COVENTRY Bears’ perfect start to the season was halted when succumbing 40-8 away to Keighley Cougars on Sunday.
Bears’ two-game winning run and their position at the top of the League 1 table comes to an end, with the hosts dealing with the weather conditions far better than their opponents.
Nick Newman got the first points on the board for Bears when successfully kicking an 18th minute penalty, before Chris Barratt scored the first try of the afternoon, Coventry leading 8-0.
However, they would be prove the only points scored all afternoon by the visiting side, as the Cougars valiantly hit back.
The hosts made a number of changes, which turned the tide of the game in their favour, pulling points back when scoring a try through Macauley Hallett, who raced away from a scrum.
A second try before half-time arrived through Will Cooke, who scored in the corner, whilst Ben Hardcastle converted the extra points to give Keighley a 10-8 lead.
Keighley kicked on in the second-half and forced Hayden Freeman into a mistake, surrendering possession to Davey Dixon who raced around the defence to score a third try.
Jamie Thackray and Billy Gaylor raced through to Coventry’s try line, whilst Hallett crossed the whitewash for a second time shortly after.
The Bears could only watch on as their opponents continued to surge forward, scoring again through Jack Miller after good link-up play between Hardcastle and Josh Lynam.
Hardcastle added a further two points from a penalty to seal the thumping comeback win for the hosts.
Bears head coach Tom Tsang was left downbeat by the lead surrendered by his side and the manner of the defeat, but viewed the game as a learning curve for his team going forward.
“After such a good start to the season,, this was a tough result to take.
“Keighley were excellent in the bad weather, we did not adapt and so were taught a lesson in wet weather rugby.
“We will learn from this.”
The Bears are back in action tomorrow (Friday) evening, when heading to Doncaster for their Challenge Cup tie.