Bears finish preseason on a high
Coventry Bears 42 Oxford 4
Butts Park Arena, 13 February 2pm kick off
BEARS EASE TO PRE SEASON WIN OVER OXFORD
The Coventry Bears ended their pre-season preparations with a comfortable 42-4 win over Oxford on Saturday at a busy Butts Park Arena.
The tone for the game was set in the early stages, when following an Oxford knock, Eddie Medworth was allowed over in the corner.
From that moment on the Bears took control of the first half and added to there lead just 3 minutes later when an inside ball allowed James Geurtjens to touch down. The lead could have been extended further but a knock on in a promising position made the Bears wait for their third try.
They didn’t have to wait long however as three minutes later a good defensive set in Oxfords half gave Matt Reid the opportunity to collect a grubber on the fifth tackle to score. From kick off the Bears showed great power through the middle, converting their very next set into four more points.
Oxford were finding it hard to retain any form of shape in the first half, and as a result the tries were coming fast, when in the twenty-first minute another defensive knock on allowed Coventry the ball in a promising position. It was an opportunity the Bears would not pass up, with Jamahl Hunte going over in the corner. The Huddersfield born winger would be over again just eight minutes later for his second try of the game, moments after the ball had been held up.
The first half misery for Oxford was compounded when at 30-0 down, number 28 Josh Nathaniel was sin binned for back chatting the referee.
Coventry looked to start the second half in a similar vein to the first and came close to scoring in the 43rd minute, but it was Oxford who scored first after Coventry had fallen short at one end, Jorge Richardson made sure for Oxford to close the gap to 26 points.
Coventry weren’t on the back foot for long however, and the lead was quickly extended after yet more ill discipline in defence by Oxford lead to Hayden Freeman scoring his second try under the posts.
With the game all but won, Coventry took the opportunity to give the whole squad a run out with string of substitutions in the second half. Oxford showed more intent in the second half, creating more opportunities, but ultimately failing to break the Bears defensive line again. The second half fell into a more subdued pace, with both teams focusing on completion. A forward pass in the build up would deny Coventry extending their lead further, and they would have to wait until 8 minutes from time before they would finally add 6 more points to the score line, when John Aldred crashed over form 10 meters out to make the final score 42-4 to Coventry.
An impressive win for the Bears as they look to continue they’re form into next weeks game against the University of Gloucester All Golds in the IPRO Sport Cup next week, and then into the full season against Toulouse on March 5th.
Tom Tsang quote:
I'm pretty happy after that performance - we seemed to dominate the middle of the field which is where we struggled most last week against Rochdale.
Before the game I laid down a challenge to our forward pack, asking them to really lay a platform for our guys on the edges to do their thing. They rose to the challenge and the backs made the most of their opportunities.
We made quite a few changes in the second half and allowed Oxford back into it a bit, but we still outscored them and even had a few tries disallowed.
There's a lot of things we need to keep improving, mainly just doing the little individual efforts like kick chasing, support play and line speed, consistently.
We have one more game of pre-season next week to really smooth those rough edges, before the Challenge Cup at the end of the Month and start of the League in March.
Overall we are happy with the progress we have made so far and hope to keep improving.
Tries: Hayden Freeman, Jamahl Hunte (2), Matt Reid (2), James Geurtjens, John Aldred, Eddie Medworth
Goals: Joel James (3), Dave Weston, Harry Chapman
Tries: Adam Flintham
12. Jono Milizewski
15. Jason Bass
17. Elliott Holton
19. Adam Saynor