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Carlisle Cougars took a trip down the A1 on Sunday 10th October, to Leos (in Leeds) for their first away game of the season. With size and strength in the forwards pack, and pace and experience in their backs, it was Leo’s who came out on top.
With increased physicality and pace of the game the Cougars are experiencing a steep learning curve in the higher league. From the kick off Leos gathered the ball and showed their strength, particularly through the running of their outside centre, Ruth Laybourne. Cougar’s full back Julie Hope was forced to make several try-saving tackles in the first half as Ruth broke the line.
Unfortunately the Cougars could not sustain the defence, and conceded tries out wide. The Cougars pack worked hard throughout the game, but unfortunately illness and unavailability meant that tired legs had to play the full 80mins. Flankers Belinda Lloyd and Kati Brown (Players player and Coaches player respectively) had outstanding games, tackling all around the park and securing ball for the Cougars.
With ball in hand the Cougars created chances but generally failed to capitalise on by converting them into points. A tight maul, set up from a lineout was held up over the line, and on a number of occasions the final pass let the Cougars down and scoring chances went begging.
Julie Hope did manage to find a gap out wide early in the second half, but they were the only points they achieved in the game. The Cougars did show some good phases of play though, which they can build on. Leo’s ran out winners 36-5, and look like a side aiming for top of the league this season.
The Cougars take on Altrincham Kersal on Sunday at Warwick Road, and hope to record their first win of the season. Kick off 2.30 pm – all support welcome.