Keighley Cougars 23, Sheffield Eagles 16
Keighley Cougars overcame Sheffield Eagles at a soaking wet Cougar Park yesterday to climb up to third on the Co-operative Championship league ladder.
Cougars’ player-coach Jason Demetriou still had some reservations about his side’s performance but he was pleased to get another three points against quality opposition.
“It was a pretty ugly game for our supporters but it’s not all about being flash – it’s about desire and true grit and determination, and I thought we showed bucket loads of that in the second half,” said Demetriou.
He added: “Sheffield are a great team as well and, despite the weather, it’s a massive achievement from our boys to keep them down to just 16 points.
“If we’re going to do well we are going to have to smarten up with the ball though.
“We gave away far too many penalties and we’ll have to rectify that for our game against Dewsbury.”
Cougars started well, with Craig Moss and Sam Obst both going over for tries.
That may have sparked Sheffield up as they were quickly back on the comeback trail with Misi Taulapapa and Neville Morrison scores sending them in level at the break.
But the game breaker came when Jy-mel Coleman intercepted former Bull Dominic Brambani’s pass to go the length of the field and halt the Eagles’ momentum.
Keighley then quickly gave themselves breathing space with Danny Lawton scoring shortly after as he pounced on Obst’s bomb.
The Eagles got themselves back into it again though, with Taulapapa getting his second try.
They then thought that they got themselves back on level terms when Brambani touched down from Simon Brown’s skilful banana kick but the assistant referee judged that the Sheffield scrum half was offside from the kick.
Lawton then booted from long range to keep Cougars in front by a converted try and Obst’s coolly-slotted drop goal late on made sure of victory.
Keighley Cougars: Moss, Barnett, Haythornthwaite, Lawton, Duffy, Coleman, Obst, Shickell, Feather, Korkidas, Pursglove, Shepherd, March. Subs: Davey, Demetriou, Sherrife, Cherryholme.
Sheffield Eagles: Laulu-Togagae, Turner, Yere, Taulapapa, Morrison, McDonald, Brambani, Howison, Henderson, Higgins, Szostak, Green, Hirst. Subs: Brown, Hepworth, Knowles, Stringer.
Referee: Matthew Thomason.