Keighley Cougars 82-12 Hunslet Warriors Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
KEIGHLEY Cougars kicked off the Craig Lingard era with a comprehensive 82-12 victory over amateur outfit Hunslet Warriors.
The Cougars ran in 16 tries with 12 players on debut and trialist centre Adam Ryder putting in a man of the match performance.
Lingard said: “We were rusty at times, especially in that first fifteen minutes but we brought it back towards the end of the first half.
“I was much more pleased in the second half; even though we didn’t score in the first five minutes of the half we set the platform with our completion rate.
“This game has definitely served us a purpose, one of the things I’ve focused on in pre-season is our shape and attack and we controlled the ball today and our defence was good which allowed us to stay to our shape and control the game.
“I asked the players to switch on for the first 10 minutes of the second half at half-time because I wasn’t happy with the way we played in the first 10 minutes of the first half.
“We run away with it in the final 25 minutes and that is because of the platform we set ourselves in the first 10 minutes of that second half.”
Despite a sloppy opening ten minutes in which the Warriors opened the scoring, they never posed a serious threat to a rampant Cougars outfit.
Andy Gabriel opened the home team’s account for the afternoon as he showed great speed on his feet to burrow over before the returning Sean Hesketh strolled over from five yards following Mike Emmett’s offload.
Callum Dunne scored the first of his personal four-try haul on the afternoon when he had a walk-in at the corner and despite a Phil Lythe length of the field interception, Keighley turned the screw going into half-time.
Matty Beharrell threw a dummy to side-step his way around two would be tacklers before throwing an offload in the next attack to allow Davey Dixon to dive over along the right flank.
Ryder then provided his first moment of magic – from a break downfield he found space to race around and go in underneath the posts.
The first half was brought to a close just seconds before the hooter with Josh Lynam fighting off a number of interested spectators to power over.
Ryder looked like a player playing to earn a deal as he continued to show his class, exposing space in the defensive line to get himself a second try.
The big centre took advantage of great play from Beharrell before throwing a ‘no look’ offload to Dunne to touch down for his second.
Nathan Conroy added his name to the scoresheet when he turned his way through under the posts from the play the ball, and from the kick-off, Beharrell chipped over the top with Gabriel on hand to score.
Dunne doubled his tally, taking advantage of great play from Ryder before being quickest on his feet to pounce after Danny Lawton kicked through a knock-on from the free play.
Gabriel followed suit and doubled his own tally, finishing off two breaks – first from Ryder and then Liam Darville, racing home beneath the uprights on both occasions.
Harry Aaronson completed the rout with a minute of time remaining using dummy runners to his advantage to find a way over.