GENERAL manager Geoff Roberts believes Sedgley Tigers’ return to full strength in the coming weeks will see a turnaround in results.

The Whitefield-based side lost their third National Two North game in four outings when they were beaten 35-29 at home against league leaders Hull Ionians last weekend and slipped to seventh in the table.

But the closeness of the scoreline gave Roberts heart and the display also encouraged him as the Tigers bagged four tries against one of the best defensive units in the division.

After a torrid run of injuries, slowly but surely players are returning for Sedgley and Roberts is confident of an upturn in fortunes when everyone is back up to speed.

He said: “It is probably the best we have played this season so far, even though we lost.

“We had Steve Collins, Jimmy Lloyd and Bob Birtwell all back from injury, though they naturally tired near the end after so long out.

“It was a pity we faced a team as good as Hull this week – if it had been in two or three weeks when everyone was up to speed fitness-wise then it may have been a different story.

“Nevertheless, there are a lot of positives to take from the game.”

Sedgley started brightly and led 24-14 at half time thanks to tries from Matt Riley, Jimmy Lloyd and Steve Collins.

But the leaders turned the game around after the break.

Roberts added: “The turning point was just after half time when we were pasting their line and they broke the full length of the field to score.

“Instead of being 31-14 to us, it went to 24-21.

“And they capitalised after that as we dropped off a bit up front which is to be expected.

“I was not too disappointed because slowly we are getting back near to our level.

“The way Hull have played this season, first place may be pie in the sky for us now but I certainly think we can push right up there and challenge the top places when everyone is back fit.

“The fact their players and staff we delighted to come through with a win against us shows we did better than most and to get four tries against one of the best defences in the league says a lot about us.

“Now we have another tough test at Stourbridge this weekend who are familiar foes for us after we came up through the leagues alongside them and played them a lot.

“If we can get a win, though, and then one against South Leicester the following weekend, it would set us up for a big test against Chester.

“Then we have three home games in December so lots can happen before the turn of the year for us.”