THE FIRST steps for the Bears on their journey into the semi-professional ranks proved to be rough after suffering a heavy 42-6 defeat away at experienced Oldham Roughyeds.
Despite enjoying a positive pre-season the Bears were given a small reality check at the Whitebank Stadium in Oldham on Sunday in the newly named Ipro sport cup.
The weather conditions were wet and arctic but this favoured the northern side which featured a formidable forward pack with a number of players which have had Super league experience.
The Roughyeds, as they are known, narrowly missed out on on promotion to the Championship last year and a dual registration agreement with Huddersfield Giants boosted their squad with quality players.
Ben Tyers scored the only try of the match for Bears shortly before the half-hour mark but the home side showed their strength and power to run out clear winners by scoring seven tries, all of which were converted.
“Obviously it is disappointing to lose any game, even more so when the points difference is so big.” said Bears coach Tom Tsang.
“However I really think there are a lot of positives to take out of the match.
“As it was our first competitive game at this level it was a real step into the unknown for the squad with at least three-quarters of the side needing to step up the highest level of RL they have ever played.
“Oldham were very strong in the ruck and it was a constant battle through the game to try to stay in the contest at the play the ball, which we just weren’t able to do enough.
The Bears play away at Oldham again next week in the Ladbrokes Challenge cup third round and will look to improve on this week’s performance as they build towards their first league game on April 3 at the Butts Park Arena.
Tsang added: “This is a key opportunity to learn though and I am sure we will be much improved next week having now experienced playing against an elite team in this competition who will no doubt be fighting for promotion in September.”