In the time between the aftermath of the Saturday game and the build up of the following week’s fixture, it’s always quite interesting to look at the official match reports to be found on the respective clubs’ websites to get a feel of how the previous game was viewed by the two clubs.
This is particularly true of the Richmond game.
Take for instance the description of Matt Price’s try.
John Butler, in the Cov report described it as follows:
Tresidder & (sic) the impressive Gaston Mieres were both involved in the build up, top try scorer Matt Price appearing on the wing before showing an impressive turn of pace to crash over. Cliffie Hodgson converted well for 7 points all.
Whereas someone going by the name of ‘jeng’ described it in the following way on the Richmond website:
From a line out, Coventry won quick ball, moving it straight to outside centre before switching it back. Full back Mieres ran a lovely arc and found hooker Matt Price still in his line out position. To roars, the hooker trundled in from the 22 and Cliffie Hodgson added an excellent conversion
Clearly some agreement, but when it comes to Matt Price’s heroic sprint for the line (as ever, I remain totally neutral in all this), JB goes for ‘An impressive turn of pace’ whilst jeng opts for ‘trundled in from the 22’.
I guess you ‘pays your money and makes your choice’, but just in case you weren’t there, haven’t yet seen the footage, or just want to enjoy the moment once more, here’s a chance to decide for yourself…
As I said previously, it looks like a desperate sprint followed by a dive for the line with several players in close pursuit to me…Dan Rundle watch out.
So, a trundle or a Rundle?
The comment in the Richmond review that Matt was ‘still in his line out position’ is a spurious one as the clip clearly shows him moving centre field as the ball goes left.
To be fair though, the Richmond review itself is an honest and reasonable write-up of the game, in the same way as Coventry’s is. I’m not sure I’d agree that the Richmond scrum was ‘dominant all afternoon’, although it in the opening exchanges it looked as if it might go that way. Foreman, Price and Kivalu withstood several scrums at crucial times and had the Coventry scrum been going backwards in the final 20 minutes, I don’t think Scott Morgan would have hesitated to throw Chad Thorne into the fray. The truth is, he wasn’t needed as the front row held firm.
However, I did find Steve Hill’s comments at the end of the report patronising in the extreme and totally unnecessary, given the game had been played in the spirit that competitive rugby always be played…fair and hard, but above all in an atmosphere of respect.
Hill made reference to the Butts as having:
what must be the worst pitch in the league.
Now that’s a bit rich coming from a the Director of Rugby at a club that doesn’t even have their own pitch for starters (I’m warming up now) and…and given the rain in the week, followed by the freezing overnight temperatures on the Thursday and Friday, there were those amongst us who actually thought the game might be in doubt. Mick Carter posted on the messageboard his thanks praise for Eric Richardson, and well it was deserved, too. Sour grapes…I rather think so, and if it isn’t then it certainly comes across as such. Totally unnecessary in my view.
Hill also made the rather strange comment that he felt his team was playing ‘against the Coventry squad’…now I’ve no idea what he means by that remark, but it was obviously meant in a very disparaging way. Did he feel that the bench was in some way getting involved when in a way it shouldn’t have been, perhaps?
Whatever was meant by the remark, the quote in the Richmond report gives the impression of a man disappointed by his team’s failure to achieve the win, especially as the DMP v Blackheath game was postponed, thus giving Richmond the chance of widening the gap between the first and second placed teams. A chance they flunked.
I feel I must quote a friend who, on reading the report, came out with the brilliant line:
Seems like the only bit of class they have is within their team, not off it
I do so wish I’d thought of that….
For the full match report, click below:
In two or three posts I’ve questioned what benefits Broadstreet might be accruing from their partnership with Coventry RFC. Below is a quote from a previous entry that sums up where I coming from:
….what I’m not quite so certain about the benefits that Broadstreet gain from working closely with Coventry. I know one of the arguments is that they profit from having players of at least National 1 level turning out for them, but given their current position in National 2 North, this isn’t quite working out as hoped, is it? With Cov players coming in and out of the team fairly regularly as appears to have happened so far this season, is this preventing consistency and adding to ‘Street’s problems, as well as preventing ‘Streets own players from getting valuable game time in the 1st XV?
It’s come as no surprise therefore that this is now becoming a topic of discussion on the messageboard, albeit within a thread alluding to another subject. AgentB (I know, I know) makes the comment that:
The clubs have worked very well together for the last 2 seasons, recently things have changed. I understand playing resources often get stretched through the season and Cov need to make full use of their squad but to close down lines of communication and make Street feel they are a pain when trying to plan their matchday squad it looks like an Axe is being ground at The Butts Park by someone.
