Roosters must improve defensively - Hill

WHILST on paper the result looks emphatic enough, Roosters director of coaching Ian Hill feels there’s still room for improvement.

Rugby League


St Ives Roosters 72 West Norfolk Wildcats 20

WHILST on paper the result looks emphatic enough, Roosters director of coaching Ian Hill feels there’s still room for improvement.

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The visitors had agreed to fill in at short notice on Saturday after St Ives’ scheduled opponents - Northampton Demons A - were forced to postpone their RLC East fixture due to their inability to raise a side.

But Hill admitted the friendly has given him much to ponder ahead of this weekend’s tough-looking home fixture against league leaders Bedford Tigers.

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“This was a far from convincing win,” said Hill.

“The Wildcats highlighted a number of problems, particularly our inability to deal with offloads from the tackle, which we had little answer to.

“Although I was happy with the win, some of our defensive play was poor.

“We’ve got to correct these areas or else we could be in for a difficult time against Bedford.”

Roosters opened the scoring after 15 minutes through a Jake Peattie try, which Matt Dear converted.

But a converted try 10 minutes later, quickly two by another two unconverted scores saw the big West Norfolk side take a 14-6.

The hosts, though, did eventually start to find their rhythm and, on 35 minutes, David Sykes fed Paul Ashbridge to score near the posts, with Dear once again taking care of the extras.

They then regained the lead a few minutes later as a great break by Michael Drake saw him sidestep a couple of players before setting up Ashbridge for his second try and Dear’s conversion moved the Roosters six points ahead.

But the Roosters’ old habit of losing concentration came back to haunt them as, after a simple drive to the line wasn’t dealt with, another converted try saw the visitors regain the lead.

Although the home side did have the final say of the half, as Alistair Walker crossed under the posts for an easy score which was converted by Dear to give the side a 24-20 half time lead.

The Wildcats’ lack of substitutes was exposed by the Roosters in the second half as they tired in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Roosters were quick off the mark after the break, with tries coming from Tommy Newman, Ashley Eusden and another two from Peattie to complete his hat-trick, all of which were converted.

Ashbridge completed his hat-trick on the hour after the breaking from halfway and the win was capped by tries further from Drake, Sykes and Stefan Gallucci.

All were converted by Dear, who boasted a 100 per cent conversion success rate for the game.

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