PROMOTION hopefuls Newcastle Thunder struck Coventry Bears time and again to hand them a crushing 88-6 defeat at Kingston Park on Sunday.
The result means that the Bears have extended their losing run to five games, after being unable to replicate their 32-28 success at the beginning of the season.
Hard pressing by the hosts did not pay dividends initially, with Coventry remaining stubborn in the face of repeated pressure.
They were rewarded for their defensive efforts when countering and scoring through Jack Ray for a converted try to go six points into the lead.
That was as good as it got for Coventry, as the hosts blitzed the Bears with a four-try salvo in the space of ten minutes to go 24-6 ahead.
With the scoreboard reading 48-6 at half time, the Bears returned after the interval and enjoyed a spell of pressure, but were unable to make their efforts count as they continued to be put to the sword.
Newcastle’s Kieran Gill and Lewis Young both scored hat-tricks, with the latter adding a further try for good measure.
Rhys Clarke kicked 12 conversions in all, helping accumulate a club record win for the Thunder and leaving the Bears wounded.
Coventry have two remaining fixtures to play, with Oldham on Sunday September 1 and Whitehaven on Saturday September 6 to follow at Webb Ellis Road after a week without action.