Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears stung by Hornets

Hornets Wayne English on the attack

Hornets Wayne English on the attack

Coventry Bears 16

Rochdale Hornets 58

Report by James Oddy

Pictures by Mike Townsend

Butts Park Arena 3pm  February 2016

The Coventry Bears started well on a pleasant Spring afternoon. However, the visitors quickly started putting some points on the board.

A Rochdale grubbed bobbled through inside the Bears 20, the referee awarding the Hornets a scrum after a Bears knock on. The home sides defence held up at first, but Miliszewski knocked on form an attempted intercept. The pressure told as Paul Crook pulled out a nice run around move to put Chris Riley in on the right flank.

The Bears were there own worst enemy soon after, Moores charging down their last tackle kick to race away. Despite being brought down; the ball was shipped out wide to  Taira to squeeze in the corner. Coventry were then penalised for interference at the play the ball, from the resulting scrum Danny Yates sliced through the defence to score from 10 meters.

The Bears did rally however. A Yates forty twenty came to nothing after Lee was bundled into touch by Hunte.  Reid did brilliant to break through the defence from the resulting scrum to get to half way, only for Lobwein to knock on.

The game became a solid arm wrestle for a period, but the Bears were penalised for offside. From the resulting field position, the ball went through hands to find Jordan Case from crooks pass. The Hornets began to rack up the points, as Riley made a break up the middle of the pitch to put in Yates for a score before Taira hit a crash ball at pace to go through some non existent Coventry defence.

Coventry stemmed the tide but there was worrying moment as the half come to a close as Warillow, following a heavy tackle, had to be stretchered from the field.

The Bears started the second half better, managing to trap the Hornets in touch after a superb kick and chase. However, they couldn’t capitalise. Some strong forward play put the Hornets close to the Bears line and Taira brushed off some poor defence to go in for his third. There was another break as  francis had to be carried from the field with a leg injury, the impact audible even in the stands. The Hornets kept up the momentum however and Case went though a huge gap to score.

The Bears did rally, and put together some slid rugby. After building some pressure Medforth scooted over to score. The Hornets however turned on the style, there forwards running hard and producing a string of off-loads to release Riley for his second. Coventry hit back, Lowbein’s pass going to ground but, Reid, picking up off the floor, showed good feet to step round the defence and touch down. The game lulled for awhile, before English returned white’s kick with interest, running wide and releasing lee to race in.

The Bears gave them home support something to cheer about as the game came to an end. After hammering the Hornets line, Hughes burrowed over. However, Rochdale hot back, gathering the kick off and English going over via Crooks pass.

Richie Hughes goes over

Richie Hughes goes over

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang said;

Our performance today was very disappointing to say the least. We came into it determined to put in an improved showing from last week against Toulouse, but it seemed like after an early setback we rolled over and capitulated. Rochdale played fast – good tempo, and shape, but that is no excuse for the lack of toughness - both mental and physical - from my players. This is something that needs to be addressed and quickly. It is still very early in the season, so there is plenty of time to fix this, but it needs to turn around or we will be too far behind the rest of the teams, to catch up. We have a week off from playing now, so intensity in training will increase before we play Gloucester on Good Friday, where I will be expecting a positive reaction. 

GAME BREAKER: Coventry’s defence simply wasn’t good enough for the first 40 minutes and Rochdale made the most of it repeatedly.

GAME STAR: Danny Yates produced a top draw performance of half back play. Dangerous running and precise passing and kicking caused him to always be a threat.



1Ben Warrilow

2  Jamahl Hunte

3  Eddie Medforth

4  Matt Reid

5  Hayden Freeman

6  James Redman

7  Jay Lobwein

8  Tommy Holland

9  Richie Hughes (Captain)

10  Jack Morrison

11  Liam Thompson

12  Chris Barratt

13 Jono Milizweski

Subs (all used)

14  Craig White

15  Elliot liku

17  James Geurtjens

19  Trae O’Sullivan

Tries: Medforth (58) Reid (67), Hughes (77)

Goals: White (2/3)


1  Wayne English

2  Chris Riley

3  Joe Taira

5  Alex Trumper

4 Corey Lee

6  Paul Crook

7  Danny Yates

18  Samir Tahraoui

9  Ben Moores

12  Warren Thompson

11  Stuart Biscomb

19  Jordan Case

13  James Tilley

Subs (all used)

14  Alex McClurg

15  Matty Hadden

16  James Dandy

17  Jack Francis

Tries: Riley (05, 63) Taira (09, 29, 44) Yates (12, 26) Case (24, 50), Lee (73), English (80)

Goals: Crook (7/11)

SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-8, 0-14, 0-20, 0-26, 0-32, 0-36, 0-40, 4-40, 4-46, 10-46, 10-52, 16-52, 16-58

Rugby Leaguer & League Express Men of the Match

Home team: Jack Morrison

Away team: Danny Yates

Penalty count: 8-4

Half-time: 0-32

Referee: J.Smith

Attendance: 250

The Bears now have a week off before taking on Gloucester All Gold's on Good Friday in Cheltenham with a 7.30pm kick off in the evening.

The Bears next home game is Barrow Raiders on Sunday 10th April 3pm kick off.

Bears Media