Tigers work hard to secure season-opening win

Sedgley Park 24 (4) Broadstreet 15 (0)

Broadstreet were first time callers to Park Lane and the visitors, last seasons National League 3 Midlands Champions, acquitted themselves well and pushed Sedgley Park Tigers all the way.

Sedgley Park had Ben Black, Ryan Parkinson, Cameron Thompson, Steve Collins, Mike Waywell and Jamie Harrison missing but with all making good progress for match fitness, Tigers were stripped of additional support in this first game of the season.

Tigers dominated the first 40 with territory and possession but failed to take full advantage and should of had more points on the board by the interval.

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Chester 23-17 Huddersfield

Harrogate 11-17 Stourbridge

Hull Ionians 45-17 Caldy

The omens looked very good in the opening minutes as a trade mark rampaging run from Matt Lamprey had the visitors struggling to stop him. On a scramble defence trying desperately to stop this opening attack Broadstreet gave away a soft penalty for Matt Riley to knock over.

The scrum was fierce with the early encounters going the way of Sedgley Park's Ashcroft and Hymes. Both are in their second season with Sedge and under the age of 23; they really offer the Tigers two very modern day props. Their early scrums unsettled the Broadstreet front row and gave the Tigers the upper hand.

The restart area was a constant issue for Sedge as Broadstreet could have and should have made better use of a fumble but failed to and Sedge soon turned a negative into a positive. The Tiger's coaching staff will really need to work on the re-start and lineout, if they want to compete.

Good powerful build-up play led by Captain Juan Crous saw another powerful support run by Matt Riley smashing the Broadstreet line. On recycled ball fly half Chris Wilkinson did very well to turn a suicide offload into a great attacking opportunity as his pure grit opened a gap for scrum half Callum McShane to dash through for the first competitive try of the 2014-15 campaign.

In the run up to the try Broadstreet's tight head prop-forward Rob Duggard was yellow carded, a very obvious elbow from a very frustrated prop.

The conversion was missed.

Another fumbled restart could have spelled trouble for Sedge but 'Street' could not take full advantage from it.

More pressure from Sedge should have seen another try but not today as in these early days for the important combinations, wavelengths and antennae were not fined tuned and opportunities were missed.

Another penalty did come for Sedge which was quickly countered by Street.

Halftime: Sedgley Park RUFC 11 - Broadstreet RFC 3

If the first 40 was edged towards Sedge the opening salvo belonged to Broadstreet as they came up the hill to take on Sedge. A superb kick by 'Street' fly half Ben Cooper pinned Tigers into the corner and with the home sides line out not functioning 'Street' took full advantage and stole the ball and from the recycled play smashed through the Tigers line for their first try of the season.

The lineout was very poor, neither hooker hitting the middle or back. The safe ball was always to Parkinson but for some reason he was only used 3 times.

The live match report from "Sedge Tiger" said: Game very much on.

Tigers straight from the re-start pressured Broadstreet and once again lazy defence saw Sedge's Matt Riley kick another three points.

It was another Riley, this time winger and brother Andy Riley, who in space showed a clean pair of heels to 'Streets' defence for a Tigers second try.

In review Sedge and Street will play much better than this today that's for sure but Steve Hazzelby head coach of Tigers will way this win up and given the circumstances of the amount of players missing and with no competitive pre-season games he will quite rightly view this as a good first win of the season; a win is a win.

He will have been pleased with the authority and scavenging shown by Billy Emmerson; he will have been pleased to see Ashcroft and Hymes so strong in the scrum and about the park but the return of Olli Parkinson will have been the most pleasing.

The Street coaches will have been frustrated that their excellent re-starts yielded so few points and will be kicking themselves that they could not capitalise on the Tigers very poor line outs.

The Street back 3 were very impressive with ball in hand and will be a potent force this season. Street's hooker was very influential and the coaches must hope he can get control of his pack for the rest of the season.

From here on in the game went into shutdown and became very scrappy indeed as both sides seemed to be effected by the lack of competitive game time but at 19-10 to the home side this game was not safe and you could sense it from the home faithful vibe.

Following another series of breaks without an end result by Sedge, 'Street' once again blunted a Tigers offence which was made worse by a school boy howler of a tactical kick by an ' un-named' Tiger winger which gifted a counter attack for the visitors who then finished off the chance with excellent movement and precision for try number two for the Midlands outfit.

With the score now at 19-15 in favour of the home side, things were looking very bleak for Sedge as they visibly tired. The game looked to be set up for a classic smash and grab and another away day steal in the last quarter of the game, a trademark end from last seasons National Three Midlands champions Broadstreet. Alas not today.

However the final act of the game was initiated from a mistake by 'Street'. A scrum by the visitors had the back line in space, a rash decision by 'Streets' fly half to kick ahead set up a simple catch and clean up by Richard Wainwright who went on to set up a brilliant piece of solo finishing from winger Andy Riley resulting in try number 3 and a good safety buffer for a deserved first home win.

Full time: Sedgley Park RUFC 24 (4) - Broadstreet RFC 15 (0)

Thanks to Glenn Hutton and Sedge Tiger. Video highlights to follow.

National League Rugby