Keighley Cougars 10

Hunslet 32

KEIGHLEY Cougars fell to a defeat at home to Hunslet in a Betfred League One derby marred by ugly scenes throughout.

And the discipline of the players dominated the post-match press conference with head coach Rhys Lovegrove, while proud of his men defending each other, condemning the bigger picture.

“They were unsavoury scenes and you don’t want to see that on any rugby league field.

“You want to see a nice, clean and aggressive game but when you’ve got players going into challenges like that, especially against our younger players, I expect my experienced players to go in and stick up for them.

“So, I am proud of my lads that when the chips went down, they weren’t afraid to come and get stuck in.

“We’ll have to now see how disciplinaries go when they come in.”

Talking about the rugby itself, Lovegrove added: “We didn’t take a complete step back in that way but after such a good defensive display, unforced errors really cost us.”

Hunslet opened the scoring from the boot of Joe Sanderson after Dan Parker was penalised for leaving one in on the man in the tackle.

The visitors scored the first try of the wet evening as Zach Braham bulldozed his way over several Keighley defenders to go over next to the uprights during Saturday's clash.

The men from South Leeds extended their advantage further through the boot of Sanderson once more, the half back taking the two penalties on offer after the Cougars were pulled for holding down and then a late shot.

The first real sparks of what was to come then filtered into the game as Louis Sheriff and Parker both found themselves on the receiving end of high tackles.

However, the penalty that was awarded for the hit on Parker led to Keighley’s first try as Benn Hardcastle and Matt Welham linked up to send Davey Dixon sliding in at the corner.

The half ended with things taking the first of many ugly turns, a dangerous tackle led to the first brawl and resulted in Kieran Moran being sin-binned, but, this spilled into the tunnel as the sides made their way back into the dressing room with Sheriff on the receiving end of a superman punch.

The second half saw a game of rugby break out at times, the Cougars striking first through Jason Muranka, the quickest to react after Taylor Prell and Macauley Hallett forced a knock-on from Jimmy Watson.

But a Keighley handling error saw them fall further behind once more, Jordan Andrade marauding his way over after Moran spilt the ball 10 metres out from his own line.

Hunslet turned the screw as Sanderson put a grubber in goal on the last and Duane Straugheir was the fastest man to the ball, touching down for the try.

The Cougars handling errors cost them dearly once again as two in quick succession provided former Keighley captain Josh Tonks the opportunity to break and put the supporting Tom Ashton over in the corner.

And the final score for the visitors saw Ashton turn provider to put Dale Bloomfield in at the corner post down the left wing.

However, the game turned nasty once more with a series of coming togethers eventually resulting in Straugheir and Prell being sin binned.

Then following the sound of the final hooter, a cheap shot on Spencer Darley, which resulted in Darley being hospitalised, led to a mass brawl with Parker sent off for a headbutt with Hunslet’s Tonks and Bloomfield also being shown red for fighting and running in and punching respectively.

Player Ratings:

Cougars: Sheriff 7; Dixon 5; Welham 6; Hallett 5; Prell 6; Miller 5; Hardcastle 5; Coventry 5; Feather 7; Darley 6; Parker 7; Muranka 6; Levy 5. Subs: Moran 5; Gaylor 5; Bailey 6; Arnold 6.

Hunslet: Watson 5; Lancaster 5; Ashton 6; Chapman-Smith 5; Bloomfield 5; Sanderson 7; Nicklas 5; Braham 8; Lee 5; Hawksworth 6; Tonks 7; Straugheir 7; Halafihi 5. Subs: Emmett 5; Wright 6; Haley 5; Andrade 6.

Cougars: Tries: Dixon (33); Muranka (49). Goals: Hardcastle (1/2). Sin Bin: Moran (39 – Dangerous Tackle); Prell (78 – Fighting). Sent Off: Parker (80 – Headbutt).

Hunslet: Tries: Braham (11); Andrade (54); Straugheir (65); Ashton (69); Bloomfield (72). Goals: Sanderson (6/8). Sin Bin: Straugheir (78 – Fighting). Sent Off: Tonks (80 – Fighting); Bloomfield (80 – Running In & Punching).

Attendance: 522

Referee: Nick Bennett (Sheffield)

Betfred League One Results: Doncaster 23-22 London Skolars; Keighley Cougars 10-32 Hunslet; North Wales Crusaders 33-16 Coventry Bears; Oldham Roughyeds 28-20 Newcastle Thunder; Workington Town 66-22 West Wales Raiders.

Betfred League One Fixtures: Saturday, August 17: West Wales Raiders v North Wales Crusaders; Sunday, August 18: Keighley Cougars v Whitehaven; Newcastle Thunder v Coventry Bears; Oldham Roughyeds v Doncaster RL. Friday, August 23: London Skolars v Hunslet (7pm)