Keighley Cougars Reserves 26-62 English Universities Match Report by James Smith (@JamesSmith_LTU)
England Students visited Cougar Park in what the RFL billed as an ‘international friendly’, their second of the season after having beaten Scotland students earlier in the season.
Keighley made the worst possible start and found themselves 6-0 down after Prop Forward Aaron Hall sauntered through the middle to touchdown early doors.
Things went from bad to worse with less than ten minutes on the clock as Marcus Stock went through for the students, with Sam Druce unable to convert to keep the score 0-10.
Failure to score was then punished as Keighley Cougars own Kieran Smith scored, before a terrible conversion was missed which made the score 0-14.
The home side finally registered as Aidan Scully broke down Cougars’ right to slot home before converting his own try to make the score 6-14.
That was only a brief reprieve, Students scored twice in quick succession. First Josh Hamilton stole a march on the defence for a routine score, before Jason Bass glossed the scoreline which made the score 6-26.
Dom Bryan added insult to injury after a sin-binning to make the half time score 6-32.
Cougars started the second half brightly with two tries as Rikki Sheriffe and Liam Darville went over which narrowed the scoreline to 16-32 with a long way still to go.
The referee showed his card prowess once more as Kieran Smith was sin binned, the students problems were exacerbated as Cougars scored from the resulting penalty making the score 22-32.
Then, a moment to savour for young Josh Smith, some tidy rugby from the Cougars sent the youngster away and the 17 year old scored to make the score 26-32.
Cougars hard work was undone not long after. Good play from Aaron Hall led to Dan Harrison scoring and putting daylight between the sides once more.
Jacob Morgan effectively ended Cougars’ hopes of a comeback, making it 26-44. Before James Mason went over to leave the home side deflated as the score went to 26-50.
A pulsating second half continued, when, with seven to go Jack Lazenby went over for 26-56. More slack defending saw Lazenby score again in the closing minutes to make it 26-62.
That proved to be the last score in an entertaining game as England Students triumphed.
COUGARS: Barker, McConville, Scully, Rawlinson, Smith, Darville, Sheriffe, Cherryholme, Weatherill, Price, Connell, Sagar, Kinnaird. Subs: Brown, Adams, Nassau, Clarkson, Robinson.