DESPITE Sedgley Tigers winning their first game in four attempts, a disgruntled Geoff Roberts felt his side made hard work of Saturday’s 32-30 home victory over struggling Hull in National League Division Two North.
The Tigers coach, who had been full of praise for his team’s exceptional performance in a 17-13 defeat to second-placed Darlington Mowden Park the previous week, bemoaned a lack of motivation as the hosts narrowly beat the team that lies fourth from bottom of the table.
The Tigers, who are nine points ahead of nearest rivals, Chester, have all but secured fourth place and could easily have lost on Saturday had Hull tucked away a last minute penalty.
Roberts said: “I just feel we are lacking the motivation at the moment. They had a penalty at the end and could easily have won it.
“How is it possible to go to DMP and take them to a couple of points, and then do the same at home against a team that is fighting relegation? It doesn’t stack up. It’s like we need the challenge to turn us on.
“We did a lot of good things, and we made some lovely moves to make the tries, but at the same time the intensity of the thrust of the battle wasn’t there.
“More to the point the sheer defensive attitude, which was there last week, didn’t really show anything like the same this week, so they were breaking our lines and getting tries that they wouldn’t have had a sniff of getting the week before.
“At the beginning it was a bit of a see-saw game with the lead swapping. But in the second half we kept pulling away and they kept catching us up.
“I think the score reflected well for them. Overall we did enough and I felt as though we deserved to win.”
A James Cameron penalty gave the visitors the lead after four minutes, but the Tigers bounced back with an unconverted Rob Holloway try and a brace of penalties from Steve Collins to lead 11-3 after 19 minutes.
However, Richard Hayes and Cameron both added further penalties for the visitors before Hayes went over for a try with Cameron adding the extras, as Hull turned the game on its head to lead 16-11 at half time.
After the break, man-of-the-match Richard Wainwright turned the game back in the Tigers’ favour with two tries in the 47th and 58th minutes, which were both converted by Collins, to give the hosts a 25-16 lead.
But Hull came back to within two points of the Tigers with Hayes completing his hat-trick and Cameron again adding the extras.
Matt Riley’s 66th-minute try along with Collins’ conversion looked to have settled the match for the Tigers at 32-23, but Hull made sure it was a nervy end as Max Argyle went over for a try, which Cameron again converted.
The Tigers, who lost Andy Riley (shoulder) and prop George Hines (dead leg) during the match, have a blank date this weekend before heading to relegation-threatened Bromsgrove on March 22.