‘OUTPLAYED and outclassed’ was Chester coach Jan Van Deventer’s brutally honest take on his side’s 45-7 defeat at Sedgley Park.

Chester, who went into the fixture as joint-leaders of the National League North standings, were comprehensively beaten in their biggest loss of the season.

The visitors were under pressure from the outset and fell behind on 19 minutes to a try from Richard Lepori, which was then converted by Steen Collins to open up a 7-0 lead.

Despite defending for much of the opening 40 minutes, Chester drew level on the cusp of half-time when Rhodri Parry crossed the whitewash, before James Robins added the extras.

But an unrelenting Park onslaught followed after the break, with a penalty and converted tries from Andy Riley (2) and a second for Lepori putting the hosts 31-7 ahead by the 53rd minute.

Further scores from Matthew Riley and Oli Glasse rounded off the emphatic victory to end Chester’s four-game winning streak.

The result dealt a huge blow to Chester’s title hopes, with Van Deventer left to reflect on a chastening afternoon for his side.

He said: “We were lucky to still be in the game at half-time, if I’m honest.

“Sedgley dominated the game from start to finish. We weren’t allowed to get our hands on the ball to impose ourselves and we were second best in all areas. We were forced onto the back foot all game and were never allowed to get going by a quality side who outplayed and outclassed us on the day.”

Leaders Hull Ionians now boast a five-point advantage at the summit with two games remaining, while third-placed Huddersfield beat Fylde 45-33.