Sheffield Tigers captain David Bradford believes fly-half Tom Outram’s return will bring with it the cohesion necessary to get his side’s season up and running.
Injured Outram was sidelined during the Tigers’ pre-season and that carried through to the season opening day, a defeat to Preston Grasshoppers.
Dan Richmond’s side welcomed back the National League Two North’s third most prolific marksman from last year last weekend and despite going down 39-5 to Macclesfield signs of his importance began to show.
Bradford is looking for another improved display against Sedgley Park this weekend. “Our performance was better than the first week and we are always trying to right the wrongs” said Bradford. “Our physicality up front was brilliant and we matched them for the first 60 minutes before conceding a few more points than we would have liked. It’s hard to take positives after conceding nearly 40 points but we did take a few in terms of our backs attacks, we got on the outside of them a few times.”
He added: “Through pre-season we didn’t have an out-and-out number ten as Tom Outram has a slight niggle and he usually runs things from there so to have him coming back gives us more structure.
“Peter Swatkins was filling in for him but has moved back to full-back now where he is more comfortable and he is a real danger with ball in hand.
“You don’t really know how important they are until you don’t have one and with Tom coming back it takes the pressure off everyone.
“When they are told what to do rather than have to think for themselves things run smoother. Just gelling together now is our main priority and if we can get the combinations in place then we will get a bit more joy.”
Relegated from National League One last season Sedgley Park have already tasted defeat after becoming Preston Grasshoppers’ second victims of the new campaign.
And despite the daunting task his side face in going to Park Lane, Bradford will leave with his head held high if his forwards continue to improve their intensity up front.
“Sedgley Park will be looking to push to the top of the table but we want to build on the performance and if our performance is right the result will come,” he added.
“We have been given three tough opening fixtures but we are stilling building to try and set our backs up a bit more and bring them into the game.
“I think we need to work on having a bit more energy in our forwards as that was lacking in the last 20 minutes at the weekend and we need to keep taking it to the opposition.”
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