The blog on the Tyne…
I’m in Newcastle this weekend, looking forward to the Scotland v Samoa game. However, a few final thoughts on Cov’s visit to Hull…
Rolling-maul.com run a prediction league that takes place over the whole season. Every week those involved predict the outcome of the National 1fixtures (other leagues have a similar competition), guestimating the number of league points each of the competing teams will earn from their respective matches. So a team that wins and earns a bonus point for scoring 4 tries will have 5 points and a team that loses, but by 7 or less, also scoring 4 tries, gets 2 points, as in National 1 itself.
On a Friday evening/ Saturday morning I always look to see how the predictions for the Coventry game that weekend are going, just to get an idea of how supporters of teams other than Coventry (there are a couple of Cov supporters who take part, but never that successfully!) think we will get on. It gives a snapshot of how the neutral see Coventry performing at any point in the season. As of 10.30 pm Friday evening, 48 predictions had been made. Of these 38 (or 79%) suggest that Coventry will come away with at least a win, with no-one going for a draw and 10 (21%) opting for the home win.
That surprises me a little given Hull are above us in the league at the moment, have scored more league points than us and we contrived to lose our last away game to Richmond with some ease, our second loss of the season. I can only assume that as it is still early in the rugby calendar, Coventry remain as one of the promotion favourites, despite these early losses. Whilst I believe that Coventry should beat Hull, I certainly am not that confident; they will have to be at their best to stem a Hull side that is full of confidence from such an encouraging start to the season.
There is some added room for optimism though. A closer look at the league table shows that although Hull have a one league point advantage over Coventry, they have actually scored one point less and conceded 56 points more, an average of over 10 points a game. If these statistics show us anything, they do suggest that Hull’s defence is a little less solid than Coventry’s. If we can get some decent ball, allow the likes of Tincknell, Weightman, Lespierre and Hamilton some space to run into, then they could do some real damage.
Clutching at straws, perhaps, but as I said, I remain hopeful. But we do concede penalties, and far too many at that. Kicks to the corner and the following mandatory catch and drive are notoriously hard to defend against and it seems as this is something of a strength up in Hull. Let’s hope the coaches have done their work this week and that Coventry ensure that Hull don’t get the chance to show us just how good they are 5 meters out.
It’s a hard one to call, and I can’t see any justification for the faith that so many of the rolling-maul tipsters have placed in Coventry to come away with the spoils. It will be close, I believe. But how close…?
Me, I’d go for:
Hull 1 – Coventry 4
Rolling-maul.com? I hope that’s not a bad omen for Coventry.