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Coventry Bears RL 8
Great Britain Students 12

Coventry Bears Rugby LeagueCoventry Bears run of victories throughout the summer came to an end on Sunday, facing the might of the Great Britain students, they gave their all but couldn't quite overcome an experienced G.B team, losing out in the end by a single try.

G.B students, current holders of the Scottish Courage cup, where they defeated all the other service teams including the Royal Navy and the British Army, were using this fixture as a warm up game to their forthcoming match against Australia, and they had expected a comfortable victory but found themselves surprised by the Bears commitment, determination and organisation.

The game started with both teams defending well, and gaining yards for either team proved difficult, for over half an hour the score remained 0-0, both sides coming close to scoring on several occasions. However it was G.B who broke the deadlock when after a devastating kick from their scrum-half, Muckalt went over. Coventry kicked off and restricted the students from advancing up field, with the ball now back in Coventry hands, a slick move from the backs was almost finished off , but Chemeika Eribenne was somehow tackled on the line. H-T 0-4 The second half began the same as the first with both defences on top, Coventry's forwards Tony Wright, Ed Simkiss, Glenn Todd, Colin Peraira, Alan Robinson and Ben Powiss all hammering away in attack, and tackling time after time in defence. A period of sustained pressure from G.B eventually got it's reward, lan Atack going over twice inside ten minutes to stretch the lead to 12-0. The Bears rallied together, gained extra strength from somewhere and began to make inroads toward the G.B line. Great runs from Francis Slater and Pieter Krige setting up a scoring opportunity, this was taken by the inspired Craig Cathcart, twenty yards out with nothing on Cathcart looked up saw a gap and placed a perfect kick behind the G.B defence, the crowd silenced as he took off with a blistering burst of pace, went through the students and dived onto the ball, this caused an almighty roar from the home crowd.

At this point Coventry really believed they could pull it back. More pounding from the Bears especially Ben Shepherd and Colin Peraira was starting to tire G.B and when Shepherd set off from twenty yards there was simply no stopping him. The score now 8-12 and into the final seconds, the Bears almost snatched it, Cathcart and Shepherd going close, the latter only inches away from touching down. The final whistle was greeted with disbelief as the crowd realised just how close the Bears had come to upsetting one of the best amateur teams in the country. Great Britain coach Vinny Webb was full of praise for Coventry's efforts and strongly believes that the Bears can go a long way.

Coventry Bears are away to Derby on Saturday, but will be back at Coundon Rd on Friday 9 July when they take on the Royal Navy.

Report by Chris Norman.

More Information:
Alan Robinson 07974 517519
Chris Norman 01203 442772
Ron Banks 01203 455856


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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Coventry Bears / 27 June 99

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM