Rampant Cougars destroy Hemel Stags

Hemel Stags. Picture (c) Ian Lovell
Hemel Stags. Picture (c) Ian Lovell

Hemel Stags came up against a club simply in a different class when they lost 76-6 at Keighley Cougars on Sunday.

Seven days ago the Stags turned in their best performance in a long time when they played Hunslet. But this weekend they returned to West Yorkshire to face Cougars in Kingston Press League One and were dominated in every aspect of the game.

The Stags looked impressive again when in possession but the truth is that it is doubtful they will face a better side this season.

There was one similarity to last week in that the Stags found themselves two scores down after five minutes, the first the result of a missed Hemel tackle and the second following a penalty to the Cougars. Weak defence and poor discipline gifted their opponents opportunities all afternoon.

After a third home try, again the result of a penalty, Hemel got on the scoreboard themselves. Keighley knocked on and after some neat passing prop Aaron Hall crashed over, Ben Stead adding the extras.

That, sadly, was to be the end of the Hemel scoring in the game.

Keighley ran in a further five tries before half time, the last on the hooter, as they stamped their authority on the game and emphasised the difference between the vastly experienced Yorkshire men and a still very young Hemel squad.

The second half started the same way that the first had ended with Keighley scoring almost straight from the kick off.

Cougars are not only very experienced but are a large, physical outfit and were breaking the Hemel tackles with ease. Seven tries were conceded in the half as the Stags were constantly forced onto the back foot and were starved of possession for long periods. When they did get possession and went forward the Stags created problems for their hosts, looking impressive on the attack but sadly the Cougars defence stood firm and denied them any further scoring opportunities.

After two tough away trips the Stags return to action at Pennine Way on Sunday when they entertain Coventry Bears in a 2pm kick off.

Coach Troy Perkins will be working hard with his squad as they look to return to winning ways.

Stags: Alex Walker, Josh Spearing, Kameron Pearce-Paul, Tuoyo Egodo, Reece Rance, Ben Stead, Scott Leatherbarrow, Aaron Hall, Barry John Swindells, Matt Ross, Kyal Greene, Oli Toms, Chris Clough, SUBS .Adam Booth, Liam O’Callaghan, Malakai Lloyd-Jones, Josh Halstead.