COUGARS must 'learn to manage the referee better' – according to head coach Craig Lingard.

Sunday's draw at Workington Town was marred by a red card for Brad Nicholson, sin-binning for Brendon Rawlins and even a sending off for water carrier Neil Cherryholme.

Lingard believes his side must improve their discipline if they are to take their place in the Super 8s and pose a serious threat to their promotion rivals.

He said: “I don’t really want to comment on any of the incidents in the game – I’ve got the rugby league disciplinary on speed dial this season, so no doubt I'll get a call from them this week.

"It’s hard to comment on incidents like that in the heat of the moment after a game when I’ve not seen any of them back.

“It’s what we’ve been talking about all season though – our discipline has been letting us down.

"Whether we like it or not, if we get on the wrong side of the referee they’re only human and they’re going to give the 50-50s against us. So we’ve got to learn to manage the referee better.

"Whether that’s because we’ve got a lot of younger players in the squad this year I don’t know but we’ve still got some senior players out there, and we need to improve on that as the season ends and moving into next season."

Despite the second-half loss of Nicholson at Workington, the Cougars fought back to grab a precious late point, giving Lingard plenty to be proud of.

“You’re always fearing the worst and I had the York performance at the back of my mind, where we played really well with 12 men," he added.

“I think against Oxford I’m only going to select 12 men to begin with and see how we start!

“The difference when you have 12 men as opposed to 13 is that you play with a bit of fear because you know you’re a man down in defence so the talk increases, the line speed increases and the contact gets better.

“So we need to find that formula to transfer that performance and desire from playing with 12 men into a 13 man line-up."