Rugby League
Coventry Bears make winning start

By Steve Carpenter 24/04 Updated: 25/04 10:50

BEARS coach Alun Robinson was happy to get the season off to a winning start following an entertaining victory over Nottingham Outlaws on Saturday.

An impressive 34-22 victory over their local rivals at the Butts Park Arena saw them make a positive start in the 2011 Conference National Season in their bid to build on last season's seventh-placed finish.

"There are some issues to address in defence but very pleased with the 10 debutees," said Robinson.

"There were some good stand out performances from the likes of Brad Massey and Michael Venn while new boys Ross Bayston and Tobias Rochester-Bremmer really showed potential.

"It was Chris Stevenson whose deft touch passing display and nerves of steel that earned him the MOM award. There is plenty of potential in the squad and we will endeavour to realise that in the coming weeks."

The game started at a great pace with some early exchanges but it was Nottingham who got themselves in front early on.

Bears' debutant winger Rochester-Bremmer hit back out wide on the right with some good footwork to beat the defence and score in the corner, and Bayston put the hosts ahead with his first try for the Bears on the half-hour mark.

The visitors drew level five minutes later but Robinson's side had the final say of a lively opening period when Brad Massey scored by the posts and Scott Clendenning-Fenton converted the points to give them a six point lead at the break.

Nottingham opened the scoring four minutes into the second half but the Bears replied three minutes later with Stephen Coleman crossing on 62 minutes.

Bears winger Tanaka Chamunokara stretched the lead further on 62 minutes before captain Michael Venn scored the game breaker, powering through the middle from the first tackle on a set play to beat the fullback.

With two minutes left the visitors pulled a score back with prop Chris Byrne scoring from close at the ruck but it was not enough

to deny Bears the win.

Next up for the Bears is a trip to South Wales Hornets on Sunday.

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