Coach’s Talk – A report from Steve Hazzelby

What a start to the new season in National Two North for the Tigers. A 38-15 five point win, six tries and a hat trick for Hooker Danny Maher.

On Saturday we entertained old Yorkshire rivals Otley, here at Park Lane. This fixture goes back many years and results have always been close. They gained promotion at the end of last season so a hard game was anticipated. Otley started strongly, taking the play to the Tigers and went ahead with a converted penalty after 2 minutes. We hit back five minutes later with a try for Hooker Danny Maher after a powerful catch and drive from the forwards. Steve Collins added the conversion and we took the lead 7-3.

A second try for Danny came after 10 mins after another line out catch and drive from the forwards, which Otley had no answer to. Our third score came four minutes later and a hat trick for Danny after another powerful drive from the forwards. Steve added the conversion and we were now 19-3 up within the first fifteen minutes. This was a wonderful achievement for Danny as he had missed the previous season after sustaining a ruptured achilles tendon, but had worked so hard to get back to match fitness.

Otley to their credit are a team who never give up and put a lot of pressure on the home team’s defence in the last twenty minutes of the half. They scored a well worked try of their own to reduce the lead to 19-8 going into half time.

We started the second half strongly keeping possession well and building phases within the Otley half. This resulted in our fourth and bonus point try for full back Rob Holloway, who went over in the bottom left hand corner, after kick and accurate passing from the backs. Steve added his third conversion and we were now in a commanding 26-8 lead with most of the half to go. Otley responded strongly with a great second try of their own for their right winger after a lovely line break by their inside centre. They added the conversion and were back in the game 26-15 going into the last twenty five minutes.

However the Tigers raised their game, testing Otley at every opportunity. A powerful line break by the in form Danny Maher took play into their 22. The ball was moved quickly to the left for winger Andy Riley to touch down in the corner. 31-15 up with fifteen minutes to go. We finished the game with a well worked try for captain Matt Riley after a pick and go break from Steve Collins. He landed his fourth conversion and the game ended 38-15 and a well deserved win for the Tigers.

This Saturday we are away to old friends Chester who lost narrowly 24-19 to Fylde. This will be a difficult challenge at their ground, so another big performance is needed if we are to take the points. All support is welcomed so please come and make the short trip over to Chester and get behind the lads.

Cheers, Hazz

Dave Morton has included his gallery of photos from Saturday at the link below:

Sedgley Tigers v Otley, 3rd Sept 2022