Doncaster Match Report
Nightmare on Broad Street
COVENTRY BEARS 10 DONCASTER RLFC 54
MIKE HYDE Broadstreet RFC, Coventry, Saturday,
Photoghraphy by Dave Jessop
It was a party atmosphere as a Try Tag Rugby tournament came to a close and this game began on the wide lush pitch on the edge of Coventry.
But the Bears struggled to make an impact on the game, with the visitors running away with the score in a second half marred by a double sending off.
The Dons were at full strength, with the Papua New Guineans Jason Tali and Watson Boas in their line-up, while the Bears were decidedly threadbare as eight of their players were away on Student Four Nations duty.
The home side kicked off, bolstered by loanees and dual-reg players.
They looked to take the early initiative as Sanderson took a well placed kick at the end of the set, but the visitors quickly settled and Jason Tali stamped his authority on the game with his first try after just four minutes, but Beharrell’s conversion attempt failed to add the extras.
The Dons play was then more fluid, with good passing and teamwork, gaining consistent yardage while the home side relied on individual player surges.
A short injury stoppage provided a welcome break as coaches and staff brought on water for players feeling the heat of the sun reached afternoon peak.
Then Tali went over again midway through the half, and this time Buchanan gained a further two points.
Some inventive play and a well placed kick briefly brought the Bears back into the game as Elliott Hall scored a try and teammate Sanderson duly converted.
The Dons weren’t going to allow this, as they waged attack after attack, with only heroic Bears defending preventing the score increasing.
But a try and conversion by Buchanan restored a ten point lead and a further try by Jordie Hedges put the visitors fourteen points ahead just before the hooter.
Played in searing heat, the second half was a much more one-sided affair, with Tali setting the tone and completing his hat trick barely a minute into the second half. The conversion followed.
Then a flashpoint occurred as a brawl broke out in the middle of the pitch, the ensuing melée involving virtually all the players.
Dons player Russell Spiers was given a red, as was Coventry’s Jack Ray, the two players involved in the original scuffle, although it looked from the stand as if Ray was very much the victim rather than aggressor.
Now reduced to a twelve a side contest on a wide pitch, more tries were sure to follow, and Scott’s try and subsequent conversion rapidly followed by Buchanan’s try, again converted saw the away side stretch their comfortable lead.
The visitors then seemed able to score at will as a procession of tries from Hedges, Boas, and finally Lawton and two conversions from three put the visitors over the half century mark.
The afternoon’s biggest cheer came as Reece Rance scored a last minute try to give the home side the respectability of a double-digit score.
The Bears must now be looking forward to putting this behind them and to playing their final four home games at another new venue in Rugby………
1 Elliott Hall
2 Hayden Freeman
3 Kadeem Willams
4 Kam Pearce-Paul
5 Reece Rance
6 Joe Sanderson
7 Nathan Conroy
8 Lewis Taylor
9 Sam Davis
10 Oliver Purslow
11 Kieran Sherratt
12 HarrY Kauffman
13 Chris Barratt
Subs (all used)
14 Stewart Cameron
15 Jack Ray
16 Jack Daynes
17 Lawrence Haywood
Tries: Hall(25), Rance (80)
Goals: Sanderson 1/2
Sent off: Jack Ray
1 Kieran Buchanan
29 Kieron Lawton
3 Connor Bower
4 Jason Tali
5 Sam Doherty
30 Watson Boas
7 Matthew Beharrell
28 Jack Brown
9 Kyle Kesik
10 Ryan Boyle
22 Bradley Foster
12 Evan Hodgson
13 Dean Hadley
Subs (all used)
13 Jordie Hedges
14 Connor Scott
8 Russell Spiers
2 Richard Owen
Tries: Tali (8,20,41), Buchanan(32,70),Hedges (38,66), Scott(72) Boas(60) Lawton (68)
Goals: Buchanan 7/9 , Beharrell 0/1
Sent off; Russell Spiers
Bears Man of the Match [as voted by the Supporters club]; Jack Ray
Penalty count: 7-10
Referee: Aaron Moore
SCORING SEQUENCE: 0-4, 0-10, 6-10, 6-16, 6-20;
6-26, 6-32, 6-38, 6-44, 6-50, 6-54, 10-54