So today is to be my last away game of the season, having made the decision that with nothing really to play for, Wharfedale is probably a bit too far for a day trip.
I always enjoy travelling, whether it be with friends as it was a couple of weeks ago or by public transport as is the case today.
For me, Saturdays are always about the whole match day experience, not just the 80 minutes of rugby. Travelling is part of that complete package and although there’s no Sam today to keep me company, the train journeys will still be enjoyable, hopefully. I’ve been blessed with having a son whose love for Cov is probably greater than my own; he’s always great company…I’ll miss him.
I’ve always arrived at grounds a couple of hours early. Doing so allows you get a sense of how the atmosphere changes as kick off approaches and watching the players warm up often tells you something about just how fired up they are. There’s some unwritten law about the number of expletives heard in the warm-up being directly proportional to the intensity of Coventry’s performance – as was certainly the case last weekend against Darlington.
Discovering the relative merits of each club’s cheeseburger is also pretty much an essential part of the day.
If Matt Price’s tweet about it being ‘tag rugby’ today is anything to go by, Coventry could be intending to throw the ball about a bit more and with Dom back in the side and Ryan, Hough, Knox and MacBurnie all finding some space to run into over the last couple of games, a more expansive game might catch Blackheath on the hop a little. Weightman and Hamilton on the bench also add a lot of attacking options should they be required…
We’ll see, but it certainly adds a bit more excitement to the build up.
No great shocks in the match day squad really. Presumably Evans’ back remains a concern so Tresidder stays in the starting XV with Ryan able to deputise should he have to go off. Tom Poole had ‘man ‘flu’ a couple of weeks so his continued absence suggests he might still be struggling and so Daniel Carpo remains on the bench. Thomas and Wright have really impressed me in the last few games and both players seem to be enjoying their partnership in the second row. They were dominant last week and hopefully will be just as prominent again today.
I thought Joe Foreman struggled a little against Darlington’s abrasive front row last week, so it makes sense to have Kivalu start against Blackheath. With Thorne back on the bench, there’s plenty of experience there. For the second week running Jake Farnworth is given the replacement hooker’s role with Devlin Hope now seemingly no longer in the selectors’ minds, having had two starts prior to the Darlington game.
If Cov are to retain 8th position, then they are going to have to come away from Blackheath with a win…Fylde, who are just one place below us, might struggle away to Ampthill, but Plymouth, now in 10th place following their 30 point deduction, might be expected to beat Loughborough even though they are away from home.
It has all the makings of an exciting game. In the corresponding home fixture, Cov dominated the first half but failed to take advantage of several good scoring opportunities and although leading at half time by 11 points, Blackheath turned things around in the second half to win comfortably. Coventry’s pack, which is similar to the one selected for tomorrow’s game, troubled Blackheath and if we can do something similar again, then the backs look like they cause problems, especially with Rob Knox looking more and more dangerous with each game.
For anyone not travelling down to Blackheath, as always I’ll try and tweet regular updates from Rectory Field via Twitter (@Cowshedtim) or if you don’t have Twitter, you can still see the tweets in real time on the top right hand side of the homepage of this blog.
Hopefully, I’ll also post some pre-match photos in the evening…
Come on, Cov…
Spare a thought for Moseley.
Last night they travelled to Championship leaders Bristol for their penultimate game of the season. Sitting at the bottom of the table prior to yesterday’s game, but just 4 points shy of Ealing, they desperately needed the win.
The odds were stacked against them.
Moseley quickly took a 7-0 lead but Bristol scored a penalty try to make the score 7-7 at half time. But then, in an unbelievable start to the second half, Moseley scored two tries (one of which was converted) and a penalty to take a 7-22 lead.
The unthinkable was on the cards. The run away favourites were clearly rattled and Moseley were playing out of their skins.
With just 19 minutes to go they were still 15 points in front. But then the inevitable happened…two Bristol tries took the score to 21-22 and with the very final play of the game and well into injury time, Bristol had a penalty 38 metres out.
Final score 24-22.
Googlebox became secondary to the unfolding events at the Memorial Stadium as Twitter became a constant source of information.
Coventry Telegraph’s Paul Smith, who was there in an official capacity, tweeted:
Last words on @MoseleyRugbyFC tonight. 1. Astonishing effort and commitment levels and wonderful spirit get you a long way
— paul smith (@PaulSwarksrugby) April 15, 2016
By all accounts, Moseley very much deserved to win and Bristol were fortunate to come away with the 4 points. And, whilst selfishly I’d love to see Cov v Moseley back on the fixture list once again, relegation for them might be far harder than for Ealing who have shown their resilience (and their ability to retain their Championship squad) on two previous occasions following relegation into National 1.
Defeat means the Ealing have a three point advantage and a game in hand, so a win for them tomorrow would seal Moseley’s fate (if I’ve read the table correctly…). Ealing have a tough home game against 5th placed Jersey, so it could go down to the final weekend of the season if Ealing don’t win – with Moseley at home to London Scottish and Ealing at home to Rotherham.
Fingers crossed that the results go the right way for Moseley – and if we don’t have the pleasure of meeting them in the league next season, maybe we could arrange a pre-season ‘friendly’…
An interesting tweet yesterday from Parallel Creative:
— parallel creative (@parallelcreate) April 15, 2016
I wonder what the ‘new creative’ refers to?
Parallel Creative describe themselves as:
An award winning Midlands creative agency based in Coventry, Warwickshire. Specialising in marketing, websites, graphic design & Video.
so maybe this really is a new era for Coventry with changes being made right across the club.
Can we expect to see, amongst other things perhaps, a new website which better reflects the needs of its many users, especially those of the individual supporter for whom the present one isn’t the most effective primary source of information?