CHESTER head coach Nic Corrigan labelled his side’s performance against Sedgley Park ‘unacceptable’ after their winning start to life in SSE National League Two North was brought to an abrupt halt.
With four wins out of four since gaining promotion, Chester played host to a Sedgley Park side this weekend that had managed just two wins from their opening fixtures.
Chester fell behind early on but tries for Peter Towers, Peter Rees and Andrew Oakden, as well as two conversions and a penalty from Rhys Hayes, had pulled the hosts level at 22-22 on 57 minutes.
But it would prove to be as good as it got as Sedgley Park added 20 unanswered points in the last 20 minutes to take a 42-22 win and leave Corrigan critical of his players’ display.
“The performance was poor against Sedgley Park,” said Corrigan. “We have got to look at ourselves and learnt to manage ourselves better.
“Sedgley Park exploited five errors from us in the game and that cost us. We were able to compete but we just didn’t.
“We were just not physical enough, we did not win the crucial areas. Sedgley Park did well and bullied us off the ball.
“It was an unacceptable performa-nce from the lads but as coaches, we have to take responsibility for that and look where we can improve.
“We have got to look at our core skills and our mental approach. We have to be better mentally and start games better.”
The visitors raced into a 10-0 lead inside six minutes with a converted try and penalty before Chester’s Hayes kicked a penalty and converted Towers’ try either side of a second Sedgley Park try to take the score to 10-15 after 24 minutes.
Hayes was again called for to convert three minutes later as Rees crossed the try line, and Chester nudged themselves in front for the first time in the match.
Their lead would not last long however as the visitors replied with a converted try before half-time, although Oakden’s try pulled the sides all square again after the break.
It would then prove to be all one way traffic as Sedgley Park added two converted tries as well as two Steve Collins penalties to take the win.
But despite being disappointed with his team’s showing, Corrigan backed his players to bounce back, especially with the amount of characters in the squad.
“I did not rant and rave at the lads afterwards, I just asked the question of them on their performance and gave my view,” he added.
“But we have stronger leaders in the dressing room and their views are really important too.
“It’s about being honest with each other and moving on from this. It’s happened but we are already looking forward.”
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