Wed. Mar 3rd, 2021

All I know is that to me
You look like you’re lots of fun
Open up your lovin’ arms
I want some, want some

Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round

Sad to hear of the death of Pete Burns yesterday.


If I live to be the same age as Pete,  I’ve got just ten posts left.

9 after this.

I have to say I was never the greatest fan of Stock, Aitken Waterman but they knew how to produce a hit song. Over 100 top 40 hits to be more precise.

But Burns had started in a group (The Mystery Girls) with Julian Cope who was to later form the brilliant The Teardrop Explodes, so he has that going for him at least.

And Burns’ Dead or Alive (no option available to him any more, then?) will be best remembered for their No 1 hit ‘You Spin Me Round’…SAW’s very first no 1.

…and if you’re looking for a connection with Coventry RC, however tenuous it might prove to be, then there it is. Replace ‘Me’ with ‘It’ and you’ve got Cov’s new anthem under Rowland Winter…

‘You Spin It Round’ – the new game plan that sees the ball  spun from left to right, at such a quick tempo…rugby to make you dizzy when played at its best.

Dead or alive. It’s how Cov want to play their rugby.

I want some. Want some.


Plymouth Albion’s match report on their own website provides a very fair and balanced report of Saturday’s encounter, acknowledging as it does that in the end the visitors:

couldn’t find a way to regain possession as the seconds ticked away, affording Coventry a well-earned victory.

I’m terrible at judging the quality of a Cov performance, be it a win or otherwise.

I freely admit that I’m far too partisan at times and invariably if we win by a point, then in my head we were totally dominant and just unable to turn our territorial advantage into points, or if we lose by a similar margin…well it’s down to poor refereeing.

That’s why John Wilkinson’s or John Butler’s reports are always so appreciated…never dogmatic or opinionated, they give a true account of the game I saw, not the one I think I saw.

I always try and remember to read the match report on the opposition’s website, too, just to get a different perspective. Plymouth’s could well have been written by a neutral and certainly was as generous to Cov for their first half performance as it was to Plymouth for theirs in the second.

Plymouth Albion’s report of the game (22/10/16)

Whilst looking for a report of the game in the Plymouth Herald, I did happen to come across an article entitled ‘No pressure on players to get promotion this season, says new Albion boss Priday’.

Now I don’t know about you, but as soon as I read something like that, I always feel that whether they’re intended to or not, they always seem to cause the opposite response.

The very mention of there being no pressure implies there is exactly that; the expectations are that Plymouth should be in the race for promotion this season. The fact that he suggests:

that Albion would continue to push for promotion until it was mathematically impossible to achieve it
is a form of pressure in itself. Mr Priday come across as a man on a mission and I’m sure that to the Plymouth supporters, it’s music to their ears.

It’s an interesting article in which Albion’s new owner boldly states that his goal is to see Plymouth playing Premiership rugby…yes Premiership…by the year 2026.

A ten year plan.

And fair play to Mr Priday. Every club should be ambitious and you can’t get any more ambitious than that. And the time frame isn’t unrealistic, provided the goal is achievable in the first place.

And who’s to say it isn’t, provided the leagues don’t become ring-fenced in the not too distant future?

Certainly not me.

I only include it because it’s a reminder that there are other teams who are just as ambitious as Coventry, with similar expectations as our own.

However, I’m much more comfortable with the Jon Sharp/Rowland Winter approach, one which, as far as I’m aware, has seen no such measurable targets set. At at least not publicly.

A season of consolidation to get the structures in place and then take it from there…

Yes, Championship rugby has been mentioned as a goal, as has getting the ground and facilities to the standard of those found in the Championship and above, but no more than that. It’s implied rather than overt. RW has said he wants Coventry to be playing in the tier above and talked in terms of two or three years perhaps. But no bold targets and for me that’s good because sometimes such targets can come back to haunt you. Otherwise the two clubs have similar hopes/

There are other similarities between Coventry and Plymouth Albion as well. New squads, both teams with new DoRs/Head Coaches, both well supported…but Cov haven’t really allowed themselves to mention the ‘p’ word as yet, despite being just 5 points off Plymouth who remain in 4th place after Saturday’s encounter. And quite rightly so.

A little over a year ago, I do think Cov made the mistake of announcing that the 2015/16 was to be the season we went all out for promotion. The squad had been strengthened over the summer and everything was in place for a determined push to the top and Rosslyn Park were likely to be the only other team who would be a danger to us – I’ve probably oversimplified that a little but that was pretty much the gist. We could only afford to lose 3 or 4 games but everyone was confident.

And by mid-October the season was as good as over having set that target of promotion.

As I mentioned earlier, such clearly defined targets can have a habit of coming back to haunt you.

And Phil Maynard, Scott Morgan and co. were well and truly spooked.

A lesson learned.

This season I think most supporters are very comfortable with the idea of a season’s rebuilding. And, if I’m honest, it takes a bit of pressure off spectators as well – a game lost isn’t the end of the world and a couple of games won and we start to see how the team is really beginning to take shape. We can concentrate on the rugby itself rather than being fixated on the outcome and on league positions which can be the case when you’re having to look constantly over your shoulder to see how everyone else is performing.

