Sheffield Tigers 20 - 14 Stourbridge RFC

STOURBRIDGE travelled north with a host of absentees from the side which has swept all before them so far this season.

The squad has suffered a catalogue of injuries which meant the first team travelled with just four replacements, two of whom were not match fit.

Bright sun and strong wind meant a drying pitch after some heavy overnight rain as Tigers kicked off.

The hosts were first to score with three minutes gone, a Stour penalty kick failed to make touch and a grateful Tigers back division saw the ball pass between Jamie Broadley, Henri Packard, and Mark Ireland.

Full back Alex Graham scampered over in the left corner and Mark Ireland hit a superb conversion.

Stour's Joe Heatley responded with a searing break on the half way line, feeding Dan Rundle who sliced his way past several defenders to score on the seven minute mark and Chris Scott added the extras.

On 16 minutes Tigers' pressure paid off again, when a wild pass inside their own 22 saw Stour give away valuable possession Wragg pounced on an unclaimed ball to score, uncontested. Ireland bagged the other two points.

The experienced fly-half continued to have a major influence on the game with a number of massive clearance kicks.

The visitors needed to soak up major pressure over the remainder of the half but gave away too many metres and penalties including two very kickable chances which Ireland took full advantage of to make the half time score 20-7.

Tigers were also unlucky not to score a two tries following breaks by their hooker and centre, the latter being hauled down on the 5m line by a last gasp tackle from Joe Heatley.

Lacking in pace out wide and struggling to win lineouts Stour changes tactics and regained momentum at the start of the second half.

The visitors spent the first 15 minutes inside the Tigers' 22 metre zone but were unable to capitalise until 56 minutes into the game.

A penalty lineout on 22 metres was driven forward with Nick Murphy pushed over the line to the right of the posts leaving a simple conversion for the last score of the game.

Both sides fought hard for the remainder of the match and Stourbridge held on for a losing bonus point.

The point came at a high cost, Chris Scott suffered a suspected broken cheek bone, Chad Thorne sustained a nasty cut above his right eye and Sam Pailor limped off with a damaged arm and leg.

With a growing injury list, Stour director of rugby Neil Mitchell faces a tough challenge to find available players for next Saturday's landmark clash with Sale at Stourton Park.

The game is set to be the first played on the club's new AGP pitch and will kick off at 3pm.