Wednesday’s poll asking supporters to pick their own side to play Hartpury proved to be extremely popular, drawing a bigger response than for any other poll conducted as part of this blog, other than last year’s Christmas MVP award, which some of you will recall was won by Jacques Le Roux.
Readers were able to select from pretty much the entire squad, with the presumption that everyone was both fit and available to play, discounting Cliff Hodgson and Pete White (although it appears that both these players are now either fit enough to be considered or training which is brilliant news both for them and the club).
I’ve published the team selected by supporters below, with the obvious rider that this is purely an ‘academic’ exercise and the team consists simply of the most popular choices from each position, taking no other factors into account (such as the strengths of the opposition, likely conditions and so on). It comes with a hefty disclaimer – this is purely for fun and is just a way of gauging what the consensus is amongst those supporters who voted.
It really is no more than that!
The numbers against the name of the player reflects the percentage of votes gained within that category…so Andy Brown, for instance, achieved 18% of the total vote in the props/hooker category. The bench is made up of one prop, one hooker, one back rower, one scrum half and a utility back and are all the next highest scores in their particular group.
- Andy Brown (18)
- Scott Tolmie (24)
- Phil Boulton (20)
- Tom Jubb (37)
- Brendon Snyman (37)
- Brett Daynes (24)
- Eoghan Grace (31)
- Darrell Dyer (29)
- Sam Grasso (39)
- Will Maisey (24)
- Max Trimble (28)
- Tom Wheatcroft (35)
- Rob Knox (41)
- Dan Rundle (25)
- James Stokes (27)
- Matt Price (11) FR, 17. Boris Stankovich FR (16), 18. Ali Bone (9), 19. Rhodri Adamson (23), 20. Tony Fenner (23)
I imagine that there aren’t any great surprises in there, other than at half back perhaps where Will Maisey gets the nod ahead of Tony Fenner . Corey Hircock deserves a mention as he’s probably a more versatile player than Tony Fenner, but Fnner gets to be on the bench because he was really only up against one other player, Will Maisey, whereas Corey had to go head-to-head with Tom Wheatcroft, Callum MacBurnie and Rob Knox, so his total number of votes gets diluted somewhat. The battle for the props was a very closely run contest and both Jimmy and Boris only just missed out.
Anyway, a decent enough looking side and one that you’d hope would give any team in the league a run for it’s money. That said, it’s been a while since we’ve had a team that is even close in its make-up to that, especially in the backs. This weeks match day squad again shows several changes, which is no bad thing given not just the size of last week’s defeat, but also the manner of it. With several players still unavailable, there’s an ideal opportunity for the likes of Callum MacBurnie, Corey Hircock and Sam Harry to further their claims. By having a strong game on Saturday, they’ll make it very hard for Rowland Winter to drop them for those returning from injury or absence. For that reason, and for that reason only, I hope we see them in the starting XV next week as well – with no disrespect intended to those waiting in the wings.
And on a final note, very many thanks to everyone who took part in the poll – whilst most readers of the blog live outside of Coventry and so don’t get the opportunity to watch Coventry (and therefore didn’t feel qualified to vote), to still get over 100 people taking part in the poll was very pleasing.
Also in Wednesday’s post, I made mention of Nelly, the elephant that seems to have been adopted by the Coventry squad as something of a mascot and is handed out to a different player each week for safe-keeping. Last week it was Rob Conquest who had the honour of being keeper of the Coventry pachyderm and, after several days in hiding, she has now appeared in the safe hands of one Sam Smith (the rugby player, not the son).
Now I say in safe hands but, as you can see, it seems Nelly has opted for an even safer haven somewhere else…
…someone rather less dignified than myself would at this point start making rather course remarks about the size of the trunk (Nelly’s that is) or something along the lines of ‘is that a jumbo sausage in your shorts or are you just pleased to see me?’…
…but that just isn’t my style.
No, certainly not. Instead, I can only hope that Nelly is now being well-looked after and the RSPCA drop the charges against Sam some time in the future.
