WHISPER it softly, but Plymouth Albion’s bunch of newbies are starting to look like a pretty decent team.
Thus starts the Plymouth Herald’s report of Albion’s home win against Darlington Mowden Park last Saturday.
…they looked like they were still on the coach in the opening 20 minutes
…finished a well-beaten side…not relishing the massive 375-mile journey home.
look in the mirror, own up to what (you) did well and what (you) didn’t do so well, and just take ownership of it. I believe our systems are in place and 100 per cent it’s just confidence
I’m sure confidence is the key…we saw on Saturday how the team played once they’d taken the lead against Fylde, especially in the second half; there was really only ever one team in it by then. The Esher and Blackheath games showed there’s plenty that needs addressing, but on the back of a 53-24 victory there’s signs that real progress is being made.
If Cov can take the last 15 minutes of the game into training this week, then it will surely make the coaches job that much easier over the next few days.
In front of the Cov faithful, plus a few others as well hopefully (!), you have to believe that a resurgent Cov is more than good enough to beat Plymouth Albion. Nick Walshe, the attack coach, has been here a few weeks now and maybe last Saturday we began to see his influence exert itself on the pitch – certainly it was very much back to pre-season again and we looked a different side with ball in hand. It’s unlikely that Plymouth will play the same type of open game as Fylde and I expect we’ll have to work that much harder to create the spaces for the backs to run into. One thing we do know for sure is that in Stokes, Knox, James and Howe (if selected) we have the players who can unlock the door.
…provided the forwards continue to supply the key.
Early days, I know, but Cov have yet to put a two game winning run together in the league. With 8 games played, that’s one of those statistics that comes as a bit of a shock.
Mid-table but without two consecutive wins.
If Cov are going to start climbing the table, then they can’t rely on and odd win here and there. Two wins on the bounce and the run starts and with a series of games to come against eminently beatable teams, suddenly things look a whole lot rosier.
And if this team does get up a head of steam, and if what Brendon Snyman says is correct, then we’ll be a very tough team to beat.
If you missed the Fylde game, you missed a fabulous afternoon’s rugby. Come along on Saturday and you might well see Cov produce another great feast of entertainment.
Come and watch Cov.
We’ve seen and read a lot about the performances of the Wasps Academy players who made their debuts for Coventry at the weekend, and rightly so.
Watching them gave me immense pleasure – as it does watching any youngster play with such skill and confidence, for or against us. I appreciate that for some supporters, using Wasps loanees is a step too far…but not so for me.
But we shouldn’t forget that we also have some very gifted youngsters of our own and whilst they might not be getting quite the plaudits as those currently directed towards the likes of Jack Willis, nevertheless they are doing extremely well at the clubs to which they’re presently attached.
Take Max Titchener, for instance, who looks to have made a fine start to his spell at Newbold if this tweet is anything to go by…
— ➖MT➖ (@maxy_Titchener1) October 15, 2016
Another way of looking at the whole DR debate is to reverse the argument and look at it from the viewpoint of our own Development Squad players. We are just as reliant on junior clubs, like Newbold, giving our talented youngsters those self-same opportunities as Wasps are on us.
And if Max continues to show this sort of form, then further experience, maybe at National 2 before too long, will be the next stepping stone to him one day making his first full league appearance for Cov in the seasons to come – and who knows, maybe even a Man of the Match award as well.
The very fact that we now have our own Development Squad is a really positive move on the part of the club…and after a while, if it becomes a natural progression from the Academy to the Ist XV for just one or two players every year, then it is money very well invested. The problems is, I suppose, if they end up as good as we hope they will be, can we hold onto them…?
…but that’s one for the future.
In the meantime, well done Max and all the best over the coming weeks.
Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see him in the Development Squad games against Moseley coming up before Christmas.
In the meantime…here’s something to whet the appetite.
Boy, the lad can tackle…
Very many thanks to everyone who took part in the ‘Man of the Match’ poll over the weekend. The results of the votes are as follows:
- Jack Willis – 48%
- James Stokes – 19%
- Andy Brown – 13%
With Jack giving such an eye-catching performance on debut, it’s hardly surprising he polled as many votes as he did and such recognition from both supporters and sponsors is deserved for one of the best debuts seen in a Cov shirt for a long time…in fact I’m struggling to think of another – anyone help out?
It’s good, though, that both supporters and sponsors were unanimous in their choices; the idea of the coaches offering up suitable candidates from which the sponsors then select seemed to work well against Fylde, although it was helped by Jack’s stand-out performance.
Given the poll has proved as popular as it has, I’ll run it for the next couple of home games and then review it – even if the decision of the supporters and the sponsors is in agreement, the readers’ poll does indicate how close the decision might, or might not, have been.