The veracity of this is, of course, questionable.
But a couple of things ring true to me…
Firstly, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if ‘Street are finding it difficult to plan teams for match days given the need for Coventry either to recall players at pretty short notice (Joe Foreman, for example, a couple of weeks ago). Or, conversely, to request players are included in the ‘Street match day squads in order to gain some much needed game time after returning from injury and prior to a return to the Coventry team.
but to close down lines of communication…
Kind of sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
Now I wouldn’t have returned to this topic were it not for the fact that there is an article on ‘Street’s website at the moment asking supporters to ‘Help out your club whilst you watch the Wasps at The Ricoh’, with instructions to:
ensure that the club gets the best cashback from the Wasps offer please follow these steps when following the banner ad on the home page of Broadstreet RFC
If ever there was an indication that ‘Street are beginning to distance themselves from their links with Cov, this is it. If Coventry have been critical of the pitch as well, then small wonder that Broadstreet are inclined to accept support of a financial nature from Wasps.
Now before anyone jumps down my throat, I’m aware that there will be another side to this…Coventry’s side. And if it’s just rumour, then it’s one of those rumours that could so easily be put to bed with a quick update via the website on what is happening with regards the partnership with ‘Street.
But history tells us that this is unlikely to happen, unless someone like John W writes a feature on it for the Coventry telegraph. Realistically, though I doubt whether we’ll hear anything until the next Fans’ Forum, which probably won’t be until August. And in the meantime the rumours will grow.
The worry for me is that the facilities at Broadstreet would be ideal for Wasps to develop into a purpose built training ground, something we know that they are interesting in acquiring from previous reports in the media. If the present links with Coventry aren’t working as hoped, then a quickie divorce come the end of the season frees them to become the Wasps bedfellows, and that wouldn’t be good news for Cov.
With a further 3 injuries suffered during the Richmond game (Poole, Tresidder and Le Roux), I think I’ve lost count of the players who are presently out of action. What would be good is if the club could put an update on the website, or on the messageboard unofficially, of the players affected, the nature of the injuries suffered and a rough indication of how long it could be before we expect to see the players back in contention for a place in the team.
It would also stop speculation when players aren’t included on the team sheet on a Thursday or Friday. For instance, when George Oliver was missing from the team for Richmond, there were several of us who were very puzzled, given it wouldn’t have been the first time George had been ‘rested’ (or the second or third???). When a team is announced and changes are made, I wonder if it would be possible for a brief footnote to be added to indicate the reason for the absence (sick, injured, gone AWOL or whatever)…?
PR idea no 45.
A crazy idea this one…but sometimes crazy is good.
I’ve been really impressed with the video footage that Camera Shake (aka Martin) provides for supporters on the messageboard. I just wonder if it would be possible to make the whole game available on a disk at a nominal £2-£3 (or even £5 to include the programme as well), for sale at the following home game, with the profits shared between Martin and the club. It wouldn’t cost a great deal to have them professionally burned, perhaps 250 per match, particularly if the club already have a contact. And it might make a few hundred quid a game, which over a 15 home games a season, adds up.
I believe the club has ownership of the footage and I doubt whether there are copyright implications (the tries are sometimes put on YouTube so it shouldn’t be a problem), but it’s something that I’m sure a lot supporters would be interested in, especially if you could build up a library of Cov’s home games. You could have Christmas box sets, Valentine editions in heart-shaped boxes, Easter eggs containing a disk etc etc….all sorts of marketing potential).
There are plenty of ex-pats and parents and family of overseas players who would welcome this and it could really boost interest in the club beyond those who normally attend. Kids would love it, too – the chance to watch their heroes, even if t’s a game Cov lose.
The argument might be that by purchasing a disk, you could actually be encouraging supporters to stay away from the odd game at a time when attendances are a concern anyway. However, you could prevent this by making the disks available to season ticket holders only (one per ticket), so in effect they’ve paid for their entrance even if they weren’t at the game, or by putting a ‘coupon’ into the match day programme that enables you to purchase the disk for that game when it becomes available.
I just know I’m ignoring a really obvious reason why it can’t be done and it’s going to be pooh poohed, but then hopefully someone will come along and pooh pooh the pooh pooh (for anyone who enjoys Blackadder).
As I said, a crazy idea.