5th May 2019, 19:08
Wales Students get friendly win over Keighley Cougars reserves
Josh Chapman reports from Cougar Park on a healthy win for Wales Students as they continue to prepare for next month's Four Nations in Scotland.
KEIGHLEY Cougars reserves fell to defeat at the hands of a strong Wales Students side at Cougar Park.
The Welsh outfit arrived in West Yorkshire with several players with Championship and League One experience, but a youthful reserves side held their own in a stop-start affair.
Wales raced into an early eight-point advantage through the quick thinking of Cobi Green.
Green first dived over in the corner on the back of a superb break down the field by Paul Emanuelli’s side.
Green then turned provider for the second try, putting a superb cross-field kick to the corner from which James Bartlett rose highest to collect and touch down.
Keighley came back into the game through two quickfire tries of their own.
The first came through Joshua Smith who made the most of the opportunity presented as an Ethan Jeffries grubber caused chaos in the Wales defence and Dom Horn picked up the loose ball to send the winger over in the corner.
On the back of a penalty, the Cougars worked down the field and Jordan Aitchison powered his way over from close range.
The topsy-turvy nature of the first-half continued, Wales this time scoring back-to-back tries to first level the game and then re-take the lead.
Macauley Harris was first over as he shot to the line from dummy-half to burrow his way over.
Then the students moved in front as another superb kick from Green was plucked out of the air by a salmon-like leap from Connah Harding who then touched down in the corner.
There was long stoppage then in the game as Keenan Rushworth was stretchered from the field with an ankle injury, hurting himself during a superb covering defensive effort.
Green then gave Wales an eight-pint advantage as on the sound of the hooter, he weaved his way over from the play-the-ball.
The second-half began with the Cougars being reduced to 12 men temporarily as Smith was sin-binned for a professional foul after being caught offside at marker.
Wales made the most of the man advantage, Dafydd Jones racing over after making the most of a 2-on-1 situation in attack.
Keighley came firing back through Aitchison, the stand-off scoring his second try off the afternoon as he stepped through several Welsh defenders to get over.
Bartlett then scored his second off the afternoon, rising highest in the air once more to take the ball and get to the line after a kick from Green held up beautifully in the air.
But, the Cougars wouldn’t go away without a fight and closed the gap to within a converted try once again as Patrick Noutch managed to stretch his arm over in the corner to touch down as he fell into touch.
Dewi Billingham sealed victory however for the visitors, powering over from close range with minutes remaining on the clock.
The resulting conversion from Rhys Gant was met by sarcastic cheers from all the 109 in attendance, Wales only successful attempt at goal on the afternoon.
KEIGHLEY COUGARS RESERVES: 1. Keenan Rushworth 2. Joshua Smith 3. Adam Allerton 4. Morgan Robinson 5. Patrick Noutch 6. Jordan Aitchison 7. Ethan Jeffries 28. Jordan Cella 9. Luke Samociuk-Barnes 10. Brandon Godward 12. Dom Horn 16. Cain Crotty 13. Sean Knapper. Subs: 14. Callum Worsnop 15. Jake Samociuk-Barnes 20. Jordan Parry
WALES STUDENTS: 1. Rhys Gant 2. Connah Harding 3. Henri Roberts 4. Dafydd Jones 5. James Bartlett 6. Fraser Stroud 7. Cobi Green 8. Dewi Billingham 9. Macauley Harris 10. Dafydd Hellard 11. Rhys Davies 12. Ellis Simon 13. Kieron Lewis. Subs: 14. James Wickham 15. Charlie Bodman 16. Ieuan Roberts 17. Jacob Lee 18. Max Hendy 19. George Edge