2nd Jul, 2022

Tsang's pride in the Coventry Bears despite defeat

Craig Gibbons 21st Sep, 2018

HEAD coach Tom Tsang expressed his pride in the Coventry Bears players who gave their all in the agonising 24-20 defeat to Whitehaven in League One.

Bears were 20-18 ahead with just three minutes remaining but it was Whitehaven who would snatch the victory when player-coach Carl Foster bundled over for his hat-trick try in his final home game for the club.

Tsang said: “I’m incredibly proud of the players who made the trip to Whitehaven and put in what is probably our best performance of the season.

“Due to injuries we were only able to field 16 players for the game, so only three substitutions, which makes the way we played even more impressive – especially after a gruelling six-hour coach journey.

“It shows how far we have come this season, what we are capable of when we apply ourselves and what we must keep striving for in the future.”

The game did not start well for the Bears as the hosts scored in the first minute courtesy of a Marc Shackley try which was duly converted by Dan Abram.

Coventry then settled down and defended magnificently against wave after wave of Whitehaven attacks.

Then on one attack, Whitehaven dropped the ball and Kam Pearce-Paul took full advantage to score on the counter-attack.

Ben Stead’s conversion put the sides level.

Bears capitalised on another mistake as Hayden Freeman ran 60 metres to cross over the line and once again Stead added two more points to put the score at 12-6.

It looked likely to stay that way until half-time but Foster had other ideas as he crashed over just as the hooter was sounding and the successful conversion meant the two sides went in level.

After the break resolute defending kept the home side at bay before a penalty given to the Bears, taken by Stead, gave Tsang’s side a slender two-point lead.

That lead was extended following a dazzling run from Reece Rance who placed the ball over the try line in the corner.

Stead kicked the difficult conversion to put Coventry eight points ahead with 20 minutes left.

However, Foster had other ideas as he powered over the line with two defenders hanging on to him to pull Whitehaven back into the game.

But still the Bears were clinging on to a narrow lead with just three minutes left when Foster broke Coventry hearts with a third try, giving his side the lead.

Coventry complete the season on Saturday when they entertain Hunslet.

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