Leicester Tigers started their title defence with a solid performance at the opening weekend of the 2018/19 Super Series: Division One, in Stoke-on-Trent.
After winning their first major title last season, Darren Matthews’ side headed to Fenton Manor Sports Complex and recorded five straight wins, including an impressive final 48-43 victory over Crusaders.
GB and Tigers star Nick Cummins was pleased with the direction his side were heading: “We fought hard and used a lot of different players.
“We want to keep the momentum from last season, we have added new players and developed current players so hopefully we can push on.
“We are an ambitious group. We really want to do the double. After winning the league last year we want to do one better this year, win the league again and win the Nationals and have a ground-breaking season”, he said.
On the opening day, Leicester were placed in Pool A alongside Canterbury Hellfire, Storm and a scrimmage team made up of mostly GB Talent squad players due to Gaelic Warriors’ unavailability for the weekend. They managed an early win against the scrimmage team (47-31), before convincing wins over Canterbury (60-31) and former league champions Storm (59-35) to top the pool.
In Pool B, 2013 champions Crusaders topped their group with three straight wins over Team Solent Sharks (56-38), Yorkshire Lions (70-48) and Crash (50-46) to make it an all-London WRC encounter in the semi-final against Storm. Both semi-finals were tight affairs as Tigers had to work hard against Crash, winning by a solitary point (44-43) in the final seconds of the game to book their place in the final. Crusaders also continued their unbeaten start to the season, narrowly edging out their teammates at Storm 48-46.
In the final it was Tigers who prevailed, collecting the maximum ten points on offer whilst Crusaders sit in second place, just two points off top. Crash came in third with a 52-40 win over Storm who sit fourth.
Sharks managed to end their weekend with the win that confirmed fifth position after beating Canterbury who took sixth. Canterbury denied Yorkshire their first ever Division One victory earlier in the day with a narrow 47-44 win, meaning that the Lions ended the weekend in seventh.
London WRC dominated the individual awards with the following picking up the credit for their performances across the weekend:
0.5/1.0 – Jonny Coggan (London Storm)
1.5/2.0 – Chris Ryan (London Storm)
2.5/3.0 – Matt Hignett (London Crusaders)
3.5/4.0 – Aaron Phipps (Team Solent Sharks)
MVP – Jim Roberts (London Crusaders)
For the league table click here.
A full set of results can be found here.
A set of images from the event can be found over on our Facebook page here.
All the Division One teams will be returning to action on November 24th/25 that the Leicester Arena. There is more Super Series action to come before then however as Division Two head to Fenton Manor on the 10th/11th November.