On Saturday London Scottish make another trip “up north” to take on the challenge of Sedgley Tigers at Whitefield on the outskirts of Manchester. Scottish will be determined to continue with their recent great form and return with another bonus point, to keep the pressure up on the league leaders.
Sedgley Tigers were founded in 1932 and ply their trade in the Whitefield district of Greater Manchester. Interestingly although called Sedgley, the club has never actually played in Sedgley Park and for two years of the clubs existence it played all of its matches as away fixtures, due to the non-availability of a home pitch, a marvellous achievement in just keeping the club going. The club moved to its current location in 1955 and for the next twenty years became a successful junior club within the North West region. When the league structures began in 1987, the club was placed in North West 2 ( level 8 ) and through the next 17 years made tremendous progress, which culminating in reaching level 2 or what is currently referred to as the Championship in 2004. The club survived at this level for several years and played glamour league fixtures against the likes of Northampton and Harlequins, an enormous change from the early days of the club and a testimony to the progress made.
Over the last couple of seasons the club have face financial challenges and have “cut their cloth” accordingly and have placed their player recruitment emphasis on local talent. When the Manchester club imploded two years ago the Tigers were able to recruit a number of their players, which added greatly to their squad. The current Head Coach at the club is Richard Senior, who previously played at Championship side Doncaster Knights for a considerable number of years. Players to look out for are full back and former Scotland under 19 Steve Nutt, who is the club's leading kicker with 118 points to his name this season. He is also joint top try scorer with 8 touch downs and shares this honour with winger Michael Dutton. Other players to keep an eye on are the powerful back rower Juan Crous and scrum half and captain Chris Wilkinson.
This season for the Tigers faithful has been a frustrating one, with the club hovering there or thereabouts around the relegation zone for a large part of the season. The club's form has been inconsistent to say the least, however they have achieved notable away victories against Macclesfield 21 – 23 and Redruth 10 – 24. The club have also won all of their home matches in 2011, winning against Blaydon, Launceston and Stourbridge respectively. In the reverse fixture Scottish won comfortably 43 – 18, which was the fourth consecutive victory on Scottish's current unbeaten run. Tigers will be smarting from their 25 – 9 away defeat last weekend at Blackheath and will be determined to improve. Scottish on the other hand, are now playing with panache and style which has resulted in nearly 100 points in their last two fixtures and the team will be keen and remain focused to extend the winning sequence to 17 matches.
With a scheduled 2.30pm kick off, Scottish supporters travelling up for the game are recommended to catch either the 09.20am or 09.40am train out of London Euston arriving in Manchester Piccadilly at 11.28am or 11. 48am respectively, which will leave plenty of time to connect with the tram to Whitefield and the ground is then about a 20 minute walk from the tram station or alternatively catch a taxi to the ground from Whitefield tram station. Ideally you should plan to catch the 18.35pm or 18.55pm train back from Manchester Piccadilly, which will allow you to partake in the Tigers post match hospitality and still be back in London before 9.30pm at the latest. It is hoped to see a good turnout of Scottish supporters roaring on the team and see you all there.