Coach’s Talk – A Report from Steve Hazzelby

Last Saturday saw the Tigers on the road to play big Lancashire rivals Fylde. They were on a successful run of six consecutive wins and had not lost at home all season and were lying third in the league and two points in front of Sedgley.

Conditions on the day were atrocious and the kick off was delayed as the pitch was cleared of standing water.

Despite this, the display of rugby that the Sedgley players put on was nothing short of amazing, with six tries, four conversions and a 38-0 bonus point win.

“Storm Sedgley wreaks havoc at the Woodlands” was the title of the report on the Fylde website and aptly sums up the afternoon.

The first of the scores came from in-form hooker Matt Gallagher who latched onto a catch and drive line out by the forwards, to put us up 5-0 after 10 minutes. The second was to come shortly after when winger Jamie Harrison raced onto a loose ball after kick through, from full back Andy Riley, and we were now 10-0 up after seventeen minutes.

Sedgley were completely dominant in these early exchanges and it was only a number of penalties that the referee awarded Fylde that kept them in the game. However, it was the Tigers that continued to put pressure on the home side, with fly half Steve Collins marshalling them around the pitch. Another powerful drive from the forwards saw Matt Gallagher get his second try of the game. Steve added the conversion and we were now in a commanding 17-0 lead going into the last ten minutes of the half.

Sedgley were now playing with confidence and fluency which Fylde had little answer to. The try of the match came just before half-time, after a wonderful inside break by centre Oli Glasse gave winger Rhys Henderson a free run to the line. Steve again added the conversion and we went into half-time 24-0 up, with the bonus point secured.

The second half saw Fylde looking to run the ball at every opportunity but were unable to score despite a couple of good line breaks from their backs. Our fifth try came when second row Bob Birtwell, who unbelievably caught a charge down kick from Tom Carleton, to touch down in the top left-hand corner. Steve added the conversion and we were now 31-0 with the game probably out of sight.

It was all one-way traffic with the Tigers in total domination and the sixth and final score came to that man Matt Gallagher (his third) after a powerful rolling maul from the forwards. Steve added the conversion and the game ended 38-0 to Sedgley.

Make no mistake this was a sensational performance from the whole squad when you consider the difficult conditions. Our defence was impenetrable on the day and the preparations that were made in training in the week prior certainly paid off.

We are now joint second in the league with Rotherham with a game in hand on leaders Hull. On Saturday we are at home to Hull Ionians who we narrowly beat 28-21 at their ground earlier in the season. This will be another hard encounter and we will have to bring another solid performance if we are to continue the run.

Please come down to Park Lane and support your wonderful Tigers team.

Cheers, Hazz