SEDGLEY Tigers played "the perfect game" with a resounding 40-10 victory at Harrogate on Saturday to remain third in National Two North.

Coach Geoff Roberts praised the performance as the best of the season so far in a match where his players could do no wrong.

He said: "Everything we did was right. We had possession and territory and there wasn't anything I could fault.

"We played pretty much the perfect game in the first half. It was the best we've played this season."

And that was despite Roberts labelling the pitch as the worst they had played on in the campaign.

The Tigers went ahead in the 18th minute after Andy Riley collected a Steve Collins chip to drive the ball across the line.

Collins, who converted the try, was instrumental to the victory on his return to the squad, kicking four out of five conversion attempts.

Sedgley quickly increased their tally with a Sam Lowthian try minutes after the opener and added three more tries before the interval.

Johnny Matthews ran over for a quickfire brace in the 29th and 30th minutes, while Andy Riley capitalised on a combination with Collins to score just before half time.

Harrogate offered little going forward in the opening period but while they had more of the game in the second half were unable to make a real dent on Sedgley's lead.

After the home side scored a penalty, the visitors ran over a sixth and final try in the dying moments through Sam Peet before a lapse in concentration allowed Harrogate to breach the Tigers' back-line in the 80th minute.

Roberts highlighted the impact of Andy Riley and Collins' combination as a key part of an otherwise polished team display.

"The two worked well together," he said.

"Riley was very sharp which worked well with Collins' chipping and kicking game.

"Harrogate threw a lot at us but we defended so well there was no way past our defence."

The result left Sedgley two points ahead of fourth-placed Leicester Lions but still 18 behind second-placed Sale, who look odds-on to claim the promotion play-off spot with only five games remaining.

Roberts' men entertain the Cheshire side in their next match, a week on Saturday, but the coach concedes the gap now looks too big to breach.

"I don't think there's really any chance of catching them now," he said. "We can't afford to drop any points and they would have to drop quite a few and they've had such a good season I can't see it would happen.

"It's not mathematically impossible, but it is very unlikely we will catch them."

Sale emerged victorious the last time the sides met, winning by a single point.

Roberts added: "We are the sort of team that can beat anyone on our day.

"They (Sale) won't feel they will walk it as our players will be on full concentration. We will be on top form and switched on."