Bears lose battle at London
Bears staged second half fightback but it wasn't enough to overcome a poor first half at London Skolars
london Skolars 42 Coventry Bears 16
New River Stadium, London, Saturday 25th March.
It is a well used sporting cliché that a game has two halves. Certainly that was true at The New River Stadium on Saturday as London Skolars dominated the first half, but Coventry Bears outscored their hosts in the second half.
It was a bright sunny day as the match kicked off. Although the game was quite tight, the Skolars scored two tries within the first 25 minutes, converting one of them to make it 10-0. However the Bears then failed to tackle their opponentsproperly and Eddie Mbaraga crossed the line to make it 18-0.
Then over a few disastrous minutes the score was further extended to 24-0, and then 30-0.
It was a relief when the half time hooter sounded and the Bears left the field reeling from the barrage of London tries and conversions.
Half Time London Skolars 30, Coventry Bears 0
The break gave the Bears time to re-group and they came out energised and were soonpinning the Skolars in their own half with waves of spirited attacking and solid defending.
Then Coventry’s Matt Reid broke loose and Freeman was able to get the Bears onto the scoresheet. Delaney converted and it now stood at 30-6.
The home side were determined to restore their thirty point lead and scored a try and conversion in response.
Undaunted, the Bears replied with one of the best moves of the game as Joe Prior chipped the ball and Brad Delaney was able to break through and score before going on to kick the conversion.
It was now end to end stuff as Skolars once again replied,restoring the size of their lead to 42-12.
But still it wasn’t over as Michael Russel crossed over for the Bears, who scored more points in the second half than their opponents who had dominated the first.
Final score London Skolars 42 Coventry Bears 16
Speaking after the match, Tom Tsang, Bears Head Coach said;
"We just weren't good enough today. Not from a skill, technique or ability perspective; we just didnt turn up with the right attitude in defence - that being to work hard as a team and graft.
I take that issue on my shoulders as its my job to get the players in the right mindset for games, but also our players need to be honest with themselves and understand that some of their performances were well below par.
Yes there are some positives - we scored 3 excellently worked tries and showed what we are capable of, but we didnt show it often enough.
Another positive is that we were much better in the second half. Unfortunately it was much too little, much too late at that stage."
Jason Bass, Hayden Freeman, Rob Meadows, Eddie Medforth, Mikey Russell, Joe Prior, Brad Delaney, Zach Johnson, Billy Gaylor, James Geurtjens, Matt Reid, Chris Barratt, Kieran Sherrat.
Interchanges; Lewis Lord, Jack Morrison, Elliott Davies, Dan Gover
Next game; away at Whitehaven 9th April
Next home game; Good Friday 3pm kick-off v Oxford at the Butts Park Arena
pics by Debbie Knight
Bears halt the Skolars
Brad Delaney finds touch