Together we’ll stand
Divided we’ll fall
Come on now people
Let’s get on the ball
And work together
Come on, come on
Let’s work together
Canned Heat – Let’s Work Together
What is currently happening a full two leagues below Coventry Rugby Club down in National League 3 Midlands might not seem of particularly great significance but, come the end of season, the final placings in level five of English national rugby might well prove important to us in September.
Nuneaton and Broadstreet lie in first and second places respectively, with automatic promotion into National League 2 North the prize awaiting the winner of the league.
All is not lost for the runner up though, as the team in second place go into a play off with the second placed team in National League 3 North, with the winner also gaining promotion.
It is entirely feasible, therefore, that next season we could see two local sides back in National 2 North, just one league below us.
And that is something that is definitely in the interests of Coventry.
Broadstreet are three points clear of third placed Sheffield but with five games still to play and some tough fixtures to come for most of the top 5 teams, most notably Nuneaton vs Broadstreet on 25th March, the final placings are by no means certain.
I’m sure Coventry would definitely like to see both Nuneaton and Broadstreet promoted. Just has Cov have benefitted from the loan of players from Wasps, Northampton and Leicester Academies this year, so local teams have been able to benefit from the dual registration or loan of Coventry players to strengthen their squads where needed.
But it’s very much a reciprocal arrangement as it also ensures that members of the Coventry squad who might not otherwise be enjoying any game time are able to play competitive rugby at a decent level. We’ve seen the likes of Callum MacBurnie, Rob Knox and Dan Rundle used in this way – a relationship that hopefully benefits both teams.
This season the concern for Coventry must be that players capable of playing in National One, or tier 3 of national rugby, are actually having to drop a further two tiers to play locally and whilst the standard of rugby is still good and they are getting regular workouts, it’s not at the level that they really need to be playing.
Should both Nuneaton and Broadstreet gain promotion at the end of this season, there would be two sides, local to Coventry, playing in the division below us and that should be beneficial all concerned.
In last Saturday’s local derby, Nuneaton beat Birmingham Solihull in a particularly feisty encounter in which Nuneaton lost their fly half, Rory Vowles, to a red card after just 20 minutes. In addition there were three yellow cards and despite Bees pushing forward in the final minutes, Nuneaton were good value for their 21-12 win.
Rhodri Adamson was playing full back for Nuneaton and Joe Foreman, a member of our Development Squad, came on as a replacement for Bees, earning himself one of those yellow cards in the process for a dangerous tackle.
Rhodri Adamson is a good example of how the promotion of both Nuneaton and ‘Street could benefit Cov, as well as themselves. I happen to rate Rhodri and whilst White and Grasso are ahead of him as scrum halves, Rhodri’s strength lies in his versatility. He is the archetypal utility back and every club needs one. He’s comfortable at 9, 10 and 15 and a very capable kicker to boot…apologies for that one.
I’d be more than happy to see him back at Cov next season, although realistically he would be understudy to Pete White and it might well be that the coaches decide they need a third scrum half as well.
Rhodri is too good to be playing the equivalent of division five rugby and were he to be retained, he would need to be playing regularly, so National 2 would be a decent compromise if there was limited opportunities for him to join the match day squad.
That said, it might be that Rhodri decides he wants to develop his rugby further by playing regularly in National 1 (he played for Blaydon before joining us this season), or indeed that Coventry feel Rhodri needs to move on elsewhere.
With a full squad of perhaps 30 and a match day one of just 22 (to include 2 non-playing), there are always going to be a handful of players who aren’t getting a game at any given weekend. In such situations, if they can be accommodated by local sides, then it’s far more preferable for them to be playing in National 2 than National 3.
There was some discussion last season on the Messageboard, led by a Broadstreet supporter(s) with regards to Coventry’s relationship with ‘Street, which was in National 2 at the time.
It was suggested that the loan of several Coventry players had contributed to their club’s poor season – a number of players coming in and out of the club meant selection had been inconsistent and this caused the coaches some difficulties, especially as some of the availability was only known at short notice.
Also, with Coventry loaning two young props to Broadstreet, their own players weren’t getting any game time which apparently resulted in at least one of them moving on.
I’m not for the moment suggesting that this was indeed the case and that Broadstreet’s problems were partly the result of Coventry’s partnership with the club, I’m merely acknowledging that this was a view shared by a couple of their supporters. However, whether correct or not, it isn’t difficult to imagine how such a scenario could arise.
What was clear though was that as the season progressed, our relationship with Broadstreet seemed to deteriorate, especially when Wasps decided to work with them. Hopefully, that apparent distancing of the two clubs is now a thing of the past – or maybe it’s just something I have read a little too much into.
I remember RW saying before the season had got under way that he felt Coventry had burned some bridges as far as relationships with local junior and grass roots sides was concerned and I know Cov has been keen to reconnect with them over the past few months. Provided there is genuine reciprocity between both parties, then it can only be to the good of everyone concerned.
Hopefully, we’ll see both Nuneaton and Broadstreet promoted this season and Bees the following one and all clubs working together for the good of each other and for rugby in the local community.
Come on, come on
Let’s work together…
Within a few months of recording ‘Let’s Work Together’ the lead guitarist, Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson, was dead – suicide as a result of a deliberate drugs overdose…
…Bob Hite, lead vocalist, was to die probably 10 years later, also from a drugs overdose, but this time accidental.
Ordinary guys playing extraordinary music…one of those bands I’ve never saw and always wished I had.
The video clip says it all…of all the music footage I’ve included so far in the blog, for me this ranks as second only to Bowie’s ‘Heroes’.
If you recognise the tune and can’t place it, think Brian Ferry…
And in an effort to ‘Make someone happy/ Make someone smile‘ and ensure the Canned Heat’s legacy is kept alive…
I constantly have an urge to sing ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ – It’s just a whim away….