Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts…
(and)by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a (captain)’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the dogs of war,
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial
Antony (from Julius Caesar)…William Shakespeare
Blood and Sand.
Against Blood and Thunder…
Maybe that’s slightly overegging it, but there might well be a fair bit of civil strife out on the pitch this afternoon.
It’s time Cov let slip the dogs of war, or more accurately, the CovDogs and reproduce the type of performances that have at various times this season taken apart teams like Newport, Macclesfield, Loughborough and Fylde and matched the physicality of Plymouth, Hull and even Hartpury.
We have yet to see Coventry in overdrive for longer than 40 minutes, but when all systems are firing there are very few teams in our league capable of living with us. That is why it is so important we come off the blocks flying tomorrow and assert early dominance against a team that doesn’t travel that well.
On a couple of occasions we have been up by 30 points or more by half time and whilst we have then failed to keep the foot firmly on the accelerator, the damage has been done and even a poor second half has been enough to ensure we take the points. And if, and it is a big if, the rallying cry in the changing room before the game and at half time is indeed one of ‘Havoc!’, and the players, many relishing the opportunity to play against old friends, are indeed ‘hot from hell’…
…then it could be a game to savour.
And we can be certain that Cambridge won’t be anything but pumped up themselves; anxious to prove a point or two to the coaches and players who opted to leave a promotion winning side in favour on a club that might have the tradition, the ambition even, but little in the way of anything to celebrate for many a season.
Cambridge will be keen to start the game faster than the proverbial robber’s dog, and Coventry have to be careful not to be caught cold in quite the way we have already been a couple of times this season.
You fight fire with fire…
And whilst I sincerely hope we won’t witness any ‘carrion men, groaning for burial’, I would like to see us take on Cambridge up front from the word go and let them know our intentions right from that first whistle.
On paper at least, this must be one of the strongest teams we’ve put out this season and I do think we’ll see Coventry open it up early, with plenty of opportunity for the forwards to run at the opposition and with Pete White prominent in marshalling Cov’s play.
Whilst it hasn’t yet been announced officially, I understand that Jake Byrne, the Development Squad player, who I think has been attached to Broadstreet for the early part of this season, has been drafted into the match day squad and will be on the bench. I can only think there’s been an injury to one of the three props already selected which has created the opportunity for young Jake.
It’s brilliant news for him, although disappointing for whoever the injured party is (!), and a real fillip for the rest of the players in the Development Squad; the fact that Rowland Winter is prepared to call on them even after only a few weeks of being together could prove to be a real incentive to kick on. That’s what it’s there for – good to see that it’s already working well for players and club alike.
And anyone with the name Jake Byrne is always going to get my vote. Okay, the spelling might not be quite the same, but those into their punk rock of the late 70s/early 80s will be only too familiar with Jake Burns, he of Stiff Little Fingers (one of John Peel’s all time favourite bands – I first heard them on the Peel Sessions). Happy memories!
Jake isn’t yet 20…I think it’s his birthday on Monday. What better why of celebrating it than getting a few minutes game time at the end of a convincing Coventry win…?
Me. I’m ever the optimist…
Best of luck to Jake and to the rest of the team…I’m not sure it will be a huge crowd, but it will certainly be a noisy one and with a number of Cambridge supporters making their way over to the BPA, there will be a real buzz come kick off.
A final word has to go to the Supporters’ Club for the massive efforts that it has made in getting the club shop up and running in what is a ridiculously short space of time. The hours of time that Cliff and especially Quent have put in over the last three weeks is staggering and I know that they have been in regular conversations with the club and suppliers to get everything up and running.
Just why the club haven’t been able to sort it out for themselves is a real concern and I can’t help but feel that Quent has dug them out of a hole to a certain extent and, had he not taken responsibility for sorting things out, little would have happened this side of Christmas.
And if it had, well we wouldn’t have heard about it anyway…
I’m sure there’s a story to be heard there somewhere, one that’s probably best left untold. Suffice it to say, the important thing is that there will be merchandise available and plenty of choice too…I hope there’s enough interest from supporters tomorrow to make it viable concern over the longer term.
Well done the Supporters’ Club!
Today is the last day of voting in the poll…if you haven’t already done so, then please scroll down below for instructions. Despite some concerns, it is the most popular poll there’s been, although the numbers reading the blog have increased dramatically this season, so you might expect that anyway…
Many thanks for everyone who has taken part – I’ll put the results into Monday or Tuesday’s posts.
Entering your choices couldn’t be easier, just click against the name in the appropriate place and then click ‘Vote’. The software will only allow you to have one completed vote in each category, so please ensure you are happy with your decisions before hitting that ‘Vote’ button.
If you can’t get to the game but want to know what’s happening other than just updates of the scores, please let me know and I’ll be happy to tweet a ‘commentary’.
Apologies in advance if sometimes the predictive text takes over, it seems to have a mind of its own. On other occasions it’s just because things are happening so quickly on the pitch and my fat fingers get very cold.
@CoventryRugby will usually offer score updates, as will the Messageboard.
However, mine is probably a bit more detailed…there’s some choice available though, depending what it is that you’re looking for.
I’m on @Cowshedtim.
If you aren’t familiar with Twitter or don’t have an account, then on the homepage of this blog (www.coventryrfc.me), all the tweets will appear in real time on the far right of the page, towards the top end.
Up the Cov
Stiff Little Fingers (with Jake Byrnes on lead vocals and guitar) often sang about their experiences in trouble torn Northern Island. This is one such example.
WARNING – this should be played LOUD!