Keighley Cougars 6-54 Bradford Bulls Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)
KEIGHLEY Cougars were handed a derby day drubbing at the hands of Bradford Bulls at Cougar Park.
The visitors ran in 9 tries on a comfortable afternoon for the Bulls and on a day that left Craig Lingard understandably hurt and angry with his side.
“Sometimes in sport you have to hold your hands up and say a team has outperformed yours and that’s what Bradford did,” said Lingard.
“It’s a big derby game and you want the lads to go out onto the field and put in a performance and it simply didn’t happen.
“I don’t need to ask the players any serious questions because they’re asking themselves the same questions and they are tough questions that need answering.
“For me as the coach, if I don’t give the players the information about the opposition or prepare them properly then I have to put my hands up and say I didn’t prepare the team right.
“But I gave the players all the information and they had a really good week in training and prepared themselves properly which is a real concern given the performance.
“The lads might not have a week off now ahead of the York fixture, they might be playing for the reserves on Wednesday evening against Halifax.
“We need to get back out on the park as soon as possible and if that means we have to bash each other about in training then we will but I’m considering putting everyone out in the reserves and that is something I’ll discuss with the coaching staff.”
The Cougars were reduced to 12 men early in the game after Matty Beharrell was sin-binned for a tip tackle on Elliot Minchella in the 5th minute.
However, they held strong despite the man disadvantage until Minchella himself scored after Joe Keyes broke the line after Josh Tonks dropped off from the half-back’s show and go.
The visitors were in top but the home side continued to hold strong for the majority but former Cougar Ross Peltier managed to crawl his way over the line from close range to increase his side’s advantage.
The Bulls were over again minutes later as Brandon Pickersgill found his way through the line and put a try on a plate for debutant George Flanagan.
Keyes then added another two points to the scoreboard shortly before the half-time interval after the home side were penalised for not standing square at the play the ball.
The second-half was all Bradford as John Kear’s side turned the screw to really rub salt into the wounds.
Keyes dove over just 3 minutes into the second forty after cutting through the Keighley defence to get to the line.
Lingard’s side were now chasing the game and took a risk that didn’t pay off as a quick offload was intercepted by Dalton Grant, the winger then raced 90 metres to score.
The Cougars avoided being nilled in the 55th minute when Brad Nicholson side stepped a would be tackler to get stretch himself over to touch down.
Bradford ran in three quick-fire tries to extend their lead further, the first of which saw Minchella seal his double as he crossed from close range.
Flanagan then scored a second himself, showing great ball handling skills to avoid losing possession over the line and touching down cleanly.
Sam Hallas then completed the trio of quick tries as he burrowed his way in underneath four defenders beneath the uprights.
Then on the sound of the full-time hooter, former Cougars reserve Ethan Ryan won an aerial duel with Hamish Barnes before racing 30 metres unchallenged.