Kingstone Press League 1 preview: Hemel Stags v Keighley Cougars

Hemel Stags beat local rivals London Skolars in the opening league game of the season but coach Troy Perkins believes they need to improve when they take on Keighley Cougars.

“Overall I was pretty happy but we know we’re going to have to be a lot better this week,” he said.

“Keighley are one of the teams predicted to win the league. I don’t know a lot about them because they haven’t been in our league before and I guess they don’t know a lot about us either. It’s going to be an interesting game.

“All we can do is try and improve on last week’s performance and make sure that we’re very difficult to beat at our home ground.”

Half-back James Woodburn-Hall is a doubt with a leg injury.

Keighley Cougars coach Paul March was happy with his side’s victory over York City Knights but going down to Hemel will be something of a journey into the unknown.

“Our completion rates were really high and we came home strong,” he said. “I’m really pleased with how we defended but Sunday is a new challenge for us.

“This will be the first time we’ve played them so we’re going into the unknown really. I know David (March) and Gav Duffy both played against Hemel for Hunslet last year so I’ll be getting a bit of feedback from them.

“But I think Sunday’s more about what we do. If we prepare well and go there with the right attitude and get over that long, daunting trip, I’m sure we’ll come out victors.”

Back row forward Ash Lindsay looks likely to miss the game having suffered a head injury against York.

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