SEDGLEY Park belied the wet conditions to produce a great display of running rugby and see off Sale 24-16 in their first home match of the National Two North season.

General manager Geoff Roberts had feared driving rain before kick off would tilt the balance in favour of the visitors, who finished second last season on the back of a powerful pack and clinical kicking game.

But the Tigers' superior handling won the day as they edged the try count three to two, with Andy Riley claiming a brace and Rob Holloway running over for the crucial third.

Matt Riley also weighed in with three conversions, while Steve Collins eased any fears of a late Sale comeback with a penalty in the final minute that made it two wins out of two for Sedgley at the start of their league campaign.

"All in all it was an absolutely excellent day for us," said Roberts.

"The rain really came down before kick off and I feared the conditions would play into the hands of Sale, who we know are a really strong and powerful team.

"But our lads handled it brilliantly.

"All three of our tries came from first-phase play, which you don't normally see when conditions are bad.

"Normally you have to build moves slowly by gaining territory in driving mauls, which is something Sale are really good at and showed that again on Saturday.

"Both their tries in the second half came from driving mauls that we just couldn't deal with, but we already had a good lead by that point after some really sumptuous tries, and we managed to hold on for the win."

Sale took the lead through a 12th minute penalty before Sedgley scored 21 unanswered points.

The first of Andy Riley's efforts came on 16 minutes, followed by a score from Holloway five minutes later and Sedgley went into the break 14-6 up after Matt Riley missed a penalty kick.

And the Tigers went further ahead 18 minutes into the second half when Andy Riley chased on to a kick behind the Sale defence.

Roberts added: "After going behind early on I thought our defence really stood up to the challenge and were fantastic from there on in.

"That gave the lads the platform to play their own games and the backs didn't disappoint.

"Andy Riley was the hero of the day in terms of his tries.

"His first came from a scrum, with the ball worked through a number of hands before being collected by winger Sam Lowthian and Andy was there supporting to run the ball over.

"Rob made a clean break down the middle, also from a scrum, and he scored just to the right of the sticks.

"Our final try was a chip and chase. Andy got to the ball first and kicked it on before diving on it once it had crossed the line."

After withstanding a late comeback from Sale, Sedgley go into this weekend's trip to South Leicester level on points with their hosts.

The midlanders are fifth in the fledgling table, one place behind the Tigers.

Their opponents are fifth, also