Club talk

Coventry’s MVP, Broadstreet and Saturday’s visit to Ant Hill

mystery-man

Coventry’s Most Valuable Player of 2015 is….?

By way of a bit of light relief over the Christmas period, I thought it might fun to see who readers of the blog felt was currently Coventry’s ‘Most Valuable Player’, their MVP.

In short, a poll to determine the players you think have had the biggest impact on the pitch for Coventry since they’ve been with us.

It’s not necessarily going to be the biggest points scorers, nor will it be the most charismatic players in the team. In fact, it might very well  be those players who go unnoticed for much of the game but actually do the hard graft  to provide other players with the platform they need to show off their skills.

Voting ends on Christmas Eve…I’ll repeat the poll at the end of future posts to give everyone the opportunity to cast their vote.

During the 12 days of Christmas, I’ll publish in order, from the 12th place up, the players who accumulated the most votes, culminating in the choice of Coventry’s MPV on the 12th and final day. Provided that is, enough of you take the trouble to vote!

Please do, I’m sure there will be a few surprises…but please vote on the basis of a players contribution on the pitch only.

I’ll think of something to present to the player with the most votes…and hopefully get a photo to include in a future post.

If you’re struggling to reach to a decision, it might help to think of it this way:

  • Ten years from now, who will be the first player from this season that pops into your head?
or:
  • If two Cov Supporters were forced to pick sides and their lives depended on the outcome of the game, who would be the first player picked based on the way everyone played over the last season or two?

I’ve included injured players who haven’t played this season but who played regularly last season but I haven’t included injured players new to the squad or those who have yet to play in a league game.

You have up to 5 votes…please just tick against the appropriate name(s). You don’t have to use all 5 votes, but by using all 5 you open the vote up to more players which adds a bit more interest.

The players will appear in the poll in a random order, not one that I’ve come up with. If the software works, you should only be allowed to have just one set of 5 votes and once you’ve voted you won’t be able to revote  on a different day or through a different post. That’s the theory anyway.

If everyone who reads the daily posts votes, it will be fine. If no one votes, then it obviously won’t work! Please make it happen…

If I have neglected to include someone, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list asap.

I have prevented ‘pollsters’ from seeing the results once they have voted following a couple of requests…!

 

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Caolan Ryan - will he be replacing Jones on Saturday?

Caolan Ryan – will he be Matt Jones’ replacement on Saturday?

Broadstreet’s winning run came to an abrupt end away at Leicester Lions on Saturday where, in very difficult playing conditions, they lost 12-3.

Having put together consecutive wins in the previous two weeks, this defeat drops them down one place in  National 2 North  to 15th, but they are still only 4 points from safety. Whilst I am sure they will be safe by the end of the season, no team is too good to be relegated. ‘Street will need to improve their performances during the second half of the season if they are stay up.

The good news from a Coventry point of view is that Cliffie got through another 80 minutes apparently unscathed and that is particularly significant given what looked like an extremely worrying injury to Matt Jones against Blackheath at the weekend. I would imagine Coventry will be looking closely at Cliffie’s fitness and how his shoulder has stood up to two full games in 8 days. He appears to have been on kicking duties and opened the scoring with a penalty. However, such were the conditions, this was the only points Cliffie amassed all afternoon.

In the highly likely event that Jones won’t be fit, Coventry have a natural replacement in Caolan Ryan who has already had to deputise for Jones earlier in the season, something he did effectively without ever looking as if would make the position his own should Jones be out for an extended period. He seemed more influential at full back where he made some decent breaks from deep.

It might well be that Coventry decide to ‘risk’ Cliffie for the Ampthill game as not only is he the best accumulator of points the club has had since…Jez Harris, Steve Gough or even George Cole…at 26, he also has a very experienced head on relatively young shoulders and would certainly be a calming influence should one be needed.

Equally though, with the club accepting that this is not going to be a promotion chasing season after all, it might be they decide to wait another couple of weeks until after the Christmas break before re-introducing Cliffie into the fray, just to give him a little extra time to nurse his shoulder back to full strength.

If he’s fit and feels good in himself, then he plays for me, though not necessarily at fly half.

There are other options. It’s probably heresy to say that Gaston Mieres has looked fairly ordinary at full back in the last two or three weeks, but he hasn’t been as influential as I might have expected. I’d be tempted to let Cliffie play in his more usual position of full back, allowing either Mieres or Ryan to take the 1o shirt. If Mieres is comfortable at fly half, even if Hodgson doesn’t play then Mieres switching to 10, with Ryan going full back, might be a possibility.

However despite the good news about Cliffie, not everything went to plan at ‘Street. Looking at the report of the game in The Rugby Paper, it would appear that Martin Wolfenden was replaced after just 20 minutes which would suggest that he got a knock of some sort – fingers crossed it’s not a recurrence of his knee problem. I was looking forward to getting my first look at Martin W. but it seems as if that’s been put on hold for a while now. I hope it’s nothing sinister because clearly Martin was beginning to get his fitness back

Tom Preece also played, for 40 minutes, and he continues his comeback. I thought he looked a good prospect in the pre-season games and he might well had another option in the back row. He’s down on the squad list produced by Old Nick as a 6,7 or 8, so his versatility could be a factor in his return. He’s very mobile, something that could be an asset, especially at the breakdown.