Plymouth’s approach works for them and it’s one that we’ve seen employed at Cov before now. I just prefer the route taken by Jon Sharpe and Rowland Winter this season. It’s personal thing and it won’t be too everyone’s liking, but the losses earlier on in the season certainly haven’t created as much angst and depression amongst supporters as they might have done otherwise.

And yes, I’m sure that Cov will fight for every last point right up until the final whistle of the final game of the season…whether promotion is mathematically possible or not. It’s just assumed. What works for one club, doesn’t always work for another.


I really enjoyed reading John Wilkinson’s interview with Boris Stankovich that appeared on the official website today.

The art of scrummaging is a mystery to me and more often than not, when a referee awards a penalty as a result of an infringement in the scrum, I’ve little or no idea as to why it’s been given, even with the referee’s signal to help me. So when Boris explains that…:

There was probably too much movement on opposition ball in the first half. We did speak about it at half-time and made an adjustment, and the boys came back out and did a good job…The scrum will turn naturally on the loose head side, and if you’re the team in possession, more than likely the referee will penalise the side that looks like it is moving as the scrum turns round.

The majority of referees will penalise you there, and that’s something we recognised.

…it makes things that much clearer. And I’d forgotten, or probably hadn’t appreciated, that Cov’s scrum, penalised 3 times in the first half, didn’t fall foul of the referee once in the second. That’s suggests says a lot for the ability of Boris as a coach and to the scrum for being able to correct the problems once they had been identified in the half time break.

One of the real strengths of the Cov squad is the depth we have in the front row. Even without Boris’ presence in the match day squads these last two games, Cov have dominated their opponents up front and caused plenty of problems for them on their own ball. Whatever the combination of props/hooker the coaches have opted for, they have always been a match for the opposition, even in the games where we have been well-beaten against Esher and Blackheath.

Rowland Winter suggested at training last Thursday that Plymouth would present a tougher test up front, which indeed they did, but Cov still got the better of them overall. Hull Ionians have the reputation of being strong in the forwards and I imagine they will fancy themselves to beat us up at Brantingham Park, especially given our somewhat disappointing away record which, if not a concern already, certainly will be if we lose again on Saturday.

And on a personal level, it would be good to make the journey back home from Hull having watched a Cov win for a change – somehow the Blackheath and Esher trips seemed that much longer on the back of such poor performances.

I was relieved to read that Boris felt we had taken: ‘All the right options in terms of kicking our penalties which we probably haven’t done up to now’. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I’d felt that too despite RW’s belief that we’d been a bit too conservative and wondered if that was a feeling that was mine alone. I’ll be interested to see how Coventry use any penalties awarded within a kickable distance on Saturday as Hull shouldn’t pose quite the threat Plymouth did, even away from home.

A possible 7 against a probable 3?

A tough call but maybe Cov can afford to be slightly more attack minded against Hull than they were against Plymouth come the opening salvos.

Saturday was another one of our 50-60 minutes performances and it was as well that we had points in the bank after the restart. I’m not sure why we’ve only really managed one game where we’ve played for the full 80 minute – against Fylde. I’m not convinced it’s down to a lack fitness because the training pre-season was pretty intense and with so many players being full-time and having greater opportunities to put in the necessary gym /endurance work, it shouldn’t be a real problem. And with such close monitoring, problems would soon be picked up.

Whatever the reason(s), Cov now have the experience of a last minute win behind them and they’ll know they have the strength of character to pull back a deficit going into the final minutes of the game;  psychologically that must be so important in tight games where there’s only one or two scores difference going into the final quarter.

Hopefully, training will go well this week with players returning from injury and available for selection come Saturday.

If so, we can go up to Hull in good spirits on the back of two good wins…and come back in better spirits than we have done in recent times.

Here’s hoping.


It would be remiss of me not to include Dead or Alive’s ‘You Spin Me Round’.

Maybe Burns’ image in more recent years wasn’t to everyone’s taste, but together with Stock Aitken Waterman, he knew a catchy little number when he saw one.

Trouble is, more often than not, he’d wear it.




By Tim

3 thought on “You Spin It Round…”
  1. Hi Phil – a couple of really interesting comments, Phil, which, if you have no objections, I’ll incorporate into tomorrow’s post as they are relevant to what I hope to include! Unless I hear otherwise before late this evening, I’ll take that as a yes! Thanks for the comments as always…they are really appreciated!

  2. Hi Tim
    One thing that was certainly noticeable on Saturday was Rowland prowling the touch line in the second half, i maybe wrong but i have not noticed this before and i love this type of passion.
    Regarding the game, possibly the most entertaining that i have witnessed at the BPA, everybody played their part, both Teams, the Officials (I thought the Ref was very good) and the supporters, the Albion fans were a credit to their Club. The game itself was a true Roller coaster ride and to nick it back at the end was one of them moments that will live in the memory for a very long time.

Any thoughts:

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