March on pub watch for big Cougars cup tie

March on pub watch for big Cougars cup tie

Paul March is set to rest a number of players in tonight's big cup tie due to his side's heavy fixture schedule

Paul March will not be at the Widnes ground tonight due to his ban - but his face will be there thanks to fans wearing masks like the ones pictured

First published in Sport
Last updated

Paul March could spend Cougars’ biggest night for years in the pub when his side face Widnes in the Tetley’s Challenge Cup quarter-final this evening.

The club’s player-coach is currently serving a two-month stadium ban for verbally abusing match officials and is subsequently barred from the ground for the televised clash.

But he will travel with the team to the Select Security Stadium and then search for somewhere nearby to watch the game, which is being screened live by Sky.

March is not allowed to enter the stadium that Cougars are playing in 90 minutes before kick-off and can only return 30 minutes after the game is finished.

He said: “The lads know I’ll be watching so obviously their performance has to be up to scratch.

“There will be plenty of time to walk around Widnes when I get there to find somewhere to watch it.

“The pubs and hotels will have it on and Sky are there too, so I’ll get to see the game somehow, even if I have to watch it on my phone.”

March is set to rest a number of players because he feels next Tuesday’s trip to Whitehaven is more important as Cougars bid to maintain their Championship status.

He said: “We’ve got four games in fourteen days so there is going to be a lot of rotation on Thursday night.

“Ollie Pursglove will get a run-out, Gavin Duffy is back and will get some game-time, while Ben Sagar will captain the side.

“The team will go and give a good account of what Keighley Cougars is all about but the main prize is the league because it’s so vital that we stay up this season.”

March is also unhappy that his part-time side have two lengthy away trips on week nights and within the space of six days.

He added: “I think this Challenge Cup quarter-final should have been played at the weekend to allow the players the opportunity to have plenty of rest and to play to the best of their ability.

“Now they have to work all day and travel to Widnes and it’s not just the players who I feel sorry for but the fans as well.”

March has agreed to play for Championship One side Hemel Stags on loan to stay match-fit while he is banned from playing for Cougars.

He is set to make his debut against Oldham on Sunday and the 34-year-old player-coach added: “I am actually reconsidering now whether I will retire at the end of the season because I’ve missed a load of games.

“I will see how my body is when I come back and then make a decision.”


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