Bears defeat Skolars in Battle of the South
Bears fight back to stun play-off hopefuls
London Skolars 20 Coventry Bears 36
The Bears came back with a vengeance in a stunning second half display which cast aside their recent disappointments and severely dented the hopes of rivals Skolars in the process.
The Bears had come into this game after a run of five successive defeats, the loss of key players to bigger clubs, players also missing due to student international duties, and an enforced absence from Butts Park.
A four try blitz in twenty five minutes pulled the game back for the visitors after a less than promising start.
It had taken Lameck Juma just four minutes to cross over for the Skolars, with Neil Thorman getting the conversion.
Then, with the game only seven minutes old, the ball was passed out wide for Mo Agorro to add a second try.
The Bears were now battling desperately, pinned in their own half, but preventing a further try as they held up Juma over the line.
Gradually, the Bears clawed their way back into the game, as Jacob Jones pierced through the Londoners and took the game well into their half of the field.
Then on twenty three minutes, Sam Davis wormed his way through for the Bears first try of the afternoon. Sanderson duly converted.
Rattled by this, the home side restored their leading margin as Agorro dived over again.
But the Bears were very much in this game now and took this in their stride, fighting back once more, this time Elliot Hall skirted around the London defenders.
He now sits proudly in second position amongst League 1 try scorers with an amazing try per game ratio.
The half closed with the Bears narrowly trailing 16-12, giving Head Coach tom Tsang and his team the opportunity to regroup.
Things did not bode well as the home side attacked with renewed vigour, and Juma added to the Skolars lead to make it 20-12.
And then the remarkable comeback happened as the Bears visibly stepped up a gear.
Hayden Freeman was the first to cross over for the Bears, rapidly followed by Elliot Hall yet again. Sanderson was in fine form, and converted these and every conversion of the afternoon.
Now in the lead for the first time with just twenty minutes remaining, the Bears had to defend against waves of attacks from the home side before KieronSherratt found himself on the end of an Elliott Hall pass to extend the Bears lead.
He added a second try with three minutes left and that plus Sanderson’s sixth conversion of the afternoon set the seal on a memorable fightback and well-deserved away victory.
Next week sees the Bears playing ‘at home’ but at another temporary venue in Rugby, the birthplace of the game.