Coach’s Talk – A Report from Steve Hazzelby

Last Saturday we were on the road in our twelfth game of the season to play old rivals Chester. After the disappointment of the previous two weeks we wanted to put in a winning performance and that is exactly what transpired. Conditions on the day were not favourable for open rugby with  a bitterly cold gale force wind blowing across the pitch.

Chester started strongly with a good try for their left winger after a missed tackle in the centre putting them 0-7 up in the first five minutes. Despite this our shape in attack was excellent and our set piece in both the scrums and lineouts was solid. After putting a lot of pressure on the Chester defence by attacking both sides of the breakdown, No 8 broke left to feed winger Jamie Harrison and gave us the 1st try. Steve Collins added the conversion and we were back on level terms.

This was followed ten minutes later with a second try for hooker Matt Gallagher after a powerful catch and drive from the forwards. Steve again added the extras and we were now 14-7 up and looking dangerous with the ball in hand. Chester at this point had no answer to the power play of the Sedgley team and a third score for scrum half Danny Openshaw after another catch and drive from the forwards saw us go into half time 21-7 in the lead.

Chester started well in the second half but could not break down the Tigers defences and we got our fourth bonus point try after Winger Rhys Henderson gathered up a turn over ball to score on the right. Steve added the conversion and the lead was now extended to 28-7 going into the last twenty minutes. Despite the cold conditions the players handling and skill sets were exceptional and the constant pressure resulted in a fifth try for No 8 Tom Ailes after a patient build up in their 22. Steve again converted and the game was all but won.

Chester did get a break away score but a sixth try for prop Ben Black after a lovely half break and off load from Steve (piggy) Collins saw us get the five points with a 42-14 win. This was a wonderful reaction from all of the players and a well deserved victory which has put us back into second place in the league. It was a solid performance from the Tigers and special mention to second row Connor James who was excellent in the lineout and fly half Steve Collins for his man of the match performance and a 100 % kicking record.

This Saturday we are at home to Tynedale who are currently lying 9th in the table. However they are a very well organised team who like to play open, fast rugby and we are anticipating a hard game. Please come down to Park Lane and enjoy the game and the exceptional hospitality that the club offers.