GENERAL manager Geoff Roberts hailed his Sedgley Park defence after they beat Preston Grasshoppers 15-3 in National Two North at the weekend.

The Tigers were playing their first home game of 2019 at Park Lane and put in a solid display to restrict their visitors to just a solitary penalty score on the day.

Unusually for Roberts’ side, they only bagged two tries and did not register their customary bonus point in victory.

But he was happy with the display in what was a tight game in wet conditions.

Roberts said: “It was a really hard-fought game where neither side cracked for a long time.

“In the end our defence won us the game.

“Even their coach said afterwards they would be playing until next Christmas and still would not have scored – that is how tight we kept it.

“It was 0-0 for a long time in the first half until we broke the deadlock with a great try.

“Stand-off Steve Collins played a wonderful short pass to Matt Riley who raced on to score under the sticks. Both the pass and run were so well-timed.

“With the conversion we had a 7-0 lead at the halfway point.

“In the second half, a penalty apiece made it 10-3 to us and then there was stalemate again for a long time.

“Then, near the end, a box kick from just inside their half was mishandled by their winger, Sam Lowthion picked it up and turned on the gas to score a second try for us.

“That sealed what was a good win in tricky, greasy conditions.”

Sedgley sit seventh in the table after a difficult injury-hit first half of the campaign.

But Roberts hopes last weekend’s morale-boosting victory against a side that was level on points with them going into the clash will set up a run of form.

Next up on Saturday is a trip to second-bottom Macclesfield as the Tigers look to end a run of six successive away defeats stretching back to their win at Preston in September.

Roberts added: “We were level on points with Preston and they don't lose many games by a big margin so it was a boost to our confidence to get the win in what is always a tough game.

“It was good to get the points, even if we didn’t get the bonus, because everything is tight in the league.

“Hopefully we can kick on at Macclesfield on Saturday and get a long-awaited away win because it has been ages since we have got one on the board.”