Keighley Cougars told to up their game by coach Paul March

Paul March

Paul March

First published in Sport
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Cougars player-coach Paul March is demanding a vast improvement from his players when they head to Rochdale on Sunday.

March’s side slumped to a disappointing 30-12 defeat at Doncaster last weekend after being outscored by six tries to three.

They were denied a losing bonus point after Paul Cooke’s side scored in the closing stages and the match also saw March sinbinned following a clash with Doncaster’s Dean Hadley, who was also shown a yellow card.

March held up his hands afterwards and admitted he let his team down but is now looking for a repeat of the performance which saw Cougars des-troy Rochdale 58-4 during pre-season.

He said: “We need to be better this week and I’m confident we will be.

“We let ourselves down at Doncaster and obviously I let the team down by getting sinbinned and us not picking up the bonus point.

“We probably didn’t deserve a bonus point out of it but we got ourselves back into it and obviously my sinbinning cost us.

“We’ve had a look at it to see where it went wrong in preparation.

“We didn’t stick to the game-plan and the bottom line is that we came away with nothing.

“I’ve held my hand up and it’s totally down to me not getting a bonus point.

“We will look to Rochdale this week and I’ve spoken to the players about going there and fighting for the win, rather than expecting a win.

“We’ve had a look at the video and the right team will get picked to go there.

“We didn’t turn up and start as we meant to go on last weekend. We turned up expecting to win rather than grinding out a win. They wanted it more than us and that needs to change at Rochdale.”

Cougars have no new injury concerns heading into the trip to Spotland but James Feather remains troubled by a groin injury.

The Cougars skipper has a condition known as Gilmore’s groin, that at some stage will require him to undergo surgery.

However, the club hope the hooker will be able to delay the procedure as long as possible – perhaps even until the end of the season.

March added: “It’s just about managing the pain because Buster is a big part of what we’re all about at Keighley. It’s his testimonial year and I want him playing.

“That said, if it gets too bad then we will have to get it dealt with.”

The procedure would rule Feather out of action for anything between four and eight weeks.

Cougars were this week drawn at home to Cumbrian amateur outfit Wath Brow Hornets in the third round of the Tetley’s Challenge Cup.

The match will take place at Cougar Park on Sunday, March 16 with the kick-off time and tickets prices to be confirmed at a later date.

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