Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears fans frustrated but united behind their team


Mike Hyde, Butts Park Arena

Beyond a doubt, the better side won this League 1 game, but the Bears fans were left frustrated and angry at the sending off of two Bears players.

The sun was shining on a distinctly sandy pitch as the Bears kicked off, but they soon found themselves defending. Sean Penkywicz passed the ball out for Elliot Miller to score Towns first try, but Carl Forber’s conversion attempt hit the post. Only four minutes had elapsed. 0-4.

On the eighth minute, Perry Singleton scored a try over on the far right of the field to make it 0-8.

This point-a-minute pace continued as Jack Blagbrough caught a tricky bounce from a long kick to add the away sides third try, and this time Carl Forber made no mistake.

A succession of rapid-fire passes put Jamie Doran over for a well worked try, as the points continued to mount. Next over was Stevie Scholey, who crashed down between the posts.

To add to Coventry’s misery, twenty stone Tongan International Fui Fui Moi Moi took to the field for the first time in Workington colours midway through the half; how could the Bears cope with this mountainous legend of the game?

Within two minutes of coming on, he was there, running with the ball towards the Coventry defence. The crowd watched in awe.

Then the giant was felled, stopped dead in his tracks by Peter Ryan. The crowd cheered.

But, in a decision which was met with shock, disbelief, and finally anger which continued to spill out on social media after the match, Ryan was sin-binned; sent off for ten minutes.

Bears captain Chris Vitallini protested in vain, and he too was sin-binned for ten minutes.

So, a Bears side already depleted by the loss of players on student international duty, was left with just eleven men on the field. The game was over.   

With the score at 0-26, and a two man advantage, Town found themselves with plenty of space as playmaker Penkywicz grabbed one for himself in typical hooker fashion from dummy half. Singleton’s second try sealed the first half. 

Now, all credit to Tom Tsang’s interval talk, the second half was much less one-sided, with the Bears clearly wanting to salvage pride in front of the Butts Park faithful.

However, after some tough defending and close attacking from the Bears, Sam Forrester broke the deadlock and added another for the away side, who were now displaying their promotion credentials.

Bears tried hard to fight back, and defended vigorously with Dante Morley Samuels having a good game at full back and even managing to be in a few attacking moves, one culminating in Lewis Lord being held up over the line.

Midway through the second half, both sides were now showing a tendency to fumble the ball, but Workington were able to step up a gear once more as Karl Olstrom fought his way over, followed by team-mate Freddrick Bailey with just under a quarter of an hour left.

The day’s biggest cheer came in the 72nd minute as Kam Pearce-Paul grabbed a consolation try, to salvage the dignity that comes from not being ‘nilled’. ‘Never say die’ could be the Bears motto.

And the fans, who had all stayed to the very end, finally went away proud of their team after cheering them off the pitch, looking forward to the day when the Bears get the results they deserve. Soon we hope.

Come on Bears…….. 





  1 Dante Morley-Samuels 

  2 Hayden Freeman

  21 Kam Pearce-Paul

  4 Jacob Ogden

  5 Reece Rance

  6 Liam Rice-Wilson

  7 Ben Stead

  8 James Guertjens

  9 Sam Davies

10 Peter Ryan

11 Ashley Bateman

12 Jacob Jones

13 Chris Vitalini

Subs (all used)

14 Lewis Lord

15 Harry Kauffman

16 Malakhi Lloyd-Jones

17 John Aldred



Tries: Pearce-Paul (72),

Goals: Rice-Wilson 0/1






  2 Sam Forrester

  3 Elliot Miller

18 Karl Olstrom

  5 Perry Singleton

  4 Freddrick Bailey

  6 Jamie Doran

  7 Carl Forber

  8 Oliver Wilkes

 20 Sean Penkywicz

10 Stevie Scholey

21 Jake Moore

22 Caine Barnes

16 Jack Blagbrough

Subs (all used)

  9 James Newton

15Tom Curwen

19 Andrew Dawson

23 Fui Fui MoiMoi




Tries: Miller (4), Singleton (8, 28), Blagbrough (12), Doran (17), Scholey (20), Penkywicz (25), Forrester (48), Olstram (64), Bailey (67)

Goals: Forber 6/10



Penalty count: 7-11

Half-time: 0-38

Referee:  B Robinson

Attendance: 264


SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-8, 0-14, 0-20, 0-26, 0-32, 0-38; 0-42, 0-46, 0-52, 4-52

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