Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Coventry Bears v Rochdale Hornets


A poor opening quarter against York City Knights led to Coventry Bears’ defeat last week according to coach Tom Tsang.

“We served up the game on a plate really giving away four or five penalties and at least three or four errors,” he said.

“Doing that in any league against any opposition you’re going to struggle never mind against a team who topped the league last year. York were good for the win.

“We didn’t really do ourselves justice but we’ll look ahead to this week and try to fix up a few bits and pieces. It’s going to be tough; I’ve watched bits of Rochdale’s games this season.

“They were very unlucky to lose to Oldham in the first game and have had some mixed results since then but have been close in all the games they’ve played – they look very strong.

“We’ll be doing our best and I think if we can get into the proverbial arm wrestle in the first 25 minutes, then we’ll give ourselves a bit of a chance to do OK.”

Both half-backs Billy Sheen and Cameron Boulter were injured last week and are a doubt while rower Liam Thompson is unavailable.

Ian Talbot was a very frustrated Rochdale Hornets coach after his side’s one point loss to Newcastle Thunder last week.

“With two minutes to go we looked like scoring but knocked on over the line and then conceded at the other end to lose the game,” he said.

“It was a massive effort from the lads but I think we need a little bit more smartness at key times.

“Injuries contributed to it, we lost Tony Suffolk in the first few minutes of the game which was costly because he’s very influential.

We then lost Mike Ratu with a dislocated shoulder and Dean Mignacca with a shoulder injury so we were having to rotate some of the big guys in the middle.

“Coventry is a trip into the unknown. We’re under no illusions it’s going to be a tough ask particularly with a few players ruled out through injury.

“The squad’s looking depleted this week so we’ll have to roll up our sleeves, not feel sorry for ourselves and just get on with it.”