Newcastle 16 Keighley Cougars 36: Patience pays off for March and Cougars

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Keighley player-coach Paul March praised his side’s character after a hard-fought victory at fellow promotion hopefuls Newcastle Thunder.

Cougars raced into a 14-point lead to stun the hosts.

Hamish Barnes fought over the line despite the interest of numerous Thunder defenders before he set up two Paul White tries in three minutes.

Keighley’s lead looked an unassailable one when Jesse Sheriffe broke through the attempted tackle by Jordan Meads and raced over to open up a lead of three converted tries.

However, Newcastle only trailed by six at the interval after finishing the half the stronger of the two sides. Tali exploited a gap in the defensive line and rounded Jesse Sheriffe before former Australian schoolboy international Meads fought off Jesse’s brother Jode on the line to bring the home side back into the game.

Danny Jones slotted over a penalty after an illegal ball steal and James Feather put the result beyond any doubt as he dived over from the play the ball before his break and offload sent White in the corner for his hat-trick.

Meads took a clever Tali offload out the back to race through but March wrapped things up on the hooter.

March said: “We just had to be patient.

“People will claim we played boring but that’s how we win games, especially away from home and we will be a tough team to beat during this season.”

Newcastle: Sheriff, Mapals, Tali, Blair, Bowring, Hardcastle, Meads, Barron, Wabo, Fewlass, Craig, Brown, Welsh. Substitutes: Mexico, Simons, Stoker, Beharrell.

Keighley: J. Sheriffe, Gabriel, Lawton, Barnes, White, Jones, Handforth, Rawlins, Feather, Law, Lynam, Pursglove, Lindsay. Substitutes: P. March, Cherryholme, J. Sheriffe, Bailey.

Referee: A Sweet (RFL).