Club talk

Cov’s season so far in numbers…and Blackheath on Saturday

boring

Please don’t ask…

Having been away for the last three games, I’ve kind of lost track of what’s been happening, so I thought I’d put together some stats/general info regarding Cov’s 2016/17 league campaign so far.

It’s something that I’ll try and keep up-to-date over the course of the season as it’s a useful reference to have at hand in one place, rather than having to keep having to jump from one website to another for the information. I’ll pin it to the front page after the weekend so that anyone wanting to access it can do so without having to search through past posts.

Anyway, some basic Cov statistics (please forgive me if they’re inaccurate…I have relied on a number of sources, most notably Statbunker). Three separate league tables all gave different results for points and total points scored!

Somehow, I always feel more comfortable that first time in the new season when I get out the old anorak…

…off to pack my sandwiches, notepad and binoculars ready for tomorrow.

After 3 rounds of matches:

Current position:  3rd with 11 points and a points difference of 87.

4 behind leaders Hartpury College and just two behind Moseley in 2nd place.

Home record: 1st on 10 points (after 2 games) and a points difference of 82 and averaging 5.0 points per game.

Above Hartpury College on points difference.

Away record: 13th on 1 point (after 1 game) with a points difference of -5 and averaging 1.o point per game.

Tries scored: 1st with 19.

5 ahead of Hartpury in 2nd place.

17 at home and 2 away.

13 scored in the 1st half and 6 in the 2nd.

Tries by position: 9 in the backs, 9 in the forwards and one penalty try.

2 from full back, 4 from the wings, 2 from the centres, 1 from half back, 4 from the back row, 1 from the second row and 4 from the front row.

Tries conceded: 10th with 8 tries (with Blackheath (5) and Hartpury College (3) both having conceded fewer than Cov).

Kicking strike rate: Will Maisey – 10 from 11 (90.91%) and Tony Fenner – 7 from 8 (87.5%).

I think I’m correct in saying that Cov have yet to have a penalty attempt at goal – the only team in the league where this is the case!

Youngest/oldest appearances: Rhodri Adamson (22 yrs and 324 days) and James Pritchard (37 years and 52 days).

Average home attendance: 1st with 1036 (Moseley has a higher figure (1232) but it’s only after the one game – against Cov!).

Average away attendance: 3rd with 1232 (but both teams ahead of Cov have played two away games to our one).

Most points in a match (player): Will Maisey with 16 points.

Caolan Ryan, ex 0f Cov last season and now at DMP, leads the league with 24 points.

Most points in a match team: 2nd with 61 points behind Loughborough on 63.

Coventry has scored the most tries in a match with 8.

Leading points scorers: Will Maisey with 20 points and Tony Fenner on 19 points.

Caolan Ryan, ex 0f Cov last season and now at DMP, leads the league with 39 points.

Leading try scorers: Corey Hircock, Scott Tolmie, Eoghan Grace, James Stokes, Jimmy Litchfield and Max Trimble all on 2 tries each.

Most appearances (in the starting XV): Eoghan Grace, Corey Hircock, James Stokes and Brendon Snyman all on 3 appearances.

Most sin bins: Brendon Snyman and Eoghan Grace both on 1 yellow.

Most red cards: Tom Jubb on 1 red.

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blackThe team announced by Rowland Winter has a very different look to it this week from the one that started the first league game against Loughborough Students, but I must say it’s one that, on paper at least, appears extremely exciting. Once again this week’s changes emphasise just how strong the current squad is.

I remember having a conversation with RW a while back in which he confirmed that he would try and rotate players wherever possible, other than at 2, 9 and 10 (I’m pretty sure it was these positions!) which would be picked purely on merit – given they are such important positions, then it’s a question of the player in form getting the nod.

I mention this only because it’s good to see that Rhodri Adamson and Will Maisey retain their places, rewarded presumably for the form they showed particularly last week, but also whenever they’ve been called upon in previous games. It speaks volumes for the overall depth of the squad that Will can keep out Tony Fenner, with all his experience and the form he has already shown this season. Will’s attacking instincts seem to suit the style of rugby Cov plays and whilst he might not yet have he all-round game of Tony Fenner, I’ve been really impressed with what I seen of him so far this season. And judging by the stats above, his goal kicking has also been very reliable which is a big bonus.

I’m pleased for Rhodri, too. Whilst Sam Grasso remains injured, Rhodri appears to be growing in confidence and since the slightly nervy start he made over in Jersey back in August, he has settled really well and the fact that Sam’s injury hasn’t caused too many selection concerns is down to Rhodri’s current form.

Corey Hircock and Dan Rundle retain their places out wide, and in the continued absence of Max Trimble, these two seem to have the monopoly on the wings at the moment. James Stokes looks far more dangerous from full back and with James Pritchard injured (and abroad?), both Corey and Dan have an opportunity to make their case for a more regular starting spot alongside Max on his return.

Tony Fenner’s move to centre alongside Rob Knox is an interesting one and whilst I do feel some sympathy for Callum MacBurnie, his inclusion is one that I’m looking forward to  immensely. He’ll be able to marshal the backs and whilst we know he is very strong going forward, I was impressed with his defensive work in the pre-season friendlies and I’m sure he’ll add something different. Callum’s time will come, I hope, but with half an eye on next week’s game against league leaguers Hartpury College, a run out for Fenner is no bad thing.

