Date: Sunday 14th June
Venue: Butts Park Arena
Coventry Bears go into round 10 of the Kingstone Press League 1 season off the back of their first away victory of the season as they welcome Swinton Lions to Butts Park Arena on Sunday.
It was a comfortable victory for a side made up entirely of Coventry’s own players for the third consecutive week, but coach Tom Tsang will be hoping his side can focus for the full 80 minutes this week.
“It was great, we’re very happy,” commented Tsang. “We performed really well in the first half and executed the game plan to a T. We slackened off a little bit after the first 50 minutes and came away from what we’d been doing but we did enough in the first half to get us over the line.
“It proves that we’re still going in the right direction, which is very pleasing. We’d lost five on the bounce so it was good to break that cycle and give the guys a bit of confidence for the rest of the year.
“One of the most pleasing aspects has been that in the last three games we’ve had 100 per cent Coventry Bears teams – no loans or dual registrations – which bodes well for the future.”
They will be without skipped Simon Phillips this week though as he is feeling the effects of playing through a couple of knocks in recent weeks. Tsang will be hoping that home advantage could help the Bears against tough opponents.
“Looking at Swinton’s results it looks like they’re going to be another hard team to play against. They had a good win last week and they can score points. I know a few of their players and there’s a lot of experience in the team. It will be a good test but the way we’ve been building, we’ll go and do our best and we’re at home, where we tend to play quite well.”
The visitors go into this game off the back of an impressive victory over Newcastle Thunder and are picking up momentum to challenge the teams at the top.
Lions chief John Duffy wasn’t happy with how his side took their foot off the gas in the second period though, and will be looking for his team to remained switched on throughout.
“I was pleased with the result and the two points but we switched off in the second half,” he said. “All credit to Newcastle, they came back at us really well. But credit to the boys, they defended really well and got their just rewards at vital points in the game.”
They will be expected to pick up the two points against the Bears but Duffy isn’t allowing any complacency to set in, and is aware of the threat which this week’s opponents possess.
“We’ve not played Coventry before and Tom’s doing a great job down there. They had a good result at the weekend so we’re going to have to prepare well this week.
“I watched them a few weeks ago at Keighley and they’re got some great players, Dan Parker is a real danger for them. We’ll need to be at our best to get a result.”
Prediction: Swinton by 18 points.