Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

If you want to know about the bishop and the actress
If you want to know how to be a star
If you want to know about the stains on the mattress
You can read it in the Sunday papers, Sunday papers

Joe Jackson –  Sunday Papers

My first venture into the world of investigative journalism and I come up with a scoop that is likely to blow the world of National One rugby clean apart.

It’s the kind of thing that John Wilkinson and John Butler will have waited years for and never got close to…

…and whilst I admit I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, we journos, we make our own luck.


Tim Smith, erstwhile blogger and now full-time member of the paparazzi.

Have camera, will travel.

A Pulitzer prize at my first attempt…

No need for doorstepping on my part – Cov unwittingly presented the evidence for all to see…


The secret to Cov’s success at the weekend

I can now reveal the five secrets of Coventry’s success on Saturday. They are:

  • – titude
  • – pline
  • – nce
  • – piece

and :


It was a classic error on the part of the coaches. It was a lovely warm day so rather than do the pre-match talk in the changing room,  they got the players to stay outside and soak up the rays.

Nick Walshe was sent in to fetch the wipeboard.

As he walked back out he was oblivious to the fact that Snooper Smith was zooming in…and about to reveal to all and sundry the secrets behind Cov’s recent success.

Impressive work on my part, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Ok, there are some gaps to fill, but I’ve been wracking my brains over the course of the weekend and I think I’ve come up with the complete formula behind Saturday’s success. It might well expose Coventry to opposition who will be armed with Cov’s pre-match strategy in the two  remaining games this season, but I feel I have a duty to share this information with those who follow the blog.

A kind of public service, if you will.

It’s taken a while mind, but in true Enigma style, I think I’ve cracked it:

– titude = altitude (presumably a reference to the training in the Lickey Hills the squad must have undergone pre-season)

– pline = compline (the Order for Night Prayer in the Church of England and presumably required of the players the night before a game. Possibly led by NW via video conferencing..?)

– nce = dance (obviously now a compulsory requirement as part of Rob Norman’s fitness regime)

 piece = mantelpiece (admittedly I struggled with this one, but I’m presuming it’s a motivational thing – make room for the trophies on your mantelpiece if we keep winning as we are – focus and vision, two key areas of success for any team)

I’m not sure where the URGENCY fits in, other than the need for the players to get changed quickly after the game so they can get a quick drink in on the way home without the wives and girlfriends getting suspicious.

It’s brilliant…

Just how clever is this Rowland Winter guy?

Whilst all the other national league coaches up and down the country are focusing on the usual banalities, all so mundane and so predictable, RW is thinking outside the box.

In the minutes leading up to the games at Plymouth, Moseley or Ampthill it might well be all about the usual plethora of targets that trip of the tongue, you know the kind of thing…attitude, discipline, patience and set piece…

…but not so at forward thinking Cov.

Hats off to Mr Winter.

All it takes is the ability to walk up hill, say a few prayers the night before, strut your funky stuff to Chic’s  ‘Le Freak’  on the coach on the way down and finally give some inspirational pre-match talk about winning the league and winning trophies and you end up taking the opposition apart in one of the most breath-taking displays of attacking rugby you could ever wish to see.


There must be other secrets I can get hold of…

Next home game I’m going undercover into the changing room…

…slip on one of those stretchy Cov jerseys and, given my herculean frame, they’ll just assume I’m one of next season’s marquee signings.

Unless, of course, I’m barred from the ground in the meantime for revealing club secrets.

Watch this space…


Read Saturday’s match report on the Old Albanian website and you get a feel of just how shell-shocked the opposition was as a result of that 11 try demolition at the hands of a rampant Coventry.

It’s short preferring, understandably, not to go through the details of the game on a try by try basis but instead give a summary of the game which is admirable both in its honesty and brevity.

Full marks to whoever wrote it, no excuses are proffered about being under strength or playing a team with far greater resources, both of which are true.

No, it just says it as it was.

The title gives a fair indication of the Old Albanian take on the game:

A Different Class…

The article mentions the possession that OA had early on and the team’s inability to make use of it against a strong Coventry defence. it goes on to say:

Coventry had no such failing and it would take a pedant to find any weakness at all in the visitors’ game plan. There was nothing complicated here. Every gap in Albanian defence was explored with alacrity and throughout the afternoon there was a pugnacious element about the midlanders’ (sic) efforts entirely missing in the attitude of the Woollams outfit

Honest and introspective.

