Bears and All Golds: Rivals with history

Coventry Bears host Gloucestershire All Golds in a League 1 fixture on Sunday for the latest installment of a friendly rivalry that dates back to their amateur days during the 1990s.

The Bears did the double over the All Golds last term and will be looking to get back on track after a stuttering start to the 2017 season where they have recorded just one victory.

The All Golds’ 36-28 success against North Wales Crusaders was their third win of the campaign, setting them up nicely for this weekend’s clash with the Bears.

So what about this history?

Rugby league started to gain a foothold in a large swathe of territory across England between London and the heartlands of the North when MASWARLA (the Midlands and South Western Amateur Rugby League Association) was born in 1986.

Coventry could lay claim to being one of the very first examples of expansion, and the game was played in Coventry from 1910 until 1913 with the local team playing against Northern opposition.

Gloucestershire All Golds take their name from the New Zealand All Golds team whose win in Cheltenham gained them the first ever Test Series against England way back in 1908.

Both teams will be eager to earn the bragging rights from Sunday’s game and Bears’ boss Tom Tsang is desperate to see his team kickstart their season.

“We know the size of the task at hand to drag ourselves off the canvas to face Gloucester who are coming off the back of a very impressive result beating North Wales, but we all have a point to prove this week, so I am optimistic for a bounce back,” he said.

The game takes place at Butts Park Arena on Sunday (3.00pm kick-off)

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