Coventry v Rosslyn Park – more lies, damned lies….
Last week’s stats on Fylde seemed to prove popular so I’ve done something similar this week for the Rosslyn Park game. They do provide some surprises. What they certainly don’t do is offer answers to many of the concerns raised by Coventry’s recent run of poor performances, but they should generate plenty of discussion. I guess some of what is detailed below will have formed the basis of conversations amongst the coaches and within the training sessions this week.
So, here we go…
Home/away league tables
Coventry 9th in the league based on home games only (av. 2.5 pts pg)
Rosslyn Park 8th in the league based on away games only (av. 3.0 pts pg)
Verdict: Park’s away form is better than Coventry’s home form. Not a great stat to begin with!
Coventry: 24 (14 home, 10 away, 14 first half, 10 second half)
Rosslyn Park: 28 (17 home, 11 away, 13 first half, 15 second half)
Rosslyn Park have scored more tries in total than Coventry, but are not as prolific away from home. Cov tend to score more tries in the first half, whilst Richmond, like Fylde last week, tend to score more in the second half. However, only 11 tries of their tries have been scored in the last 20 mins of the first half and the first 20 mins of the second half, suggesting Park tend to start and finish strongly in comparison with the rest of the game.
Verdict: Coventry must make sure that they don’t switch off in the last 20. A strong bench could help here.
Coventry: 21 (12 home, 9 away, 12 first half, 9 second half).
Rosslyn Park: 20 (8 home, 12 away, 9 first half, 11 second half).
As well as scoring more tries in the second half, Rosslyn Park also tend to concede more tries here as well, particularly in the last quarter (7 in total). Perhaps with the game opening in the final quarter, Park’s defence is a little more suspect?
Verdict: Coventry mustn’t sit on the 40m line and wait as they have tended to do; they must attack more. A willingness to play in Park’s 22 late on is a must both to make the most of errors as a result of tiredness in the final quarter and to ensure that RP have to attack from deep if they are going to score.
Tries by position – for
Coventry: backs 11, forwards 13 (front row 8, centres 8).
Rosslyn Park: backs 12, forwards 16 (back row 10).
Verdict: Coventry, even in the absence of Knox, still have the ability to score through their centres, and the front row (especially Price and Hope) are a potent threat. For Park, its pretty evident that the back row are the real danger, although what’s not clear is how many of these are from close range, the result of catch and drives or rolling mauls. Hugo Ellis will, as always, be someone Cov have to keep a close eye on.
Tries by position – against
Coventry: 21 – 10 in the backs (7 from the wings), 9 in the forwards and 2 penalty tries.
Rosslyn Park: 20 – 14 in the backs, 6 in the forwards.
Verdict: IMPORTANT! The vast majority of tries scored against Park have come through the opposition backs and all of those through the centres and half backs (none through the wings or full back). With our centres scoring most of our tries, it suggest we could have a significant advantage here, provided we allow the backs into the game. It would seem that in the last 5-10ms, Rosslyn Park’s defence must be strong given they have only conceded 5 tries though opposing forwards, adding weight to importance of letting the backs run at Park.
Points given up
Rosslyn Park have conceded 4 tries away from home twice so far this season. Coventry have conceded 4 at home once. No real advantage to either side here, perhaps Coventry slightly more likely to get the additional bonus point than Park…?
Verdict: A close game in prospect…?
Coventry: 11 yellows/1 red – worst in the league. This doesn’t include Evans’ second yellow last week that was converted into a red – average of 1.57 cards a game (7 first half, 4 second half, 4 home, 7 away).
Rosslyn Park: 3 yellows – equal best in the league – average of 0.43 a game (1 first half, 2 second half, 2 home, 1 away).
Park have only had 2 yellows away from home. Coventry have had 4 at home, but their discipline is appalling and could prove costly in a tight game. A definite concern.
Verdict: Coventry remain in danger of losing at least one player for 10 minutes.
Half time win table
Coventry have led at half time in 4 of their 7 games, going on to win all of them, still the best conversion rate in the league.
Rosslyn Park have led at half time in 6 of their games, winning 5 of them.
In a losing position at half time in 1 game, Park went on to lose the game. Coventry have lost all 3 games in which they were trailing at the half way mark. Going into half-time with a decent lead means Cov would be strong favourites to win the game.
Verdict: Coventry need to have a lead at half time!
Kicking strike rate
Matt Jones – Coventry: 66.67% (14/22C, 12/17P).
Tom Whitely – Rosslyn Park: 73.68% (8/13C, 6/6P).
Matt’s had an inconsistent time with the boot this season; a capable kicker but less reliable than he should be at this level. Tom Whitely has shared kicking duties with Sam Stanley. His success rate is good and clearly Cov can’t afford to give him any opportunities to kick for goal. And with Cov’s tendency to give away far too many penalties; that’s going to be a big ask.
Verdict: Park to win the battle of the kickers .
Leading points scorers
Coventry: Matt Jones with 55 points (11C, 11P).
Rosslyn Park: Tom Whiteley with 49 points (15C, 8P).
Leading try scorer
Coventry: Matt Price with 4 (Knox 3, Hope 3).
Rosslyn Park : Hugo Ellis with 6.
Verdict: Ellis must fancy his chances of adding to his total on Saturday. Few would bet against him doing so.
Coventry average 1,163 at home games, the highest in the league.
Verdict: a bigger than average crowd must get behind the team and roar them on. It’s been all too quiet in the last two games.
I’m sure the coaches of both teams will have far more detailed stats, but it’s a bit like Championship Manager – how do you set up your team to play to its strengths whilst also being aware of those of the opposition? Let’s hope Cov get it all right on Saturday.