Ahead of Sedgley Park Tigers’ game away to Wharfedale at the Avenue, we spoke to head coach Matt Bebbington.
“We had a cracking fixture against them back in March at their place,” Bebbington began.“We know what to expect with the environment and the atmosphere that you walk into.”
Bebbington is more than aware of the difficulty a trip to Wharfedale possesses. A notoriously large and noisy crowd, Sedge will have had one of the most difficult starts in the league this season.
“The first two fixtures away to two Yorkshire teams, I don’t think it comes more tougher than that,” Bebbington said with an enthusiastic smile on his face.
Like Sedgley, Wharfedale picked up an opening day victory. They went away to the Peterborough Lions at Brettons Woods scoring 26 points to Peterborough’s 12.
— Wharfedale RUFC (@wharfedalerufc) September 1, 2018
“They obviously had a good victory against Peterborough last weekend,” the Wilmslow High School teacher said. “They scored four quick tries and had won the game by half time, we need to be aware of that. They could be targeting a quick start as well.”
Wharfedale’s victory was the perfect start for the club’s new coaching set-up. Rob Baldwin has Jon Feeley and Jon Skurr alongside him, who both played for Sedgley during their playing days, so they will no doubt be looking to get one over on their former side this weekend.
Finishing second to Sale FC last season, Sedgeley played Chinnor in the playoffs to see which side would move up to National One. Chinnor came out on top that day 40-31.
When asked about if his team would do anything different to last season in the clubs promotion hunt, Bebbington stressed it was far too early for any promotion chatter:“There are still 29 games left and 145 points to play for, so I don’t think there’s any secret recipe.
“Preparing in detail, lads nailing their roles and trying to play in the moment for 8- minutes. Which sounds easy when I say it like that, but it’s not particularly.
“We’ve got a captain who’s been here about fifty years,” the Sedgley Park Head Coach said jokingly, “Matt Riley who has over 300 games for us.”
Riley’s experience was instrumental in Sedgley’s opening day victory. Bebbington’s squad is one of the most experienced in the league, especially in key positions.
“In the spine of the team we have people like Danny Maher and Ben Black in the front row, then Bob Birtwell in the second row, Mark Goodman in the back-row and then players like Callum McShane, Oli Glasse and Steve Collins in the halfbacks.”
Sedgley Park Tigers will play their first home game at Park Lane against Otley on the 15th of September.