Τρίτη, 19 Απριλίου 2011

Paphos Tigers v Ayia Niks Stags - Match Report

Inaugural Match on new pitch at Tala

16th April 2011.

Special guests Tala Mukter Angelos Varnavidis and Father Antonis.

After the blessings given to the new ground and each of the players by Father Antonis the match kicked off in front of a crowd of at least 1500.



First blood went to Ayia Niks stags who after only 2 minutes slotted a penalty between the posts after an infringement by the Tigers, but this was a short lived lead for only 3 minutes later Jack Bilton went over for a try, unconverted which took the score to Tigers 5 Stags 3. Another 3 minutes and Tigers scrum half and Captain “AJ” Pugh went over for a try after a short burst from the base of a scrum near the Stags line. Conversion missed but the score now was 10-3.

The Stags counterattacked but were stopped short by a high tackle by hooker Graeme Scott, who was yellow carded and sin binned for 10 minutes leaving the Tigers a man down, but the penalty awarded to the Stags was missed.

This young Tigers side seemed to settle down and their lack of match practise was slowly being shaken off and they continued to cause problems for the Stags, with big Tiger centre George Agathocleous always creating problems for their defence. Three more tries were ran in, 2 by newcomer and speedy winger Ryan “Express” Riddler, and another by young promising fly half Jack Bilton, taking the Tigers to a comfortable half time lead of 29 points to 3.

This match was by no means a one way street and the Stags were always probing and looking for weaknesses in the Tigers defences, but they weren’t able to overcome the Tiger pack nor out jump the dominant (and later awarded man of the match) Dave "Ginge" Carruthers in the line, nor outrun the Tiger’s fleetfooted backs, and they missed another penalty after a couple of minutes.

The Tigers though did have to work much harder in the second half as the Stags upped their game and it was another 10 minutes before “AJ” Pugh scored in the corner and another 20 minutes before the hard working No.8 Dan Bignell went over or a well deserved try taking the score to Tigers 39 -3.

However the Stags never say die attitude paid dividends when after pressurising the Tigers for over 10 minutes with kicks charged down and a massive drive by their forwards gave them a well earned try which was duly converted taking the score to Tigers 39 Stags 10.

However the final say was for the Tigers after the Stags fumbled and knocked on a loose ball which was kicked on and picked up by Jack Bilton to place under the posts, taking his tally to an excellent three tries this day. This try was duly converted by George Agathocleous making the final sore Tigers 46 Stags 10.

This was a very special day for the Tigers, their opening match in a fantastic new venue was won, there was a great enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd supporting and a determined opposition from Ayia Niks Stags.

At long last the Tigers have their own pitch and a brilliant new “Den” in Tala, and with this young side they can only grow and go from strength to strength.

Nigel Jarvis
Paphos Tigers Rugby Football Club

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