U20s Match Report – Keighley Cougars 16-58 Featherstone Rovers

Under 20s Match Report by Joshua Chapman (@Chapalar)

Cougars got the game under way and the ball made its way into touch giving Fev an early set of six on the Cougars line but much to the delight of coach Dean Muir the hosts forced an error and followed it up with fantastic back to back sets which saw Featherstone have to attack from inside their own half and the Cougars nearly got lucky following some fantastic passing but Kyle Akrigg knocked on.

From the resulting scrum, Fev won a penalty and caused Ethan Hawksworth to be left with no option but to back off and allow Dave Scott to go straight through the line and find himself underneath the sticks before he converted his own try. From the restart, the Rovers momentum continued and Joe Fox threw an obvious forward pass into the hands of Dave Scott who found his way into the corner.

With Dave Scott and Jack Pickersgill controlling the play the Rovers continued the momentum and nearly crossed again but Ben Hellewell’s try was chalked off for a forward pass in the build up. With Cougars struggling to make ground, Rovers were nearly in again with Liam Mackay but the stand off’s effort was ruled out for a knock on in the build up. Fev didn’t hold back and Luke Tieasdale shrugged off numerous defenders and offloaded to Liam Mackay who went underneath the sticks with Dave Scott converting with ease.

With chances coming rarely on the Fev line for the Cougars, Liam Darville broke the line and after the Cougars came close a knock on by Liam allowed Fev the chance to make their way up the field of play and they did this with ease after Ben Hellewell broke the line and offloaded to Matty Brook who went over in the corner despite the best efforts of Dan Connell. Dave Scott then failed to convert from out of the wing.

Cougars then got a rare attack on the Rovers defence and this proved fruitful as Chris Watson, who had just come off the interchanges, roared through a rare gap in the line and offloaded to Jordan Aitchison who found his way in unchallenged underneath the sticks before calmly converting himself to bring the Cougars into the game.

With the Featherstone coach feeling hard done by after being penalised the for numerous forward passes, the game seem to tighten and become a more even contest with the Cougars not bowing down to their stronger visitors and showed this after a solid set on the Rovers line ended with Llewelyn Chapman offloading out to Joe Lumb who went over in the corner. Jordan Aitchison then missed the conversion. The game then pattered out into the half time interval.

The second half got underway and after Cougars nearly crossed with Jordan Aitchison and Kyle Akrigg, the Rovers got a set of possession for the first time in the half and after being stopped moments before Lamont Bryan took on the Cougars line and crossed for the visitors with Dave Scott converting from slightly left of the post.

From the restart, Kurtis Jackson knocked on underneath the posts and from the goal line dropout the Cougars maintained pressure and nearly got lucky but Kyran Johnson beat Luke Whiteley in the air and knocked the ball out of play. The referee was still proving no friend of the Rovers coaching staff after giving numerous penalties against the visitors for silly challenges and late tackles.

Despite this the Rovers got the ball and broke the line and following a forward pass missed by the officials, the ball found its way out to Kyran Johnson who went over in the corner after going thirty metres unchallenged to extend the lead. Dave Scott then missed the conversion as it dropped short of the posts. The referee continued to baffle coaches, supporters and media alike with a string of strange decisions which were starting to effect the balance off the game and this became obvious when off the back of one of these calls, Luke Cooper zig zagged his way through the gaps in the defensive line to get over for a try. Dave Scott then converted to but the game out of the Cougars reach.

From the restart the Rovers broke the Cougars line and Lamont Bryan collected the ball and made thirty metres before offloading to scrum half Jack Pickersgill who went underneath the sticks to score with Dave Scott converting before the restart after saw Rovers with a little help from the referee make their way up before Lamont Bryan found his way over with the full back missing from out on the wing.

With Rovers continuing pressure, the Cougars had a rare set and thought they got lucky with Luke Moorby crossing with his try being ruled out for a knock on that never was. This allowed the visitors a chance to attack with Luke Cooper breaking before Joe Fox went over for the Rovers sixth try of the half. Dave Scott converted to extend the visitors lead to forty two points.

After Ethan Hawksworth got unlucky following some fantastic Rovers defence, the visitors attacked once again following a contentious penalty against Dean Muir’s side and the Cougars defence held strong but the Rovers got in with Kyran Johnson in the corner once again. Dave Scott then converted from the wing.

Cougars broke the line with Luke Moorby and Jordan Aitchison teaming up in a fantastic play to send the latter over for a Cougar try on the hooter, Aitch converted to bring the game to an end. A cracking advertisement for the Under 20’s competition.

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