Keighley Cougars Preview
Can the Bears make it three in a row?
Coventry Bears v Keighley Saturday 2pm Butts Park Arena.
Match Preview by Mike Hyde
As the Coventry Observer commented ‘Bears victories are like buses, the fans wait for ages, then two come along together’.
That’s right, the Bears have won their last two games; afortnight ago they triumphed 20-24 away at London Skolarswho are above them in the table, and then again last Sunday at home they beat Hemel Stags 20-18.
They now have two more home games in a row, next Wednesday it’s against West Wales Raiders who are firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, so a win then is more than likely, which brings us back to Saturdays game against Keighley and it’s a tough one to call.
The manner of the Bears victory against Hemel is significant. The pitch was rock hard, the temperature reached thirty degrees and the game was not pretty. Twice the Stags took the lead off our team, but they fought back, they refused to give in, and they showed immense character and resilience for a team that has been on the receiving end of some heavy defeats in the previous couple of months.
So, the Bears are looking like a good bet? They would be except for a couple of factors……..
Several key Bears players will be missing from the side as they are on student international duty, giving Tom Tsang a few selection problems.
When the Bears played at Keighley in May they lost 98-6. A memorable day for the Cougars but a day to completely forget for the Bears.
That game was a true lowpoint, but since then the Bears squad has been strengthened by the Dual Registration agreement with Hull KR, attendance records have been smashed and those victories have started coming.
Meanwhile, Keighley have admitted to financial difficulties, some players are no longer there, they have slipped down the table and are now the lowest placed of the ‘traditional heartland’ sides.
Yes, they had a good win against Oldham last week, but the next landmark in the development of the Bears has to be a win against a traditional Northern side. It could be this Saturday…………………
Squad versus Cougars:
1. Mikey Russell
2. Hayden Freeman
3. Jacob Ogden
4. Kam Pearce Paul
5. Errol Carter
6. Paul Emmanuelli
7. Brad Delaney
8. Chris Vitalini
9. Zak WIlliams
10. Mal Lloyd Jones
11. Kieran Sherratt
12. Chris Barratt
13. Sam Davis
14. James Geurtjens
15. John Aldred
16. Cameron Stewart
17. Dante Morley Samuels