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Cougars Fall Bravely In Defeat

Keighley Cougars 21-48 Toronto Wolfpack Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

KEIGHLEY Cougars fell to a 48-21 defeat at home to Toronto Wolfpack on an afternoon where the scoreline didn’t truly reflect the game.

The Cougars were the better side for 50 minutes before errors began to creep in allowing the Wolfpack to take advantage to pick up the victory.

Head Coach Craig Lingard said: “They scored two tries at a key point of the game and they bossed it from there.

“It’s a bit disappointing for me really as we’ve worked so hard in the first half to put ourselves in the position to win the game and we’ve just let ourselves down.

“We had the game by the scruff of the neck at 15-8 and had it a two score game but we missed a tackle and threw an offload in our own twenty and they scored both times, so we really gifted them two tries.

“There’s other areas we can look at also, we bombed three tries in the first half and we dropped a couple in the second so we could have had a lot more points on the board.”

“At the end of the day, the scoreline is what it is and you can’t complain at that.”

The Canadian side went into an early eight-point lead with Jonny Pownall and fellow winger Liam Kay crossing in either corner.

These tries however came either side of Dan Fleming being sin-binned for punching following a late shot on Matty Beharrell.

The Cougars then sprung into life with Will Milner showing great speed and footwork to create the gap to send Josh Lynam diving over.

Toronto were penalised in front of the Cougar posts, and Beharrell opted to take the two to draw the side’s level.

The Wolfpack then fell behind for the first time in a competitive game in 2017 as Beharrell slotted a drop goal over to send Keighley into the interval with a one-point lead on the back of his own superb 40-20 effort.

Previously untouchable this campaign, Toronto were rattled and it showed.

Immediately from the kick-off for the second half, Kay and Rhys Jacks collided allowing debutant Josh Casey to kick the ball through with a number of Keighley bodies throwing themselves at the ball.

It appeared Lynam had got the decisive touch but replays later showed it was Brad Nicholson.

However, individual errors began to cost the home side as their visitors from across the Atlantic took the game by the scruff of the neck.

Blake Wallace first threw a shimmy to dive over next to the posts, with Casey missing a one-on-tackle from a free play following the restart as Pownall raced 90 metres up the field to grab his second of the afternoon.

The Cougars wouldn’t go down without a fight but Toronto began to show their full-time status, scoring once more as Ritchie Hawkyard threw a wild offload out the tackle and Craig Hall got his boot to the ball before touching down.

Pownall sealed his treble as Craig Hall threw the dummy before offloading to the winger to dive over in the corner.

Keighley got back within two tries when Lynam showed great technique to round a defender 20 metres out from the line and send Beharrell away to dive over.

There was still time though for three rapid-fire Toronto tries as Keighley’s tired bodies began to make individual errors.

First, Beswick spotted a gap from dummy half to create the space to send Andrew Dixon over from close range.

Adam Sidlow then put the icing on the cake for Toronto with a brace of tries as he powered over from two metres out on both occasions.



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3 Responses

  1. Iain Hewitt says:

    The lads put in a great performance and did us proud. We have the makings of a great team. Love watching them play.

  2. Bryan Hanson says:

    I agree , they were a credit to us and a joy to watch.Our tries were also far more entertaining than the opposition’s. Almost all Toronto’s tries were as a result of our mistakes which is something that can be resolved going forward.
    I realise being a referee is far from easy but had the officials stopped the persistent laying on and offside indiscretions from Toronto I feel we could have scored a lot more first half points , it was a pretty poor performance from all three officials.

  3. David Pickles says:

    Yes it was a creditable and entertaining performance by the Cougars and it is up to the coaching to assess what went wrong in the final 30 minutes and to sort it out – all credit to the team who performed wonders up till that stage. Criticism of the refereeing is fully justified but it must be laid at the door of the match referee solely and not the touch judges. As well as the previously expressed criticisms I observed: (1) At least half a dozen forward passes by Toronto missed in the first half (2) T were always off side at the play the ball throughout (3) The new offside rule at the scrum was completely ignored throughout (4) T were repeatedly guilty of laying on at the play the ball but this was not penalized (5) the T player sinned binned committed another similar offence shortly after returning but was simply let off with a penalty against instead of being red carded (6) the referee was solely concentrating on offences by the Cougars not the opposition and was implicitly anxious not to upset Premier Sports and their self interested commentators. Alas the refereeing system remains in complete disrepute and is in dire need of reform.

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