Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears v Stags Match Report

Bears fightback not enough to topple the Stags

It was a bright but chilly Sunday afternoon as Bears took to the field at the Butts Park Arena for their pre-season friendly against Hemel Stags.

The Bears were wearing their red away colours and were soon seriously testing the Stags defence.  However, it was an interception during one of Coventry’s attacks which led to the stalemate being broken after 8 minutes. The try was converted and Bears were behind, 0-6.

The sides continued testing each other, with the Bears’ Jack Morrison powering his way into the opposition defence, with forward attacking play being the Bears’ main asset.

Both sides made mistakes and it was following a Hemel knock on that Coventry were able to level the score thanks to a spectacular Hayden Freeman try and subsequent conversion. 

Having drawn level, the Bears piled on the pressure with some determined drives, culminating as Zach Johnson put the home side into the lead with the score now standing at 12-6 midway through the first half.

That lead lasted just ten minutes as the Bears defence was left floundering on two occasions allowing the Stags to go into the dressing room at half time with a the score at 12-18.

The second half started quietly, then the Bears built up the pressure once more, but were unable to capitalise on their dominance. 

Once again, the Stags scored and converted two tries as a reply to the Bears hard but futile efforts and the scoreline of 12-30 looked set to widen further.

But the Bears were not down yet and began a mini revival, coming close but losing the ball when it mattered most.

The Stags remained composed and ruthlessly pushed the scoreline to 12-36 with just 8 minutes of the game remaining.

All may have been lost, but the Bears showed their resilience and courage, keeping on right to the end and finishing with a more respectable final result of 22-36.  

There were lessons to be learnt from this performance, but also positives for the Bears and their fans to take into the forthcoming season.

Reflecting on his team’s performance after the match, Head Coach Tom Tsang commented;

‘’We’re all bitterly disappointed with today’s game.

Yes it was a pre-season friendly, so the result has no bearing on anything.

But you should still want to win every game, and this wasn’t how we played today.

This was not how the players have been performing since training started in November.

Hemel got it right, they had the right attitude from the start and when they got ahead, they got their tails up and dug in for a win.

We will analyse the performance and work on what we need to do, and there has to be a big turnaround in two weeks when we play Oxford in the League 1 Cup.’’


Coventry Bears

Roper Freeman Beckett Medforth Russell Timmins James Morrison Gaylor Geurtjens Beecham Barratt Davis. Interchanges Smith Johnson Gover Bass

Man of the Match; Elliott Davis

Hemel Stags

Vincent Elliott Tomlinson Jonas Forde Barlow Coe Williams Burns Hawksworth Thornton White O’Brien. Interchanges Jowett Horn James Samuels

Note; Season tickets are still available ready for the start of the regular season. see the club’s website membership section for details 

Bears Media