1st Jul, 2022

Below par second half performance costs Coventry Bears again as Gloucester take the points

RUGBY LEAGUE: COVENTRY Bears slipped to eight point loss at the weekend as they welcomed rivals Gloucestershire All Golds to the Butts Park Arena.

On a typically sunny day, Bears went into the game knowing they were to face a Gloucester side full of confidence after the visiting team defeated North Wales Crusaders in their last outing.

Bears meanwhile were determined to shake off the inconsistency and inability to play for 80 minutes – something which has cost Tom Tsang’s men throughout the season, meaning they sit third bottom in the league table.

Tsang’s men kicked off and pressed hard in the opening minutes, but it was quickly Gloucestershire on the attack as Brad Delaney was forced to lose the ball in his own try line.

After the dropout, Jack Mitchell powered over to the left of the goalposts for a try which was converted making it 0-6.

All Golds’ Mo Agoro added to the score on the right wing to hand Gloucester a ten point lead, but Bears were determined to get back into the game.

James Guertjens who pulled a try back for Brad Delaney to convert.

A patch of sloppy play from both teams followed, but Bears recovered well as Harry Chapman brought the home side level with 34 minutes on the clock.

Brad Delaney’s conversion then put the home side ahead for the first time.

As the half time hooter sounded for half time, All Gold Ben Stead calmly took a penalty to level the scores at 12-12.

A successful penalty kick for All Golds opened the scoring for Gloucester in the second half as Bears remained conscious about the second half collapse which cost them dearly just seven days earlier

The Gloucestershire pressure continued with Coventry struggling to keep in the game, but the home side recovered their composure and a stalemate ensued for the much of the third quarter.

A combination of determined tackling, aided by handling errors kept the score at 12-14 until the All Golds managed to get the ball out to the far left to score a try with almost an hour of the match played.

All Golds then showed how they have defeated many rivals already this year by touching down once more just minutes later as a string of accurate passes found Steven Neald on the right wing.

Gloucester’s ten point lead couldn’t be clawed back as Brad Kislingbury earned Gloucester their third try of the half following a free kick from ten yards out.

Chris Barrett restored some pride for Bears as he crossed over to the left of the posts while Brad Delaney completed an easy conversion.

Crowd pleaser Jamahl Hunte joined in the fightback with an exhilarating 70 yard run following a breakaway.

Sadly, this did not result in a try but in his sustaining an injury when eventually tackled, and having to leave the field, which rather summed the afternoon up.

Speaking afterwards, Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang said: “That was a really tough one to take.

“After last week, the lads really owed it to themselves and the fans to raise their game. We started slowly again but as always we came straight back and showed real fight.

“When we took the lead in the first half I felt we could have kicked on.

“I think we would have but for the first of two game changing decisions from the referee – the first was a decision to wipe off a try which could have put us 18-10 up just before half time.

“I’ve watched the footage back and I’m still convinced it’s a try.

“The second was Billy our halfback getting sin binned midway through the second half which really hampered our attack and put pressure on our defence.

“Me and the lads are obviously gutted about not getting a result today but we will keep going and will keep working hard to find the breakthrough we need.”

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