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Jason Demetriou fuming after Keighley Cougars’ ‘worst of season’
Cougars 16, Halifax 30
Player-coach Jason Demetriou blasted his Cougars players after they were beaten by Halifax in what he described as their “worst performance of the season”.
It was the first time that Keighley did not get anything out of a game as bonus points came from their previous Championship defeats, with Danny Jones’ boot letting them down badly in the goal-kicking department.
They were outfought in every department as the visitors wore them down in the first half so that their tired defensive line was there for the taking in the second.
A downbeat Demetriou said: “I thought the forwards put in a lot of effort but our key players really let them down.
“Our six, seven and nine just didn’t perform and they did not give us any direction.
“We came up with a lot of errors on our fifth-play options and their back three took advantage.
“Saying that, it only ended five tries to four and if Danny Jones had kicked even one of them we would have got a bonus point, so that was poor on his behalf.
“But we can’t blame Danny for our 40 per cent completion rate in the first half, which is unacceptable by any standard. Without doubt that was the worst we have played this year.”
Sam Barlow was the first to go over for the visitors, the big front-rower bursting through a gap far too easily early in the game.
Halifax’s defence seemed to be holding out well until Jy-mel Coleman’s offload from nowhere put Paul March and Demetriou in a position to combine and get James Haythornthwaite over in the corner.
Fax were still the dominant side throughout though, which they proved as Sean Penkywicz scooted his way through.
Ryan Fieldhouse’s first try dented the Cougars’ hopes and his second shortly after effectively spelled curtains as he cashed in on a length-of-the-field team try.
Keighley hit back with a sweeping move out wide that eventually saw Demetriou over but that was just paper over the cracks as Lee Paterson then crossed from long range.
The hosts rallied late on, with Richie Barnett latching on to kicks through by Sam Obst and James Feather.
But there will have to be a big improvement if Demetriou’s men stand any chance of knocking Featherstone out of the Northern Rail Cup on Thursday night.
Cougars: Moss, Barnett, Haythornthwaite, Lawton, Jessejo Sherrife, Jones, Obst, Jode Sheriffe, Feather, Korkidas, Pursglove, Shepherd, March. Subs: Coleman, Demetriou, Rawlins, Shickell. Referee: Clint Sharrad. Attendance: 1,723.