Tom looked as if he’d become the first choice no 8 by the start of the season, but since then Jacques Le Roux has returned to the team following a long term injury and is in great form, and we have also recruited Daniel Carpo, so whether he can force himself back into contention remains to be seen.

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I’m gutted I can’t make Ant Hill on Saturday.

I managed to miss both  Ant Hill games last season and given this is the last match for a couple of weeks, I had hoped to be able to make the journey. However, it is not be and I’m sure I’ll  spend a lovely evening at a wedding reception in a nearby hotel, hopefully having a drink or two to celebrate a Cov win.

To be honest, I’m intrigued as to how Ant Hill will fare against Cov. Even an underperforming Cov.

ant1

Ant Hill’s most recent forwards photo, minus the No 8

I’ve only seen them on the tele, and that was a good while back when they were on most weeks, but they never struck me as making good rugby stock.

It’s probably unfair of me to say so, but they certainly didn’t play to the rules then and I can’t see them having changed that much. Cov will have to be at their most-disciplined to avoid getting dragged into various nefarious behaviours that could result in several cards, for both teams.

The referee is certainly going to be busy and his patience will be tested to the extreme.

anthill

Ant Hill – as seen on their way to one of the games this season

That said, I can still remember some of their names…7 in fact. There was Clyde, Ring-A-Ding, Danny, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Kirby and Willy…

…the No 8 left very early on to play in Ireland at the Munsters (bum bum!).

The Mob as they are affectionately known (they wanted to be called Club, but that had already been taken) are best known for their away days, travelling as they do to matches in their infamous Bulletproof Bomb.

Unfortunately, they are reckless on the longer journeys and often get involved in some wacky races.

Anthill2

The Ant Hill ‘coach’

Their captain, Clyde (I can never remember is last name, but I think it might be Barrow as his partner was known as  Bonnie) is extremely unpredictable and is unlikely to finish the game as he often gets embroiled in arguments with his own team.  He played in France (Toulouse, I think) for a while where he was known as Al Carbone…

They have had a decent season by all accounts. Those going to the game should look out for their trademark move. Any set piece near the opposition’s line could see them resort to ‘getaway power’ which involves them somehow extending their legs in unison and running at great speed. It is highly effective and has resulted in several penalty tries as teams have failed to stop them legally.

Coventry be warned.

In a surprising move, Ant Hill will be wearing their new strip on Saturday, sponsored by

In a surprising move, Ant Hill RFC will be wearing their new strip on Saturday, sponsored by Hanna-Barbera

However, one positive…I haven’t looked at the stats yet, but as a team Ant Hill  are all fairly diminutive in stature, so I can’t imagine them being a problem in the line-outs. I certainly don’t see Cov having to defend against the ‘catch and drive’ too often. In fact, I think I can recall one episode (in Arkansas – they must have been touring) where they had to dress up as the seven dwarves to escape a policemen after a post-match session – it became known as the ‘See-Saw to Arkansas’ episode and is still much talked about in certain circles.

It should be a great game and one that Coventry really ought to win.

Make sure, however, you don’t confuse the Ant Hill ‘mob’  with Ampthill.

Now that would be embarrassing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 replies »

  1. Stand by for a flood of suggestions, hopefully, realistic and plausible ones.
    There are many subjects which could be made into a poll but can I suggest one relative to the club’s marketing and publicity activities? You’d probably have to widen it out to the top ten, rather than five, but it could include so many things which could be featured on the website (a massive list springs to mind here), updates and comments on the unoffy board, use of the CT, use of Twitter, Facebook, etc, advertising games via multi-media, and so on.
    Just a thought…………..

    Like

    • I also noticed Courtney ‘ s omission due to wanting to vote for him. I think he happens to be the unluckiest (I don’t know the reasons) in that I don’t feel he has put a foot wrong yet he was one day left out of the squad and so now finds himself at Broadstreet, hopefully temporarily. I would imagine the top 3 are very similar/close. I was undecided on my fifth; between three people.

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      • I think he probably became the scapegoat for the first two defeats against Hartpury and Richmond – those two losses meant the coaches had to make changes and sadly Courtney probably took one for the team. What I don’t understand is why he no longer seems to be in the coaches thoughts…he created a good impression and must be worth another look, given Ben Thomas has yet to prove make the position his own

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  2. Hi Tim, Now that you have added Courtney’s name I have voted again and it appears to have accepted – although I thought you indicated that you could only vote once! But, to be honest, I don’t object to having voted twice for JLR!

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    • Hi Cliff – I’d opened it up for you to re-vote, hopefully it’s closed again now so you won’t be able to vote a third time, hopefully!!! It’s quite interesting at the top now, with only 2% of votes covering the first 5…
      WIll have to see how it progresses over the next few days…seems to be quite a popular post today. Might try some more polls in the coming weeks…any suggestions?

      Like

  3. I’m so glad you’ve pointed that out, Paul, because I was forced to presume that Tim had left him out for a justifiable reason. I was looking for Courtney’s name in order to vote for him.
    So, Tim, if you add Courtney’s name can I have another vote/delete the vote that I have done?

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    • Hi Cliff – it was conscious decision not to include him (or Martin Wolfenden and Tom Preece) because I’d got it into my head that he’s not played any League games, only friendlies. Paul quite rightly queried this, so I’ve now put Courtney into the poll. Apologies to Courtney and family – he certainly should have played many more games by now in my opinion. Nothing other than my memory not being as it was…it would help if there was an up-to-date list of appearances this season on the offy board…but I wont get started on that!

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