Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sunday's Coming: Keighley Cougars

It's Twins! Twice as likely to get sin-binned.

Having only played Keighley a month ago in a pre-season hit-out, you might imagine that there'd be little to add to our preview from that game. But with half of the March Brothers Rugby League Circus Franchise installed as coach of the Cougars, all you have to do is sit back and wait for the news to come
to you.

Indeed, for those of you seeking comparitive performance in the Championship, Keighley got whacked 30-12 at Doncaster last week (in front of 170 fewer people than were at Spotland) having trailed just 14-8 at half time.

And if you're looking for a contributory factor, it's interesting to see coach Paul March leading by example. Having coughed the kick-off to gift Donny a try after 90 seconds, he contrived to have himself sin-binned twice. The first for his involvement  in a 'fracas', the second for dissent following a 74th minute penalty. The result: leaving his charges a man short for almost a quarter of the game (the latter departure with less than 10 minutes remaining).

March’s side had opened their Kingstone Press Championship campaign beating Whitehaven 36-14 at home home the previous week - underlining the importance of beating those teams around us in what is effectively a league within a league.

Given the rude awakening to the standard of the Championship in our pre-season game at Lawkholme Lane, Hornets' promising performance against top-four aspirants Dewsbury showed a marked improvement - and an ability to stand toe-to-toe with the better end of the league for 65 minutes. The rest will come with experience - and the addition of Ryan Millard and Sam Te'o who bring an altogether more intense standard of firepower.

Having seen plenty of positives in the Dewsbury performance, we #believe there's plenty of improvement in us yet - starting on Sunday!

RFL Preview
Danny Davies (shoulder) faces a late fitness test before Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot is able to confirm his team to face Keighley Cougars.

Hornets lost 42-12 against Dewsbury Rams last week, but Talbot believes his team is not far from the levels required in the Kingstone Press Championship.

Talbot said: “The scoreline was a big disappointment because I think we matched them for large parts and at times were probably the better team.

“We know that if we give it our best shot week after week, and put that level of performance in, we’ll pick up some points.”

On Keighley, he added: “Paul March is very influential figure for them. He’s a very smart player and he’s one to watch and one to stop.”

Cougars coach Paul March will demand a much-improved performance from Keighley after last week’s defeat at Doncaster.

March said: “We let ourselves down and I let the team down too.

“We didn’t stick to the game plan. The bottom line is we came away with nothing and that’s what’s disappointing.

We’ll go to Rochdale and fight for a win, not go there just expecting a win.”