`Fantastic' Thunder rout shell-shocked Cougars

Dave woods heralded his Gateshead Thunder heroes in the wake of their 36-12 win over Keighley.

Dave woods heralded his Gateshead Thunder heroes in the wake of their 36-12 win over Keighley.

The Cougars came to Gateshead Stadium yesterday seeking a double over Woods' men, but were met by a much sterner outfit than the one they faced last time out.

Sterling defence and incisive attack right from the outset put Thunder in the box seat, and the commitment to the cause was underlined by no-one more so than Pat Williamson.

Slotting in at lock, he smashed his nose in the opening minutes, but played through the pain to help his side to only its second National League Two victory of the campaign.

Woods said Keighley were shell-shocked by the stubbornness and resolve of his men - not to mention the flair going forward.

He said: "To a man they deserve all the praise they will get.

"They were fantastic, and fully deserving of the win. We proved that we can do it when we get things right.

"We never let our heads drop and took the game to them all afternoon.

"It would have been a surprise for them, because we didn't play anything like that at their place.

"But in every aspect we were fantastic - our line speed and physicality in defence were outstanding.

"When we had the ball we used it well, kicked cleverly and kept up the pressure."

Woods said he had told his men to trust in tactics to undo the tough opposition.

He said: "In the week we talked about the fact that it really can be a game of chess: wear down the opposition, strike at the right time and that is all you need to do.

"And we did all of that - it was brilliant."

Thunder led 18-0 at half-time, but after the turnaround conceded two quick tries which threatened to turn the tide.

But back came the hosts, steeling themselves not to lose out again, especially after putting themselves in the box seat.

And Woods was delighted with his men for arresting that little setback.

He said: "At that point they could have thought `here we go again'.

"They could have let their heads drop and thrown in the towel, but they did nothing of the sort.

"They showed their pride, and they were hurt by conceding those points and rallied again to ensure we won all the points.

"Now we must make sure we back it up next week, the week after, and the week after that and get some much-needed momentum."

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