tigers pressing for another try. More strong defence held out the Colts next set and the Tigers attacked on the left side. A kick over the top by Albie Lamaro nearly got Luke Fenton in but was called for being in front of the kicker. From the penalty the Tigers were dropping off tackles and this opened up a gap for the Colts. On the next tackle they worked the ball through hands and scored to take a 16-6 lead. This was a kick in the guts for the Tigers who were on top and looking to score.
Unfortunately, for the Tigers the Colts put on another two quick tries, pretty much in the same way when the teams met last time out. At 24-6 the game was pretty much over but the Tigers never gave up and did not want to be embarrassed by the Colts. The Tigers continued to attack in search of a consolation try and fittingly the game finished with the Tigers attacking.
The Tigers had their chances and pushed the Colts harder than the scoreline suggests. Today was not the Tigers day and we would like to say thanks to Tyler, Blake, Darren, Ben and Peter for supporting the boys this year and thanks to each player for a great season. Boys you make us proud, hold your heads high and see you next season.
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