When the final squad was announced over three months ago now, I don’t think many of us realised the versatility that had been built in to the back division. Most players have already played in at least two positions – Adamson at 9 and 10, Maisey at 10 and in the centres, Hircock and Knox in the centre and on the wings, Stokes and Pritchard at 15 and on the wings and so on. Most have shown the ability to play comfortably in either position, thus giving the coaches plenty of opportunities to mix and match players according depending on fitness, availability and the strength of opposition. It means that no player need be over-used and, hopefully, should reduce the number of injuries over the course of the season if players continue to be rotated as they are at present.

In the forwards, Andy Brown’s omission from the squad is surely also a case of him being rested and with Boris in the starting XV and Jimmy Litchfield available from the bench, the front row remains strong with options open to RW should they be needed. Even despite a few second half concerns last week, the scrum remains a real strength.

With Brendon Snyman unavailable, there’s also a welcome return for Rob Conquest following the enforced layoff following concussion during the pre-season friendlies. With Tom Jubb still unavailable, Rob teams up with Tom Poole in the second row. In effect, this is our reserve pairing, yet both would walk into most other National 1 teams. For a couple of seasons Cov suffered from a paucity of quality second rowers and now we have four! I’m sure both Rob and Tom will be itching to make their mark and put pressure on Brendon and Tom next week.

It’s very rare as a supporter, especially a Coventry supporter in recent years, to be able to welcome any member of the squad into the team and know that actually the strength and balance of the team won’t suffer unduly. Last season’s recruitment was all about adding players who would be of at least as good as those retained, but for whatever reasons once injuries hit us, the team failed to perform and the blame seemed to fall from the top down on the quality of the players coming into Cov over the close season, something which seemed rather unfair.

I know comments coming out of the club upset a number of supporters at the time…

… but how things have changed just 12 months on.

The strength of the recruitment and preparation over the summer is such that players can be moved in and out of the team from one week to another without any noticeable disruption. Much of this is presumably down to the work done over the summer by the coaches  in preparing players. Everyone knows their role and the way the team plays, making it that much easier for players to come into the match day squad as and when required.

The back row remains the same as the one that started the game last week against Macclesfield, with Ali Bone taking over from Olly Povoas on the bench. Sam Harry and Alex Smit are also replacements, with Sam fresh from scoring two tries whilst guesting for Wasps in an ‘A’ League fixture earlier in the week, so I’m sure he’ll be looking to get a run out tomorrow. Alex also guested in the same game. Whilst this only leaves just the one back on the bench, I think Darrell Dyer has played out on the wing before now…and from memory, Alex Smith came to us originally a couple of years ago as a wing/scrum half so there are lots of permutations available.

I have always enjoyed the away games…all too often I’ve had to travel by train in recent years, so the thought of being able to sit back and relax on the supporters’ coach is one that is particularly appealing. The Supporters’ Club Committee have provided supporters with a really cost effective way of attending away games. Not only is the coach priced at a very reasonable £15 return, the £4 saving on the price of  ground entrance is really welcome. I dread to think how much two train tickets would have set me back!

The cost of away travel for members of the Supporters’ Club is such that I think the savings made on the away trips to Moseley, Blackheath and Esher mean anyone who has gone on just those three trips alone will covered the initial cost of their membership fee…irrespective of all the other savings to be made. All-in-all, I think that’s pretty impressive and Cliff Bennett must take the plaudits for negotiating with other clubs a reduced entrance fee for traveling Coventry SC members.

I hope Cov will be offering something similar for away supporters coming to the BPA, although from speaking to Cliff it would seem that Cov are the only National 1 club with a Supporters’ Club in operation. Something of a surprise, that one.

I know the club ‘tweeted’ updates of the scores from the Macclesfield game  last Saturday, something which I greatly appreciated, something I thing they intend doing again tomorrow. I’ll try and add a bit more info from the game as and when if anyone is interested (scorers, sin bins, replacements etc)…please just let me know in advance (provided there’s a signal, of course).

As always, good luck to everyone involved in Cov’s game on Saturday, especially the players, coaches and travelling supporters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 replies »

  1. Wills miss passes were outstanding last week. So much space was created for the outside “backs” (or forwards… whoever was there!)

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    • I agree with that great passes missing three out at times just hope some of them hit dan in space this sat good luck to all involved.

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      • Hi Jeff/Paul…yes, his general distribution is excellent and he has good quick hands, as indeed does Rhodri Adamson. I’m not sure that he’s as strong defensively as Tony Fenner. but that’s something I’m sure the coaches will be working on. Fenner is a very strong tackler! With Maisey at 10 and TF at 12, there should be plenty of opportunities to use the backs and I’m sure we’ll see Dan and Corey get a fair bit of the ball provided the forwards are able to get them the ball…and so far they managed to that very effectively. I still think players have got to be more savvy about when to run from deep and when to kick…we do sometimes get ourselves into difficulties by trying to be too attack minded, which is fine if you’re 20 or 30 points up but less so when it’s a tight game.

        Anyway…we’ll find out just how effective the Maisey/Fenner 10/12 pairing is in just a few hours time.

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