DESPITE the league leaders clinching their third successive victory at new boys Tynedale on Saturday, Sedgley Tigers coach Geoff Roberts was left to bemoan a number of 'appalling' refereeing decisions against his team.

The 36-29 win over last year's relegated National One side moved the Tigers two points clear at the top of National League Two North, but Roberts believes Brendan McGaffney made life unnecessarily difficult for the table toppers.

"There is always a physical battle in the scrums, the driving maul and the contact area and we well and truly won that battle all afternoon.

"Normally with that you get the refereeing decisions. But the decisions in the second half in particular were appalling. We had a terrible penalty count against us.

"There was one occasion where we were in a try-scoring attack and they just tapped the ball down.

"If it wasn't a try scoring chance it probably would have been a penalty but as it was it should have been a yellow card for their player, but it didn't materialise.

"One of their tries at the other end also had a huge knock on in it.

"When you do come up against a day like that you've got to be happy to come away with the five-point win."

Outside-centre Ashley Smith put Tynedale in front with a penalty after just three minutes.

But the Tigers, who were without Ben Lloyd (rib) and Jimmy Lloyd (unavailable), hit back with an unconverted try from winger Jamie Harrison just a few minutes later.

Hooker Johnny Matthews powered over two tries and full-back Andy Riley finished off a full length effort to clinch the Tigers' fourth bonus point try. Steve Collins added two conversions as the hosts led 24-3 after 26 minutes.

Ben Black's yellow card for a technical infringement sparked a Tynedale comeback as they took advantage of the extra man with Mathew Outson going over for a try. Smith converted to reduce the arrears to 24-10 at half time.

Flanker Danny Waddy, who put in a man of the match performance on his home debut, set up Sean Manley for try number five soon after the break. Collins added the extras.

But tries from James Clarke and Dom Donnelly, with one conversion from Smith, allowed the visitors to claw the score back to 31-22.

Riley scored his second try of the afternoon with less than a quarter of the game remaining, but Tom McCullough's try and Smith's conversion four minutes from time reduced the final score to 36-29.

"The game was hopelessly fragmented due to the penalty count and we weren't able to nail things home as much as we would have liked," said Roberts.

"Maybe we were guilty of taking the pressure off a little bit but there were plenty of positives.

"Danny Waddy was outstanding and put in a big engine room job for us.

"He made one try and had plenty of contributions during the game.

"Johnny Matthews and Callum McShane, back at scrum half following an injury, also played well."

The Tigers will be without props Black and Harri Grenville when they travel to old rivals Otley on Saturday.

Jack Warrington (foot) is also a doubt but Rob Holloway and Mike Quickenden could be set for returns.

And despite Otley struggling with just one win in three, Roberts know his side will need to be on top of their game following their 39-10 reverse last December.

"It's always a tough place for us to go," he said.

"They've had injury problems this season so the fact they are near the bottom is due to that more than poor form.

"We have our sums to do to see what we do up front.

"We've got Rob and Mike returning from injury so hopefully in the next month we'll have even better depth."