By Neil Bonnar

SEDGLEY Tigers are counting the days until they finally get half a team of key players back fit.

The horrific injury situation, which has seen almost a full team sidelined throughout the season, finally took its toll when they were resoundingly beaten 70-14 at Loughborough Students on Saturday.

With most of the key absentees being long term, the Tigers have found it impossible to play to their potential on a regular basis.

Having a dozen players out in last weekend’s latest National League One game – including eight cast-iron starters – is nothing new.

But the promising news is that every one of those players is expected back in the next six weeks.

First team manager Geoff Roberts said: “We can cope with two or three injuries because you always have to, but it gets extreme when it gets to a dozen.

“I’ve never known anything like it. But they will start to come back over the next two weeks and we’ll slowly get back to a more full-strength side.

“We’ll get a trickle of those players coming back now and I think they will all be back after Christmas.”

Tigers showed earlier in the season that they can compete with anyone in the league, and had the best defensive record up to three weeks ago.

That side of the game was exposed in full in the second half on Saturday when Loughborough filled their boots after Tigers had still been in touch at half time when the score was 29-14, Juan Crous and Tom Leader both touching down for Sedgley and Leader converting both.

“The game just went away from us. They played a fast, expansive game and we had players playing out of position and new players in the side and in the end it was just too much for us.”

It is unlikely to get much easier on Saturday when Tigers travel to second-top Ealing.