Kingstone Press League 1 Preview: Coventry Bears v York City Knights

Coventry Bears lost 16-12 at Hemel Stags last week.

Coach Tom Tsang said: “It was played in torrential rain, which didn’t do either side any favours. We dominated field position and possession and spent probably two thirds of the game in their 30-metre area. We got held up over the line six times and couldn’t quite find that last pass to get over the line.

“Hemel defended really well full credit to them. They turned up for each other. We probably had 12 opportunities to score and converted two, they had two opportunities and scored both times. It’s one that got away really.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of an in-form York City Knights side he said: “They taught us a few lessons earlier in the year. They play the game in the right way. They set a platform with their middle unit, which gets them good go-forward, and play some really nice rugby off the back of it.

“It will be a good challenge. We’ve certainly improved our defence; last week was as good as we’ve been, it’s just the attacking side of things. We keep giving ourselves opportunities to do something in games but haven’t quite managed to finish them off. But we’ll go in there with the same attitude we always have and do our best.

“We’ve got six games to go and have set ourselves a target of winning four. It’s going to be a tough ask, but that’s where we want to get to.”

Prop James Geurtjens is out for the season with a torn groin, wing Jamahl Hunte is still struggling with an ankle injury, Andy Unsworth has a knee problem and half-back Cameron Boulter is a doubtful after being concussed last week.

York City Knights had an impressive 64-0 win at South Wales Scorpions last week.

Coach James Ford said: “Obviously we’re pleased to get the two points and it’s pleasing to keep any team to nil but having said that, I thought at times we were a little bit scratchy in possession.

“We’ll need to step up this week because Coventry are a good team and they use the ball really well. I think we’ll need to be a lot better than we were on Saturday.

“We rotated the team a bit on Saturday and the boys who came in did really well, which obvious makes selection much harder but that’s the situation we wanted and fair play to the boys for stepping up to the mark.”

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