Coventry Bears Rugby League
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Bears defeat Stags in style

Picture by Natasha Hancock

Picture by Natasha Hancock

Coventry Bears 52 Hemel Stags 16

Kingstone Press League One Round 3

Butts Park Arena, Sunday 19th April 2015

by Grace Mellor

COMING off the back of a defeat last week to Oldham Roughyheds, Coventry Bears came into the game wanting to win and they did with a gallant victory over Hemel Stags at the Butts Park Arena.

Coventry’s first tackle on the opposition saw them push the team straight into touch, this seemed like it was going to be a great day for the bears. Despite the victory for Coventry it was the opposition who would score first with Coleman going over the line after a repeat set. The home side’s response was emphatic, as they were gaining ground from a number of penalties conceded. Turnover for the Bears meters from their own line, saw half back Billy sheen sprint the full length of the pitch to start of Coventry’s scoring, and Coleman adding the extras to keep the score even.

Coventry’s kicking game in the first half was very strong, with Robinson kicking into the arms of Jamahl Hunte and sending him over, Robinson adding the extras, the Bears slightly unlucky just before half time with a great offload from Sheen to Medforth was held up over the line, Matt cooper with some strong but unlucky runs in the first half. Stags tried their hardest to fight back just before half time as they were held up twice over the line after a string of penalties given to them form the Bears.

Coventry go in at half time leading by six.

Coventry struck early in the second half, with a 40/20 from Marsh meant they were able to gain ground quickly, and Cooper stretching over the line form a ball from sheen, the extras added. Beautiful ball skills from the half back duo, sent Hunte in for the second of the day under the sticks. Conversion successful.

Stags were constantly trying to get another try but great defence from Coventry stopped them in their tracks being held up over the line for a fourth time. A great run from Reid as his pass beats the full back to pass to Sheen to send him over for his second of the day, conversion successful. Hemel fighting to stay in the game with a lovely cross field kick from Coleman sent Stags over for the second time of the day, adding the two points was Swindells.

Coventry ran riot in the last twenty minutes with 4 more tries, another for Sheen and two more for Marsh giving both of them hat-tricks to top off their tremendous performance.  A fantastic kicking game from Robinson gave Coventry the extras to push themselves further apart from Hemel Stags. Brophy close to getting over the line himself twice with great runs down the right hand side, only to be held up over the line both times. Hemel stags scored late in the game from a mistake from Coventry but it proved nothing more than just consolation.

Bears Head Coach Tom Tsang commented:

"After last week we needed a big performance to get us back on track. We had a very good week of training, addressing some of those key areas where we were lacking against Oldham. I had asked for a reaction from the lads - the players had been talking about how we just needed some good dry conditions to show what we can do so I put it back on them to prove that was the case and they certainly delivered. The results in the league over the first three rounds show that on their day most teams can be competitive - I dont think many would have picked us to beat Hemel who finished in the play offs last year but we are very confident that on our day we can pose a problem to any team in this league. But that is the challenge - we do have a young squad and do lack experience in certain areas. With experience comes consistency and that's where we need to get to - consistently performing at today's level is what I will ask my players to do. We know there will be much bigger challenges through the season and we will be underdogs in most games we play but that is a tag we like. We are out to cause an upset in every game we play and provided we can stay grounded and do the basics right we should be able to push teams all the way. Next week will be a big test but one we are looking forward to".

Coventry Bears

1 Josh Gudek (37)

2 Jamahl Hunte (20)

3 Daniel Parker (30)

4 Eddie Medforth (4)

5 Troy Brophy (1)

6 Billy Sheen (6)

7 Matthew Marsh (39)

8 James Geurtjens (27)

9 Connor Robinson (40)

10 Tom Hall (38)

11 Chris Barratt (12)

12 Liam Thompson (29)

13 Simon Phillips (13) Captain

Subs (all used)

14 Alex Beddows (16)

15 Matt Cooper (26)

16 Stephen Coleman (21)

17 Matt Reid (50)

Tries: Sheen(17, 48, 75), Hunte (29,45), Cooper (42) and Marsh (59,70,78).

Goals: Robinson 8/9


1 Brandon Conway (33)

2 Alex Anthony (5)

3 Jamie Ocallaghan (3)

4 Michael Brown (4)

5 Jamaine Akiedere (32)

6 Jymel Coleman (6)

7 Charlie Lawrence (7)

8 James Howitt (26)

9 James Helliwell (9)

10 Mike Stewart (16)

11 Barrie John Swindells (11) Captain

12 Chris McNamara (18)~

13 Eddie MBaraga (13)

14 Liam Ocallaghan (15)

15 Ryan Chester (14)

16 Nathan Darby (29)

17 Brook Broughton (31)

Tries: Brown (55,65), Coleman (5).

Goals: 2/3

Man of the Match: Josh Guzdek

Full back Josh Guzdek, was a constant threat throughout and gave the Bears a fantastic platform to build upon from the back all game.

Half-time: 12-6

Full- time; 52-16

Attendance: 452

Next week the Bears travel away to York City Knights at Clifton Park York RU.

Details can be found here:

Bears next home game is Sunday 3rd May when the Bears take on Rochdale Hornets at the Butts Park Arena at 3pm

Bears Media