PAUL Royston has billed Keighley Cougars' trip to Coventry Bears this weekend as a "mega match" for his side.

The Keighley strength and conditioning coach has targeted nothing short of a victory from his side's trip to the West Midlands on Sunday (3pm kick-off) as they look to close the five-point gap their opponents currently have on them.

Cougars' squad are ready to return to Betfred League One action at Butts Park Arena following a blank weekend. Their last game saw them crash to a 52-4 defeat at Workington Town on July 21.

Now, with bottom-placed West Wales Raiders just one point below them, Cougars need to grab two points as they look to finish the season with a flourish. Conor Kelly's Coventry suffered a 44-16 defeat to West Wales in their last game on July 20.

They are also looking to improve on their form on the road, despite a keen Cougars following on their travels.

Including their trip to Coventry, Cougars have five league games left this season, which ends against Newcastle Thunder on September 8, with three of them at Cougar Park.

Despite their indifferent recent form, Cougars may be encouraged by their performance in their previous game against the Bears this season.

In the driving rain and mud, Cougars recorded a 40-8 victory at Cougar Park on March 3, with tries from Macauley Hallett (2), Will Cooke, Davey Dixon, Jack Miller, substitute Jack Coventry and James Feather.

Royston said: "We need to pick up a result on the road. We have done OK at Cougar Park, but we're up and down away from home.

"It is a critical game at Coventry. A win would set us up for the bigger games at the end of the year. We still have to play teams like Hunslet, Doncaster and Newcastle.

"It would give us a good platform. It's very important, it's a mega match. People need to be up for it. We need to prepare well for it."

"The fans are really supportive. They have long journeys. The amount of work volunteers at the club do is great. They prepare lunches on matchdays and breakfasts for all of us. It's a good club.

Royston says he is aware of the threat posed by West Wales as Cougars look to surge up the table rather than finishing bottom of the pile at the end of the season.

He added: "When we played them at Cougar Park the other week we thought that they played very well against us. They have moved on since last season.

"It proved we did have a good performance on that day. They were playing typical League One rugby. They have improved. Their coach has done a good job. They are a better team now.

Cougars' remaining League One matches: Sunday, August 4: Coventry Bears (away); Saturday, Aug 10: Hunslet (home); Sun, Aug 18: Whitehaven (h); Sunday, September 1: Doncaster (a); Sun, Sept 8: Newcastle Thunder (h).