Tarleton were able to take two full sides to Southport and win 3 out of the 4 games played. After last week’s disappointing display where the players didn’t perform to their usual excellent standards it was important they got off to a strong start.
This week, from the outset Team 1 (Josh’s team) intentions were clear, last week’s performance was not to be repeated. The commitment of the whole team was obvious throughout. Energy, enthusiasm and execution of the skills they have learned shone through to provide a quality display of rugby. Southport made it clear that they were going to run hard from the off, so the tackling and line speed of Tarleton would be put under pressure. Southport used their big runners to their advantage but Tarleton’s defence held firm and kept them pinned back. Southport did not give up and kept running hard. Had it not been for some good turnovers in the ruck area, this team could have been under some immense pressure. When Tarleton retrieved the ball, use was made of the big runners, along with slick handling, to score in the wide channels. As the game progressed, constant Tarleton pressure forced errors from Southport. Using speed and good offloads, our players were able to find the spaces to score. Tarleton were not without their own errors. A few knock-ons and loose passing letting the side down in a few situations.
Team 2 (Gareth’s team) got off to a slow start shipping 5 tries in close succession before upping their game and securing a score of their own. The Southport side boasted some big strong players but following the initial period, Tarleton rose to the challenge and began to compete in the rucks. A couple of breakaway tries in the second half were followed by another Tarleton score, but Southport ran out the stronger in the first game with two more scores of their own. The second game was a much closer affair with Tarleton demonstrating greater aggression in the contact area turning over several balls and managing to secure continued possession. Scores were exchanged throughout the two halves with Tarleton just edging the score line 5 tries to 4. This was a much improved performance from last week by all players with a much better defensive display. Players of note were Conner, Blake and Sam who worked tirelessly throughout.
All in all it was a strong performance, proving that the previous week was just a day to forget. A great turnout again with a full squad to choose from and commitment levels over the last few weeks being of the highest standard.
Tarleton face Southport again later on in the season. The squad know that Southport will be fired up and wanting to avenge the loss in the local derby, so they will have to be at the races.