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Sedgley Tigers secure third successive win against Harrogate
By Claire Cameron
SEDGLEY Tigers continued their recent good run of form in National League Two North on Saturday with a 57-15 home win over Harrogate.
Despite it being charity day at Park Lane, the hosts were in no mood to offer their mid-table visitors any such favours, as the Tigers recorded their third consecutive victory in a surprisingly more comfortable manner than Sedgley coach, Geoff Roberts, was expecting.
Roberts said: “It was pretty unexpected to be so commanding.
“I was expecting it to be a high-scoring game but I thought it would be more balanced.
“We played really well and took them apart across the board. It was an excellent performance.
“As a spectacle it was all over by half time.
“We just got a commanding lead and carried it on.
“They looked quite dangerous when they had the ball but, to be honest, we denied them a lot of the ball.
“It certainly wasn’t what you would call nailbiting but it was enjoyable to see.”
Matt Lamprey opened the scoring for the fourth-placed hosts with a try in the fourth minute and Steve Collins added the conversion.
Collins increased the Tigers’ lead to 10-0 on 13 minutes with a penalty before the visitors hit back with a Joe Roundtree penalty just three minutes later.
However, in a 15-minute spell, two tries apiece from Johnny Matthews and Jonny Bishop followed by three conversions from Collins gave the hosts an unassailable 36-3 lead on 36 minutes.
The visitors responded with a try from Samuel Bottomley with Roundtree adding the extras to give the Tigers a 36-10 lead at the break.
Lamprey added his second try of the game 10 minutes into the second period with Collins adding the extras, before Jacob Brady pulled a try back for Harrogate to make it 43-15 on the hour mark.
The Tigers, who were in no mood to be tamed, stretched their lead further with tries from substitute Liam West and captain Juan Crous with Collins again adding the conversions to secure a 57-15 victory.
The spring-like weather conditions also benefited the Tigers with Roberts commenting: “It just shows you the difference in our game on a dry track.
“Just like Harrogate, we try to play an attractive style of rugby but it is difficult to play our usual style on muddy pitches.
“Maybe we just need to look at the strategy going forward to find a method where we can compete in the lousy weather without it affecting the style of our rugby.”
Although it was a good team performance against Harrogate, Roberts reserved special praise for inside centre Matt Riley.
“I think Matt played really well. He made a lot of the right decisions at the right times.
“If play had broken down a bit he carried the ball in and made good yards and we could build again from that.”
Roberts will have a number of players, including Mike Waywell, Richard Wainwright and Chris Parrott, back from injury when Sedgley Tigers travel to already-relegated Dudley Kingswinford on Saturday.