Bears give Thunder a scare

 Bears Chris Barratt was named man of the match versus Newcastle

Bears Chris Barratt was named man of the match versus Newcastle

Newcastle Thunder 24 Coventry Bears 16

Kingston Park, Newcastle, Sunday 23rd August

The Bears went to Newcastle on Sunday in determined mood off the back of a great result last week versus South Wales.  The Thunder were given an almighty scare as the Bears led the game up until the final quarter of the match when fatigue just got the better of them and Newcastle pulled away to seal the win. 

The Bears started in a nervous fashion with a number of errors which gifted Newcastle field position and sure enough it wasn't long before they capitalised and Jason Tali scored on the left after 8 minutes. Thunder 6 Bears 0.

The Bears started the arm wrestle and as they battled their way up the field after continued pressure on Newcastle's line Richie Hughes forced his way over from dummy half. The try was converted by Dan Price and it was level 6-6 after 29 minutes.

The Thunder looked worried and it only took 4 minutes before the Bears scored again this time after a Dan Price 40-20, interchange prop forward Andy Unsworth barged through to score out wide. The conversion was missed by Parker but for the first time in the season it looked like a win could be on the cards versus a big northern club. Thunder 6 Bears 10 on 33 minutes.

The rest of the half was a stalemate as both sides middle units smashed into each other taking it to Newcastle 6 Coventry 10 at halftime.

The second half started well for the Bears as after 5 minutes Cameron Boulter managed to pounce on a Dan Price grubber kick after great work by the Bears forwards. Jack Morrison and Matt Cooper leading from the front while Chris Barratt and Liam Thompson are ever-present on the edges.

It wasn't until 54 minutes gone that Thunder showed some composure as PNG player Charlie Wabo scored to make it 12-16. The Bears still holding onto their lead.

Thunder were on the attack but kept getting repelled with some great Bears defence but the deadlock got broken when half back Matt Beharrell went through the middle and hooker Evan Simons followed up in support to score under the posts. Thunder 18 Bears 16 with less than 20 minutes to go.

The Bears showed some signs of fatigue and it was Newcastle Fullback Lewis Sheriff who broke through and scored to take it out of the Bears reach with 76 minutes on the clock.

There was one final flurry on the Newcastle line but it was to late and the hooter went to seal the Bears fate. All the Bears players and staff can be very proud and hold their heads high in what was another solid and improved performance against a very experienced team.

Full time Newcastle Thunder 24 Coventry Bears 16

Bears Team

28 Andy Winfield

45 Jason Bass

13 Simon Phillips

40 Jordan Harper

20 Jamahl Hunte

41 Dan Price

7 Cameron Boulter

35 Jack Morrison

24 Richie Hughes (Captain)

26 Matt Cooper

12 Chris Barratt

29 Liam Thompson

37 Dan Parker

Subs all used:

38 Tom Hall

34 Andy Unsworth

3 Nick Taylor

46 Jack Francis

Head Coach: Tom Tsang

Thunder Team

1 Louis Sherrif

38 Macauley Hallett

2 Jacob Blades

4 Joe Brown

31 Ali Blair

6 Matty Beharrell

23 Benn Hardcastle

8 Matty Barron

25 Evan Simons

10 Mark Mexico

9 Dayne Craig

3 Jason Tali

36 Sonny Esslemont

Subs all used:

13 Charlie Wabo

14 Paul Stamp

18 Josh Stoker

15 Lee Fewlass

Head coach: Stanley Gene

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang Commented:

 

It was another disappointing end to what was a very strong performance from us. At the start of the year we were pretty much a brand new set of players and have only just, the last 6 weeks or so really started to gel together and the players understand each other and have confidence in the combinations we are working on. We were leading at half time to Barrow, leading after 70 minutes today and had strong patches against other top sides. there were some simple errors in the last 10 minutes that gave Newcastle the possession they needed to finish strong. I feel for our guys who played today, as they didn't get the reward their effort deserved.

Our main focus now will be to finish strong against London and Gloucester - games that are both at home and then use that momentum to push into next season.

Bears Man of the match was Chris Barratt.

NEXT MATCH

Next weekend is Challenge Cup Final weekend so its a week off with the Bears last two games both being at home on Sunday 6th September to London Skolars and Sunday 13th September to University of Gloucester All Golds. Both 3pm kick offs at the Butts Park Arena, Coventry Rugby.

 

 

 

 

 

Bears Media