Keighley 17 Bradford Salem 33

KEIGHLEY were very much second best in their opening game of the season in Yorkshire Division One.

Salem, with veteran Australian rugby league star Glenn Morison calling the shots at outside half, were soon on top.

A solid defence based on quick line speed kept Keighley pinned in their own half.

Although Keighley dominated the scrums Salem with Morrison in charge exposed a weakness down the left which gave speedy second row Rhys Green space and a long run in to score in the corner.

Keighley dominated the scrums and had centres Kelly and Langstaff doing good work in both attack and defence.

However, slow ball from the breakdown stifled a number of opportunities and allowed Salem the opportunity to dominate territory.

Once again Keighley’s defensive weakness wide out was exposed allowing Morrison to break free and score, converted by winger Jake Green.

Keighley with the forwards doing well nicked a ball at a scrum, quick hands from the backs and a well earned try for full-back Rich Tillotson.

There followed a period of sustained Keighley pressure, quicker possession gave new comer outside-half Grayson Tihema the chance to show what he could do.

The ball was moved wide and great support from the back row forced Salem to retreat; unfortunately the pressure came to nought when the ball was dropped over the line.

Keighley were eventually forced back into their half, a simple mistake at the breakdown and a second try for Morrison once again converted by Green.

The second half was similar to the first, Salem intent on moving the ball as quickly as possible, Keighley dogged by slow ball which severely restricted their use of good possession.

Eventually the Keighley forwards with the second rows to the fore built up some pressure.

Their efforts were rewarded with a well-taken try by winger Jack Atkinson.

Chasing the game forced Keighley to make a number of handling errors which allowed Salem the chance to dominate territory.

A missed tackle in defence gifted Salem’s Max Trueman a try under the posts, Green added the extras.

Keighley returned to the fray and a period of territorial advantage.

Their efforts were rewarded when some slick play was halted by a high tackle on the last man which resulted in a penalty try.

Salem finished the game with a flurry, wing forward Nick Fontaine scoring wide out, Jake Green added the difficult conversion.

A deserved victory for the visitors who took their chances well. Keighley in many respects were disappointing, putting themselves under pressure through basic errors.