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Cougars Looking For Good Report Against Skolars – London Preview

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Keighley Cougars v London Skolars Match Preview by Joshua Chapman (@JRCSport)

Date: Sunday 27th May

Time: 3:00pm

Venue: Cougar Park, Keighley

Despite a slow finish to proceedings in Wrexham, the Cougars kept on the winning track at Queensway against the North Wales Crusaders last Sunday. Craig Lingard’s side now return home for a Bank Holiday meeting with the London Skolars at Cougar Park.

LAST TIME OUT:

The Cougars gained revenge for the February cup defeat with a 28-46 victory away at the North Wales Crusaders. Despite falling behind early doors, Dan Parker, Perry Whiteley and Adam Ryder all scored a brace of tries with Nathan Conroy and Scott Law both helping themselves to a try apiece to make sure the late North Wales fightback was only in vein.

Despite a strong second-half, the damage was already done as the London Skolars went down to a 26-44 home defeat to Whitehaven. Trailing 0-32 at the interval in the capital, second-half tries from Omari Caro, Rob Butler, Elliot Hall, Matt Fleming and Ryan Burroughs made the scoreline on the afternoon a respectable one despite the disasterous first forty.

TEAM NEWS:

Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard has lost Darrell Griffin (Quad) to a re-occurence of the injury that kept him out of the victory over Coventry earlier this month and he is replaced by Jose Kenga in the 19 man squad. Harry Aaronson and Lewis Fairhurst are both unavailable due to being selected for the English Universities side with Hamish Barnes (Shoulder) and Josh Lynam (Arm) both ruled out through injury

London Skolars Head Coach Jermaine Coleman welcomes Wigan duo Callum Field and Craig Mullen into his squad on dual-registration but loses London Broncos loanee Rob Butler to the first of a three game suspension. Omari Caro, Matt Fleming, Elliot Hall and Jordan Williams also drop out of the side that went down at home to Whitehaven last weekend.

KEY BATTLE:

Despite losing three of last weekend’s back line against Whitehaven for this Sunday, the Skolars still pose a serious threat in attack with the wing pairing of Toronto loanee Ryan Burroughs and Vinny Finigan, making his first return to Cougar Park since departing last August, who will undoubtedly keep Davey Dixon and Andy Gabriel busy throughout the 80 minutes this weekend.

THE SQUADS:

COUGARS: Bailey, Beharrell, Conroy, Dixon, Emmett, Gabriel, Hallas, Hardcastle, Hawkyard, Kenga, Law, Leeming, Nicholson, Parker, Rawlins, Ryder, Tonks, Whiteley, Wright.

SKOLARS: Brown, Bryan, Burroughs, Chester, Chipchase, Davies, Driver, Field, Finigan, Greenhalgh, Lyon, Mbaraga, Melling, Mullen, Nash, Ngawati, Sykes, Thorman, Yates.

THE COACHES:

Keighley Cougars Head Coach Craig Lingard: “London have a big set of forwards. They are a good team and they have some pace out wide and have two players on loan from Toronto Wolfpack playing in League One.

“London are a decent footballing side. Fitness-wise, they are not the best so, we have to exploit that in the last 20 minutes of the match.

“We are expecting to win the game if we do more than we did against North Wales in the last 20 minutes and need to look after the ball.

“The disappointing end to our game against North Wales was not just coming from me and the coaches, but it was coming from the players as well.

“We have set good standards and it is important that we get momentum now, especially going into games against York City Knights and Doncaster.”

London Skolars Head Coach Jermaine Coleman has yet to comment.

THE REFEREE:

The man in the middle for Sunday’s Betfred League One Round meeting at Cougar Park is John McMullen from Wigan. This will be the first time that McMullen has officiated a Cougars game since February 2017 when he had a busy afternoon during the now infamous 32-50 Ladbrokes Challenge Cup victory away from home against amateur side Fryston Warriors.

SUMMARY:

Craig Lingard will be looking for a complete 80 minute performance against the Skolars this Sunday after admitting the last 20 minutes of the win away at North Wales last weekend “left a sour taste in the mouth.” But, as history has shown us, Jermaine Coleman’s side are certainly no pushovers and are the best of the rest in Betfred League One with a big pack and pace down the wings. The Cougars will be looking to continue their winning streak but will have to be wary of the banana skin that London always pose.

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