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Sedgley facing a defining double-header
10:00am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Sport
By Neil Bonnar
SEDGLEY Park’s season will be defined in the next two matches, according to coach Clive Griffiths.
The Tigers slipped to 12th in the 16-team National League One following a 38-16 defeat at Esher.
They dropped their standards following the impressive victory over Blackheath seven days earlier, and they were not helped by yet more sin-binnings – three on this occasion – which has blighted their start to the season.
Sedgley’s points came from a Mike Dutton try and three penalties and a conversion from Steve Collins.
Griffiths pointed to the sin-binnings of Dutton after 32 minutes, Juan Crous after 71 and Craig Anthony after 79 as crucial to the outcome.
He was also unhappy with some of the defensive play, which has been a strong point this season, but said that when it was 15 men versus 15 in the second half his side looked every inch as good as the third-placed Surrey side.
“We self-imploded,” he said. “After showing how good we were last week against Blackheath we showed how bad we could be at certain times at Esher.
“Now we play Wharfedale and Old Albanians in our next two games and they will be defining in our season.
“They will decide whether it’s going to be a dogfight or we’re going to be competing in the top half.
“If we win them both we are up towards the top six again.”
Wharfedale, who are two points above Sedgley, are the visitors to Whitefield on Saturday (2.30pm kick-off) which is followed by a trip to Old Albanians, who are two points behind Tigers, seven days later.
And Sedgley will be looking for a better start than on Saturday when they were 10-0 down within 14 minutes and went in 17-3 down at half time.
“We didn’t play so well in the first half,” said Griffiths.
“We clawed our way back to 17-16 and looked good for a win at that stage.
“But then their number eight just waltzed through our defence.
“That’s unacceptable and it’s not like our defence which has been good this season. We had the best points-against total up to Saturday.
“The sin-bins cost us again. Of the five tries they scored, two were when we had 14 men and one was when we had 13.
“When we were 15 v 15 in the second half we outscored them.
“I’ve had a good look at a lot of the teams now and there is nothing between them. There’s not a lot to chose between all the teams, it’s about what they do on the day.”