Tigers all set to bounce back

TWO games played, two defeats suffered, two forgettable performances served up by Sedgley Park.

However, Saturday's trip to Bedford is another opportunity for Tim Fourie to prove his belief in his players.

"We've served up two poor performances and been punished severely by both Coventry and Doncaster. Now is the time away from home to get our collective heads together and put in a performance to be proud of," said the Tigers' Director of Rugby.

"The players have had a long hard look at themselves in the mirror this week, but so have Andy Northey and myself.

"If the guys don't perform it's not just down to them, it's down to us as coaches just as much, and I can assure you that we have both been questioning ourselves thoroughly.

"If we want the guys to raise their game and play with pride and passion we have to raise ours in the way we coach.

"We know we have to improve and I can think of no better place to begin that improvement than down at Goldington Road on Saturday.

"They haven't won yet either, having drawn and lost their first two, so we can start with a fresh slate and hopefully put in the kind of 80-minute performance I know we are capable of."

The Blues indeed drew their season opener 29-29 with Pertemps Bees before going down to new boys Moseley away last weekend, 44-37. Those scorelines show two things: they can score points but they also concede them.

However, the Blues are a full-time team whereas the Tigers are not, and that extra training together and individually counts for a great deal.

But so does pride, passion and determination; if the Tigers can exhibit those qualities they can get their first points of the season.

They are up against a Blues outfit that lost the likes of prop John Brooks, half-back Ali Hepher, centre Junior Paramore, huge prop Soane Tonga'uiha and backs Tom Luke and Mark Harris in the summer. However, new for this season are 13 signings.

So far, Bedford have relied on stand-off Broadfoot's boot and the try-scoring of prowess of Kettle, Lewis, Harding, Phillips, Strauss, Moir and Dodge.

For this first away trip of the season the Tigers have doubts over centre Chris Briers, fullback Chris Hall, who tweaked a hamstring playing for the seconds last Saturday in his first game back in union, having spent the summer playing league for Dewsbury Rams, and prop Huw Thomas.

SEDGLEY from: De Jager, Roko, Briers, Craig, Voortman, P. Jones, Leck, Gazzola, Roddam, Evans, Swart, Norris, Newton, Ponton, Jope, J. Albinson, Bennett, Du Plessis, M. Jones, Koroinaulivou, Roberts, Skurr, Livesey, T. Albinson, Hall, Wilkinson.

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