15th Dec, 2018

Coventry Bears boss rues woeful performance

Craig Gibbons 11th May, 2018

HEAD coach Tom Tsang was left bitterly disappointed after Coventry Bears’ 98-6 drubbing to Keighley Cougars in League One.

Keighley opened the scoring with a converted Benn Hardcastle try.

It all seemed to be going to plan for the Bears when Rhys Gant pulled a try back and Ben Stead’s kick levelled the score at 6-6, but then the onslaught resumed as Matthew Bailey crossed over with a quarter of an hour gone.

And that was it as the Cougars ran in five more tries to go into the interval with an unassailable 42-6 lead.

At which point it seemed things could not get worse, but the second half was as bleak and unforgiving as the nearby setting of Wuthering Heights as the home side scored a whole procession of tries, with the Bears unable to find any meaningful reply.

And so it ended with Keighley’s score mercifully falling short of a hundred but still it was the Bears’ biggest ever defeat.

“Perhaps it was a hangover from the two big away games at Bradford and at Superleague Widnes,” said Tsang.

“Or it was an aftershock from the previous week’s home game which slipped away from them at the end.

“Maybe this side isn’t yet a fully gelled team but either way it was disappointing.

“The team needs to do a lot of soul searching to turn things around.”

Tsang will want a better performance from the Bears on Saturday when they welcome second-placed York City Knights to the Butts Park Arena.

Two weeks ago the Knights recorded the biggest victory the game has ever seen, beating West Wales Raiders 144-0 to demonstrate the gulf between Northern and newer sides away from the game’s heartlands.

“If we can reproduce some of the attacking flair and be consistent the players can only improve on their last outing,” added Tsang.

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