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Super Saints tame Tigers

Woo and blooming hoo and a yee and a ha!! What a result on Saturday!

During the morning I had been involved in early St George’s day celebrations at the Guildhall which kept my nerves at bay but the stress levels were rising by the time I took my Halo place at Gate 2.

Interestingly most of the Tigers supporters seemed even more stressed and were less than optimistic about their chances. Only one that I spoke to seemed to think that all 23 of them would magically be skipping round us scoring tries for fun – his carer led him gently away.

There had been much talk about the look of the Saints side as The Management balance playing time and injuries with the huge fixtures that are heading our way. I was quietly confident that whoever is in whatever jersey number we will strive to play The Saints way and not be bullied again like we were in Bristol.

An emotional start to the game saw Club stalwart and legend Alex Waller lead the team out accompanied by his children – I think there was quite a bit of dust blowing through the stadium at the time as a few around me were moisty eyed.

And then to business – the first quarter was typical derby rugby, slightly nervy, testy and error strewn. Tigers were giving us no time to get into our groove and were fighting to impose their game on us. A yellow card for Elliot Millar Mills led to a Montoya try. Pollard converted. A penalty from Furbank cut the lead slightly but the seven points were restored when Pollard slotted a penalty after Christophe Ridley thought we were off our feet at the break down – we probably were but there was all sorts going on from both sides at the break down!

In second quarter we had started to up our game and breaks from Lewis Ludlam and Tom Litchfield had seen cracks starting to appear in the (bright) pink defensive wall. Then Alex Mitchell did Mitch things and from a sniping run appeared to get over the line. Mr Ridley asked the wrong question of the TMO and there was no try awarded.

Furbs clawed back another three points and then Tigers were reduced in numbers as Wiese was sent for a sit down just before half time.

The promising signs that we were upping the pace and Tigers had exhausted themselves continued in the second half when the ball went through the hands of Mitch, Dingers and Ramm to land in the breadbasket for hooker Curtis Langdon. The try line was in his sights and no-one was going to stop him! Furbs conversion was slightly off target but even so Saints' noses were now in front.

Then same old Tigers – another break was brought to an end by a deliberate knock on from stripey fullback Shilcock. Tom Seabrook’s chance of a try was denied but it was yellow for the pink ‘uns and a penalty try for those with haloes! The Gardens’ noise was going up!

But those pesky Tigs can never be relied on to go quietly and Wiese made amends for his yellow card with a try, converted by Pollard. Just the one point in it now....

Saints were mounting wave after wave of Saintly moves and the Tigers were clinging on by their clawtips to keep us out. Then Kata in the centre hada brain fart and got it all completely wrong in a huge hit on Dingwall which was high and dangerous. After consultation with the TMO Christophe Ridley was convinced that he could only show a red card.

From the ensuing penalty replacement hooker Robbie Smith burrowed over for a try. Tigers tails were well and truly down now as they brought on their replacements – Ben Youngs and Mike Brown. The Tigers supporter behind me was heard to say – Oh no we’ve got Youngs on now – that’s the game gone.

Meanwhile Saints replacements Tom James, Fin Smith and Tommy Freeman brought a burst of youth and energy. Fin providing an outrageous pass around his back to Freemo who then set loose the out-of-control galloping George Hendy for the bonus point try.

Hendy then blotted his copy book with an off-side move after Fin had hunted down winger Hassel-Collins. But Saints were properly in the groove and from a Tigs fumble deep within their own half Rambo and Furbs took the ball to halfway – the unstoppable Augustus trundled on, gave the ball to Tommy Freeman who looked to be clear down the wing with a kick and chase only to be brought down off the ball – no worries though as Tom James was following up and tidied up the loose ball for the fifth try.

The Tigers now wanted to be anywhere else but The Gardens. World Cup winner Pollard was just praying for the final whistle when whipper-snapper Fin Smith rubbed salt into the wound with a drop goal.

As the clock moved towards the red there were ironic cheers as Hendy returned from his rest to be on the field when the final whistle blew for Saints and one of their biggest winning margins over their rivals.

Now thought turn to the trip to Twickers – a win at Quins would secure a play-off place, I think. But no-one is doing anything with chickens at the moment. We will follow Dowson’s lead and take it one game at a time – and aren’t we having fun!

The coaches for Quins are sold out but there are still some spaces on the coach to Bath for the last regular game of the season.

Photographs from Saturday, as ever, provided by Red Hat Photography. And to see and or hear Photographer and your correspondence talking things Saintly rugby – have a listen to Ladies Wot Pod 

And if you want to see posts and discussions from fellow Saints’ fans hop over to Saints Sinners on Facebook.


One of the seven changes in the Saints line - up, George Furbank at fly half!


Outgoing skipper Lewis Ludlam and possible incoming skipper for next season?


What a signing this chap has proved to be - Curtis Langdon being unstoppable.


Last East mids Derby for local boy and club legend Alex Waller


A little bit of magic off the bench - Fin Smith and Tommy Freeman.


The Ginger Ninja does it again - George Hendy canters over for the bonus point try


Drop goal delight - Dingers face says it all after Fin's perfect punt to rub salt into stripey wounds

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