Keighley Cougars 18, Warrington Wolves 44
Keighley Cougars went down fighting in their defeat to Super League giants Warrington Wolves in the Carn-egie Challenge Cup fourth round today.
Cougars matched the Wolves for long periods in front of a crowd of 2,196 but just came up short in attack and coughed up too much possession, which the visitors took full advantage of.
Keighley coach Jason Demetriou, who rested himself due to a long-standing knee injury, was pleased with his team’s performance though, especially after the drubbing they succumbed to last year at the same stage.
He said: “It shows the improvements we’ve made – last year when we played them we lost 80-0.
“All of our guys showed their worth today but I thought, in particular, James Haythornthwaite really looked the part for us and caused them a lot of problems down their left edge.
“There are still some areas I’d like us to be better in with ball in hand, because we didn’t seem to have that spark and Warrington took full advantage when they had it.
“If we’d been smarter down their end it could have been a bit different, but the officiating from the touch judges didn’t help us because there seemed to be a clear bias towards them and it’s hard enough playing a top side like Warrington.”
Keighley had a bright start to the game, with Semi Tadulala almost bagging himself a couple of tries on the back of Danny Jones’ good work.
The Wolves quickly began to turn on the style though, with tries coming from Joel Monaghan, Ben Westwood, Chris Hill and Rhys Williams.
Keighley then got their act together and started piling on the pressure once again, with Tadulala again going close.
They were finally rewarded with a try when a flick pass from Jones ended up in the hands of Paul March, who hoisted a kick to the corner for Richie Barnett to latch on to, which saw them going into the sheds at half-time 16 points down.
However, any thoughts of a second-half comeback were scuppered as Warrington’s class began to show through Brad Dwyer, Chris Riley, Ben Harrison and Paul Wood, who added further scores.
Despite being well out of the game, Keighley did not give up as Sam Obst grabbed himself a couple of tries in the dying minutes, which gave the Cougars confidence going into their game with Sheffield this coming week.