Calm before storm for Tigers

First published in Rugby by

SEDGLEY Tigers are looking to make the most of a week off to set themselves up for a grand finale to the National League One season.

The Whitefield men earned their first win in five games with a 22-19 home victory over Wharfedale on Saturday which, ironically, saw them drop to 11th place.

The victory all but ended any lingering fears of relegation and provided a significant morale-booster heading into the last five games of the season.

Firstly, however, they are looking to clear their injury list so they can tackle those winnable matches with a full-strength squad.

“We did really well on Saturday, but we have done well against the top teams we’ve played recently even though we lost,” said assistant coach Rob Smith.

“We have a few injuries, though, and on Saturday we picked up two more and had to make changes to the side.

“Just before the game Jimmy Lloyd failed a fitness test, and Adam Lewis came in and had a good game.

“We were three of our regular backs down, and had Paul Urmston at number nine and Chris Wilkinson at number 10 who both did well for us.”

Tigers were put on the back foot when they conceded early on at Park Lane, but they rallied strongly to build up a 14-5 lead at half time.

“Wharfedale clawed their way back into the game and then we had Richard Oxley sent off with 10 minutes left and it was backs to the wall, but we held out,” said Smith.

“It was really good to get a win after losing those last few games. But it wasn’t like we’d not been playing well in those games.

“They were all against the top teams or in-form teams and we could have won some of them.

“Now we are playing teams around us in the table so we’ll be looking to go through the rest of the season unbeaten and get up to something like sixth.

“We have a week off now which gives us time to get the injured players right.”

Mark Jennings, Fergus Owen and Oxley scored the Tigers’ tries, with Matt Riley kicking two conversions and a penalty.

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