And I certainly hope Nelly is given a good wash before being passed on to the next lucky owner – by the look of it she’ll be left with one or two stains on her character come the end of the week.
I did contact Sam to see if he would mind me using the photo, to which he very kindly agreed. Thanks, Sam, much appreciated….!
I’ll try and track the whereabouts of Nelly next week and update the blog accordingly.
Yesterdays post, including as it did The Saturdays, was definitely one for dads…I hope this redresses the balance somewhat.
— Coventry Rugby (@CoventryRugby) September 29, 2016
I’m sure most folk will have got to see the new kit by now either via the main website or on social media but, just in case, well…here it is.
First impressions? Positive (ish).
For those of us who are no longer in the flush of youth and for whom every bit of spare flesh has gone south for the winter, spring, summer and autumn, any shirt design worn by the players is going to look as if it’s been sprayed on…and this year’s is no exception.
So I’m left hoping that the supporters’ shirts will be in a material that is far less constricting and far more forgiving (especially when it comes to the match day burgers).
That said, I do like the design of both.
RW said he was going back to a by-gone era and the wider hoops certainly have that feel and I do like the look, although again the older you get the more you tend to want to cover your neck, either through vanity because the facelift wont stretch quite that far, or because it gives you just a little more protection from the wind that rips through the main stand in the colder months. It’s a simple, with a minimum of fuss and, with more blue in the shoulder areas compared to last season, I think it’s a definite improvement.
But the shorts…Oh my God! It’s as if Ali Bone has been given a pair of soccer shorts from a bygone era! Needless to say, I’m not a great fan, but maybe it’s just the way he’s modelling them! Perhaps Cov are trying to economise by saving on the material…?
Love the away strip though! Not quite as good as last year’s, the shocking pink number the non-appearance of which still gets my hackles up, but once again there’s the problem of the absence of a collar (I wonder if they’ll put one on the supporters’ version…?) but that apart, it’s striking and slightly in the face of tradition which is no bad thing.
If I had to choose one to wear…?
Probably the home strip simply because the blue and white hoops are pure Cov , but I’m hopeful Santa maybe reading this and she’ll take the hint about the away strip, too…
and MissRugbyUSA – if you’re reading this, the Cov shop opens soon, so yours will be on it’s way shortly!
And finally, here’s an update of the stats, to include Saturday’s defeat at the hands of Blackheath.
Sadly, they don’t make quite such good reading as this time last week.
Stats marked with an asterisk (*) have not been updated on Statbunker so remain the same as last week – apologies.
After 4 rounds of matches:
Current position: 8th with 11 points and a points difference of +45.
Home record: 2nd on 10 points (after 2 games) and a points difference of 82 and averaging 5.0 points per game.
Behind Hartpury College on points difference.
Away record: 15th on 1 point (after 2 game) with a points difference of -55 and averaging 0.5 points per game.
Tries scored: 2nd with 20.
3 behind Hartpury in 1st place.
17 at home and 3 away.
14 scored in the 1st half and 6 in the 2nd.
Tries by position: 9 in the backs, 10 in the forwards and one penalty try.
2 from full back, 4 from the wings, 2 from the centres, 1 from half back, 5 from the back row, 1 from the second row and 4 from the front row.
Tries conceded*: 10th with 14 tries (with Blackheath (5) and Hartpury College(3) both having conceded fewer than Cov).
Kicking strike rate: Will Maisey – 11 from 12 (91.6 %) 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
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 ( Cov 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.
Hartpury has scored the most tries in a match with 9 – Coventry 2nd 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 53 points.
Leading try scorers: Corey Hircock, Scott Tolmie, Eoghan Grace, James Stokes, Jimmy Litchfield, Darrell Dyer and Max Trimble all on 2 tries each.
Most appearances (in the starting XV): Eoghan Grace, Corey Hircock, James Stokes – all on 4 appearances.
Most sin bins: Brendon Snyman and Eoghan Grace both on 1 yellow.
Most red cards: Tom Jubb on 1 red.