Whilst it might not have been the most entertaining of contests last Saturday, I had thought that Coventry’s game against Blaydon had been fairly contested, bereft of any controversy or incidents that might have left either side disillusioned or disgruntled come the final whistle.
Cov won, despite a great fightback from a Blaydon side that had every right to be disappointed at the loss, but certainly not aggrieved.
Or so I thought.
Until I read the Blaydon match report…
…and I might need some help with this.
It would appear that Blaydon believe that in the final minutes of the game:
(Blaydon) got straight back to the other end however and with a winning try beckoning were denied in a most unsatisfactory manner.
Now I certainly have a recollection of ‘an’ incident, but from where I was sitting, which was in the main stand adjacent to the Blaydon 35m line, I couldn’t be clear as to what happened. There was a lengthy stoppage for an injury just to the left of the posts and a few metres out that resulted in the Blaydon No 13 leaving the field, walking off under his own steam and looking okay, but apparently unable to continue.
According to the Blaydon report:
Blaydon were denied what would have been an important victory against 6th placed Coventry in a contentious incident with just 2 minutes remaining. Deep into the home 22 they had a three man overlap with centre Tom Grimes heading for the line only to be felled and concussed by an illegal tackle which could have warranted a penalty try and a red card, but neither was forthcoming
Now the Coventry crowd are nothing if not vociferous and are always intolerant of foul play, on either side. No mention was made of a tackle that might have been deemed unfair, let alone one that warranted a red card either at the time or later on the Messageboard.
None at all.
Now the other thing that is a little strange, to my mind anyway, is that although the incident did indeed happen with 2 minutes remaining before the end of normal time, there was actually at least 10 or 12 minutes between Tom Grimes’ exit from the pitch and the final whistle. Indeed, after the incident there were two scrums, the second of which was awarded to Blaydon after Cov held the ball up over the line…it was from there that Blaydon drove over to take the lead.
There was still aa awful lot of play left after Blaydon scored.
I only know this because I tweeted at the time to say a Blaydon player had left the pitch (with his name) and, by checking what tweets followed, it I know for sure that it was a minute or two before Cameron Bell went over in the 78th minute of the game…so the loss of a potential try isn’t that relevant as they scored almost immediately afterwards anyway.
If indeed he was concussed by an illegal tackle (and that in itself doesn’t necessitate a red card) the only gripe that could be made was that we had the extra player for those final minutes.
Now it might well have been an illegal tackle worthy of a straight and, if Blaydon are correct, with a penalty try to boot (‘with a winning try beckoning..) but I am rather surprised that no one else has mentioned anything to that effect…and in fairness, it wouldn’t have been a winning try as was proved a couple of minutes later when Blaydon did score, only for Cov to go down the other end and score the winning try themselves.
Did anyone else get a better view of what happened…if I’ve got it wrong will gladly repost something to that effect?!
All a bit of a shame really, because the game seemed to have been played without any niggles up to that point. That said, a couple of minutes later it did look as if the referee awarded Cov a penalty under out posts for what might have been something Blaydon had said, although I was a long way off..?
It was the one that resulted in THAT Cov lineout – the ‘poor one’… 🙂
It just shows how differently we all see the same events and, as I tweeted at the end of the game, Blaydon played well in the second half and might well have felt they deserved more out of the game.
But certainly not for the reasons above, but that’s just my own opinion.
‘A winning try…denied in a most unsatisfactory manner’.
A few comments elsewhere have suggested Blaydon were a very poor side – I have to say I think that’s a bit harsh. They stemmed the Coventry tide that after 25-30 minutes was in danger of sweeping them aside and then caused us some very uncomfortable moments in the final 50 minutes; at times Coventry’s defence was stretched to the limit. Having beaten Fylde the weekend before and taken us to the wire at the Butts, they seem to have found a bit more confidence and to match us upfront was no mean effort at all.
It was a performance which was described on the Blaydon website as:
their best rugby of the season
Blaydon seem to survive on a shoestring with the lowest attendances in National 1. Without wanting to appear in any way patronising, as a Cov supporter it always seems a real achievement for them, a with Hull, just to retain their place in tier 3 of national rugby and the fact that they have a such a fantastic record against us since 2011 is indicative of what they have achieved.
One thing is for sure, Blaydon will be looking forward to the return fixture up at Crow Trees in early March. Never the easiest of places to visit, I rather think that Blaydon will feel they have a point to prove…or 4 to be precise.
Such close games, those where we fail to produce the kind of performance we’re all expecting but which still end up in the win, can be decisive in determining the way a season develops. A loss would have set us back a bit and certainly dented confidence which, as it is, is now going to be a strong motivator next weekend. Having got that elusive away win out of the way at Hull Ionians least weekend, I’m sure the squad will be in good spirits and competition for places will be greater than ever.
Going to be a biggy next weekend – my place on the coach is booked already. I strongly advise anyone who is intending to go to do the same asap. It’s filling up…
Once again, Cov’s performance on Saturday reminds us just how thin the line between success and failure can be.
In this case, 2 points and a couple of minutes to be more exact.
I can’t see the starting XV against Ampthill looking too similar to that of last Saturday’s and I imagine we’ll see the return of the likes of Boulton, Snyman, White, Hircock and Stokes (if fit) for starters. Maisey and Harry must be close to a starting spot too, although I imagine that it’s tight between Will and Tony Fenner and 10.
I guess we’ll get a better idea as to whether Cliffie, Dan, Brett, Tom P and Tom J will have done enough to get the nod when the team to play Cambridge University on Wednesday is announced (I think I’ve got the right Wednesday but I couldn’t find anything about it on the website..?). If it is this Wednesday, then I imagine it will be similar in make-up to that selected to play Colchester on the last Saturday of the pre-season, made up of Development Squad players and those not involved in the 22 travelling down to Ampthill on Saturday…
Very many thanks to everyone who took part in the Coventry v Blaydon ‘Man of the Match’ poll over the weekend. The results of the votes are as follows:
- Scott Tolmie – 22%
- Rob Knox– 17%
- Tom Jubb – 14%
- Darrell Dyer– 13%
In what proved to be the closest poll so far, no one polled even a quarter of the votes, although Scott Tolmie headed the voting again indicating supporters were broadly in agreement with sponsors this week (2/3 so far). Darrel Dyer is proving to be ‘Mr Consistent’ at the moment and Rob Knox’s performance clearly caught the eye of many. Tom Jubb, playing out of position (at least out of his regular position this season) has divided many supporters, some feeling he looked strong on the ball, whilst others seem to feel he played out wide too often. For what it’s worth, I feel we are stronger with Tom Jubb in the side than without him…
The poll again appeared popular especially given the attendance was down by almost 300 hundred (but still the best of the weekend, with Moseley only managing in high 700s).
Hopefully, once again there’ll be a straw poll amongst Coventry supporters travelling back on the coach from Ampthill which I’ll post on Sunday.
For anyone interested in getting a deal on entrance prices for the remaining home games (of which there are six after Christmas), I understand that the club is planning to sell a book of five tickets at a discounted price which should be available shortly.
I know this is something that the Supporters’ Club has been liaising with the club about and I’m sure it will be welcomed by those supporters who didn’t originally buy a full season ticket, but who have since enjoyed their Saturday afternoons at the Butts and would like to save a bit of money on the cost of entrance into the ground over the remaining games.
Well done the Supporters’ Club and to the club for listening and responding positively.