Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears crushed in record defeat


Kingstone Press League One Round 7

 Saturday 16th May, Prince of Wales Stadium, Cheltenham

 The All Golds put in a hugely impressive showing as they ran in a record league score against the Bears. There was pressure on both sides after some defeats but it was the home that responded by running in 12 tries.

The All Golds got off to a flier. In the second minute Ryan Pywell received the ball out on the wing and played a perfect pass behind his back to Phil Cowburn who offloaded to Mark Bowen to score his first try for the All Golds. Matt Bradley added the extra points.

It was Pywell and Cowburn again who linked up 2 minutes later. Pywell sprinted through the Bears line and found Cowburn who went over between the posts. Bradley added the conversion.

It was one way traffic for the All Golds as the Bears struggled to get going. On ten minutes the All Golds scored their third try. As Matt Bradley went over from close range, he converted and the home side went 18 points clear.

3 minutes later Mark Bowen scored his second of the day. The All Golds thoroughly dominant in every department. Bradley slotted home the extras to give the host’s a 24 point lead inside the opening quarter.

The scores kept on coming as Pywell broke the line and fed Cowburn who scored the fifth try of the game. Bradley converted to send the home side further clear.

Coventry were struggling to get out as the All Golds powered forward with intent. On 25 minutes Mark Bowen picked up the ball and noticed Jamie Murphy in space out wide.

It took 30 minutes but eventually the Bears got going and they scored a fine try. They had looked to get the pacey winger Jamahl Hunte in at every opportunity and they were successful on the half hour mark. He received it and showed incredible pace to glide past the last All Golds defender and score. Dan Parker struck a fine conversion to give the away fans something to cheer.

The Bears really improved after their score and missed a couple of good opportunities to get back into the game but were punished for poor decision making in the final third.

Matt Bradley scored his second of the game on 54 mins. The scrum half going over from close range. He converted his own try.

Callum Mulkeen, the All Golds leading try scorer this season, got his name on the score sheet on 64 minutes. He charged down a kick from Dan Parker full back, got to his feet, gathered the ball and touched down in the corner. Bradley struck to give the Golden Fern a 40 point advantage.

Shortly after, man of the match, Mark Bowen completed his hat-trick. Again he still had plenty to do but he dummied past his man and leaped over to score. Bradley was again accurate.

On 71 minutes Bears winger Dan Rundle seemed to be struck on the floor which led the game to boil over, Bears Billy Sheen was given a Red and All Golds prop Alex Davidson got away with a yellow.

Pywell’s second try followed and it was another pass from Cowburn which set him up. Bradley’s last kick of the game went just the wrong side of the upright.

There was still time for the All Golds to run in a couple more tries as they punished the Bears twelve men. Aussie Topy Topham scored in the corner, Lewis Reece took over from Bradley and narrowly missed his kick.

In the last 30 seconds the home side pushed for one last try and they got it. Jamie Murphy, scampered over down the right side. As the full time hooter sounded, Lewis Reece converted to give the hosts a 66-6 win.

Coventry Bears Tom Tsang commented on the crushing defeat for the club:

“Quite simply we were not good enough today. From the first minute the All Golds were running much harder, faster and with more desire and conviction. This is a massive step backwards for us not due to losing to Gloucestershire- they are a well coached side and have recruited very well. But the manner in which we rolled over so early in the game was worrying. There are no excuses and we need to work very hard over the next few weeks to put behind us what was a very embarrassing day for all involved with the Bears”


Full back – Joe Martin 23

Right Wing- Jamie Murphy  31

Right Centre – Toby Topham  6

Left Centre – Phil Cowburn 1

Left Wing – Ryan Pywell  28

Stand Off – Mark Bowen 33

Scrum Half – Matt Bradley 7

Open Side Prop – Ollie Purslow 8

Hooker  – Steve Parry 9

Blind Side Prop – Alex Davidson  34

Open Side 2nd Row – Lewis Reece  3

Blind Side 2nd Row – Callum Mulkeen  4

Loose Forward – Emmerson Whittel 30


Owain Griffiths  35

Brad England  32

Brett Scriven  19

Joe McClean  14

 Tries: Bowen (2, 13, 67), Pywell (4,74), Bradley (10, 54), Cowburn (22), Murphy (25,79), Mulkeen (64), Topham(77)

Goals: Bradley 8/10

Reece 1/2


Full Back – Cameron Boulter  7

Right Wing – Jamahl Hunte 20

Right Centre – Ben Parry 15

Left Centre – Simon Phillips  13

Left Wing – Dan Rundle  42

Stand Off – Billy Sheen 6

Scrum Half – Dan Parker 43

Open Side Prop – James Geurtjens 27

Hooker – Richie Hughes 24

Blind Side Prop – John Aldred  10

Open Side 2nd Row – Chris Barratt  12

Blind Side 2nd Row – Liam Thompson 29

Loose Forward – Matt Reid 40


Dylan Bale 14

Matt Cooper 26

Tom Hall  38

Stephen Coleman 21

Tries: Hunte (30)

Goals: Parker 1/1

 REFEREE – S Mikalauskas


The Bears will need to turn this setback into a comeback when they face Barrow Raiders on Sunday 31st May at the Butts Park Arena 3pm kick off.


Bears Media