Keighley Cougars v Workington Town Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
Date: Sunday 10th September
Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley
Defeat to Newcastle has left the Cougars top five hopes clinging by a thread heading into the final two games but this Sunday they bid farewell to James ‘Buster’ Feather and Neil Cherryholme as Workington Town visit Cougar Park for the final home game off the season.
LAST TIME OUT:
The Cougars were branded ‘pathetic’ by Head Coach Craig Lingard as they were defeated 34-8 on the road at the Newcastle Thunder. Second half tries from Brendon Rawlins and Adam Ryder threatened a comeback at 14-8 but the Thunder pushed on to register a further 20 unanswered points and condemn Keighley to a second straight defeat.
Workington made the short trip to Cumbrian rivals Barrow Raiders and were defeated 36-14 at the J F Hornby Stadium. Gabriel Fell, Brett Phillips and Theerapol Ritson scored for Dave Clark’s side on an afternoon in which things turned a bit fiesty, resulting in two Town players being sin-binned.
Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard will still be without Scott Law (Leg) and Hamish Barnes (Back) while Nathan Conroy (Ankle) and Trae O’Sullivan (Leg) are both out for the season following the injuries sustained at Kingston Park last time out. James Feather (Illness) returns though after missing the last two games.
Workington Head Coach Dave Clark can welcome Stevie Scholey back into his side after he missed the defeat away at Barrow last weekend. Tom Curwen, who sustained a knock against the Raiders, has not passed a fitness test and misses out while there is no place for Scotland international Alex Szostak.
In full-back Theerapol Ritson, Workington Town pose one of the most exciting yet dangerous attacking forces within Kingstone Press League One. The Thailand international has earned praise throughout both his seasons to date at Derwent Park and will provide a threat which Ritchie Hawkyard and Harry Aaronson will have to be on top form to defend against.
COUGARS: Aaronson; Bailey; Beharrell; Brook; Cherryholme; Darville; Dixon; Emmett; Feather; Gabriel; Hawkyard; Kelly; Lynam; Nicholson; Rawlins; Reed; Ryder; Sagar; Tonks.
TOWN: Byrne; Coward; Davies; Doran; Fitzsimmons; Forber; Hambley; Howarth; Lister; Maudling; Mewse; Moore; Mossop; Prior; Rasool; Ritson; Rooke; Scholey; Singleton.
Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “Even if we don’t get into the five, these are must-win games for Keighley.
“We should not be hoping for a favour from Thunder (at Doncaster) this weekend.
“We should have won the game, won next weekend and be thinking about the Barrow game after that – but it is done and dusted now.
“It is still mathematically possible for us (to qualify in the top five) but it is highly unlikely that we are going to get there now.”
Workington Town Director of Rugby Les Ashe: “It is not mathematically impossible for us to make the play-offs but it is highly unlikely.
“But that doesn’t change the fact that we are professionals and we will be still be looking to put on a performance.
“We can still have a say in the play-offs as we face both Keighley and Whitehaven over the next two weeks.
“Both games will be tough but we want to get a win and especially for the derby game, there should be no need to give them any added incentive.”
The referee for this Kingstone Press League One Super Eights Round Six fixture at Cougar Park is Tom Grant from Leeds. This will be Grant’s first Cougars appointment of 2017 after taking charge of three fixtures last term. Grant’s last Keighley game came in May of last year as the side fell to a 30-20 defeat away at the London Skolars.
The Cougars will be looking to send retiring duo James Feather and Neil Cherryholme out on a high as well as putting on a show for the spectators in what is the final home fixture of the 2017 season. Craig Lingard will have learnt a lot about his team this year and will also want to go out on a high at home but don’t be surprised if it’s as close and as entertaining as July’s meeting at Derwent Park.