Bears savage Pumas in 16 try display
On Saturday, Coventry Bears took on Peterlee Pumas at the Butts park Arena in a match which many saw victory as a foregone conclusion for the Bears. The home side did not disappoint, savaging the Durham side with a sixteen try and eleven goal exhibition of superb Rugby League.
With the game only five minutes old, Rich Synott gave a hint that he was going to be a thorn in the side for the Pumas. Some simple hands from Trent Achilles saw Synott with space on the left to score with ease. Steve Coleman missed the conversion, but the Bears were off the mark at 4–0.
Three minutes later, the left side channel opened up again, this time, Italian winger Fabrizio Ciaurro showed his pace and speed off the mark to round the Pumas defence, racing thirty yards to score. Coleman converted and the Bears were 10–0 up.
On 14 minutes another Bears Italian player, Stafano Cardella made a barnstorming effort up the middle. The Pumas defence unable to hold the forward as he pounded over the try line. Coleman again was good with the boot, and the Bears looked to be hungry for attacking play with the score at 14 points to nil.
This hunger continued unabated, with only minutes between Bears tries. Rich Synott ran in his second of the match after some quick passing opened up the Pumas weak left, Ross Bayston making the pass to Synott to score. 20–0 after 16 minutes.
The Pumas were given a little respite, with a few sets of six failing to register points, despite a number of unforced errors from both sides. But on 27 minutes, the Bears found their rhythm once more, Chris Dixon sniffing out an interception, taking it beautifully to race unopposed over the tryline. Coleman converted, and the score moved to 24–0 to the Bears.
Bears classy full back Dan Durston got in on the scoring action next, taking advantage of impressive yardage gained by the fowards, breaking through to finish a great movement up the pitch. Coleman was once again steady with the boot and the Bears were now hitting the point-a-minute mark at 30–0 on thirty minutes.
Half back Trent Achilles had been terrorising the Pumas defence, guiding the team around the park and putting in some difficult attacking kicks, and it was his turn to score. On the Pumas twenty, Achilles sold a perfect dummy to fool the defence, giving the Australian an easy run under the posts. Coleman converted, 38–0 on 35 minutes.
On 38 minutes, another part of the Bears playmaking group, Ben West put in a solo effort try. The Bears & Coventry University scrum half taking on the Pumas defence and deftly making space to score from thirty yards out. Another Coleman conversion and the Bears were now 44 points to nil up.
Just before the stroke of half time, Ben West went from try scorer to try maker, flicking a deft pass out to Tom Davies. The powerful centre streaming down the right to score. With Coleman taking a breather on the bench, Scott Clendenning-Fenton stepped up to convert.
Half time score: Coventry Bears 50 – Peterlee Pumas 0
The half time team talk for the Bears would surely have been a simple one as opposed to the Puma’s, but the Durham side came out for the second half with more intent, despite a try converted by Coleman from Fabrizio Ciaurro on only 41 minutes.
The Pumas were now a little more organised in defence and managed to complete some sets, the Bears making a few errors in the hunt for points. But on 48 minutes Ross Bayston threw out a superb pass for Rich Synott to latch onto, the centre charging over the line to post his hat-trick. The Bears now 60 points to nil up.
Still though, the Pumas scrambled defencively, threatening the Bears line and containing the home side. It took a moment of individual brilliance to finally break the visitors spirit, which came in the form of a Chris Dixon solo effort. The speedy winger fending off numerous tackle attempts to outpace the defence from his own 40 metre mark, racing down the pitch to score. Coleman added the two, 66–0 after 56 minutes.
On 62 minutes, Steve Coleman added a try to his tally of goals, bursting through a now tiring Pumas defence to score. The forward easily converting and taking his individual points haul to 24 points so far in the game.
Not content with simply returning kick-offs, full back Dan Durston provided extra attacking options throughout the match, shown on 68 minutes when he chimed into the line to add the extra man in a great passing move. A great finish, converted by Coleman. 78–0 to the home side.
Chris Dixon went in next after rounding the defence, the speedster notching up his hat-trick on 72 minutes. Radar-booted Coleman slotting over the two points, ensuring the Bears would finish the match over the point-a-minute mark at 84–0.
In the last minute of the match, Rich Synott showed determination to win the battle of the try scorers, scything through the defence on the left to score his fourth and end the match with an epic performance from the Bears.
Full time: Coventry Bears 88 – Peterlee Pumas 0.
Head coach Tom Tsang was rightly pleased with the result, saying “After two tough away games, its good to be back home and back to winning ways. We haven’t lost at the Butts Park Arena since before the 2011 play-offs, and we will be really looking to make a point of Coventry being something of a fortress for the Bears, and a really tough place for teams to come and play.
“We’re really pleased with the win. Not for the scoreline but because, for the most part, we stuck to the structures and processes that we have been working on since the start of the season. Apart from a fifteen minute period in the second half, we played out our sets, worked hard in defence and got our reward.
“Thanks to all the supporters who came out to watch us too – hopefully they enjoyed what they saw.
“Next week will be a completely different type of game, but hopefully we now have some confidence and bit of momentum ahead of our 6 hour journey to Kells.”
Next weekend, The Bears face the long trip to Cumbrian side, and league leaders Kells in what will be a much sterner test for the side.
Coventry Bears man of the match: Rich Synott for his clinical attack, and superb work in defence.
1. Dan Durston, 2. Fabrizio Ciaurro, 3. Richard Synott, 4. Tom Davies, 5. Chris Dixon, 6. Trent Achilles, 7. Ben West, 8. Thomas C Davies, 9. Alex Brown, 10. Stefano Cardella, 11. Gavin Grant, 12. Steve Coleman, 13. Ross Bayston, 14. Reece Needham, 15. Chris Barrat, 16. Nathan Britten, 17. Scott Clendenning-Fenton