Kingstone Press Championship Preview: Rochdale Hornets v Coventry Bears

Rochdale Hornets coach Ian Talbot was disappointed with his side’s performance against Oldham.

“We got what we deserved,” he said. “We were in control for the first 20 minutes then seemed to switch off and let them back into the game. Then they kicked on – credit to them they were the better team over the 80 minutes.

“We have to see a response, Coventry are obviously improving with every performance. They were closer to Keighley than we were. We need an improved performance and to try and find a level of consistency in our performances; we can’t seem to back up a good one with another good one. That’s the challenge now for the next eight games until the end of the season.”

Coventry Bears coach Tom Tsang took some positives out of his side’s defeat by Keighley Cougars.

“I thought there were definite improvements from previous weeks,” he said.

“Our middle unit has been pretty strong over the last few weeks but again, similar to the previous week, we were weaker on our edges and that’s where Keighley got all their joy. They were much more clinical and able to exploit the opportunities they had.

“We had as many opportunities as they did but couldn’t convert them into points and lacked a bit of cutting edge in attack. That’s something we’re going to keep working hard on to try and improve.

“This week against Rochdale is going to be another tough one but if our pack performs as it has been doing for the last month, we’ll give ourselves opportunities.

“Then it will be up to the guys in the back line to turn those opportunities into points. We’ll be working hard in training to improve in that area but if the last two games against top opposition are anything to go by, we should be able to do a decent job in the middle, then we’ll see what happens.”

Second row Liam Thompson is doubtful with a knee problem, half-back Cameron Boulter has a hip strain and prop Morgan Evans has an ankle injury. Captain Simon Phillips returns as does wing Jamahl Hunte.

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