And whilst everyone connected with Coventry is understandably on a natural high following the game, spare a thought for those at OA. They didn’t play that badly, certainly not deserving of a 8-73 scoreline, and you can almost feel the pain of the person writing the report. It won’t have been an easy one to pen and I’m sure had the situation been reversed, heaven forbid, and it was our own John Butler who was having to produce something similar, well it would have hurt him greatly to do so.

One other particularly interesting comment was made in the report:

On top of that there is no denying real pace and in Max Trimble Coventry have a winger who surely will not stay down at level three for long. His delightful hattrick was perhaps the high spot of this one-sided affair.

Max clearly impressed the opposition too.

Indeed, he won’t be playing in National One for too much longer…

…but it will still be with Coventry.


Gavin Hogg Head Coach-elect of Old Albanian RFC

James Shanahan’s successor as Head Coach at Old Albanian was announced today.

It’s Gavin Hogg, presently Head Coach at Bury St Edmunds, one of the teams we played against in the final pre-season friendly back in August, so he’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect when he brings OA up here next season.

Rather like RW, Hogg has achieved great success with his previous club, gaining promotion twice in the last three years. OA describe him as:

an ambitious, results-driven and forward-thinking coach with a 13-year track record of coaching at all levels of the game in both England and New Zealand

Good luck to both Gavin Hogg and James Shanahan in their respective new roles next season.

I’m sure they’ll both be made very welcome at Cov.

Shanners, as us reporters like to call him, will certainly have plenty to think about on his return to the BPA given the mauling OA received at the weekend.

Blackheath are sure to be a threat next season, but Cov’s performance on Saturday will have given him some cause for concern.


Not the clearest of pictures (still a bit of work to do if I really am going to make it as a member of the paparazzi, then), but you can probably just about make out an elated Rowland Winter talking to supporters on the coach just before they set off back to Coventry following the OA game.

He was understandably very pleased with the way the game had gone and somewhat relieved as in the past he’s always fronted up and come on to the coach when the team has lost – which has been rather too often for anyone’s liking (!).

The chance to come on and soak up the appreciation was always going to be too good an opportunity to miss..

Heath Stevens came on too and just grinned from ear to ear. He seems to be loving life back at Coventry and he is very much the prodigal son, as Rowland Winter  referred to him.

Both got plenty of applause from supporters, all of whom were still buzzing from the excitement of having watched Coventry dismantle OA in a game that beforehand was one that most supporters felt would be a much tighter affair.

Judging by the uptake already for the Loughborough game, the Supporters’ coach will be full to bursting for what will be the final game of the season. A win there would be a great way to finish what has been one of the most enjoyable seasons for many a year and with the prospect of Coventry strengthening their side with several quality signings, I’m sure there will be a fair degree of anticipation evident on the day .

A quick word of thanks to Steve Hood who was  coach manager on the day. He very kindly took over the role for the OA game from me when it looked as if I wouldn’t be able to travel. It’s a role that Steve has performed several times this season and one he does brilliantly.

The likes of Steve Hood , Paul I and Quent make travelling by coach that much more enjoyable. For many supporters, the reintroduction of away day travel arrangements has been a godsend and it has certainly added immensely to the whole ‘Coventry experience’ this season.

Well done to everyone involved and thank you.


I was there at the very beginning – Joe Jackson in a poky little club in Sheffield some time around 1979, just before the release of ‘It’s Different For Girls’. I always thought he might make it in a Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe sort of way.

Guess he kind of did…still listen to his songs fairly regularly…

Great intro…great video…always excellent live…

Sunday Papers

By Tim

4 thought on “Cov Scoop – the secret of a successful Saturday…”
  1. John – The thought of going back to last season and the lack of information that was coming out of the club doesn’t bare thinking about. I think I’d be lynched if you resigned! I begin and end my foray into the world of investigative journalism with that scoop…
    Please put your pipe and slippers away for a few more years…

  2. Tim – I bow to you. Can’t compete with that. My letter of resignation is in the post, time for the pipe and slippers.

  3. What a scoop! No doubt the Sunday Sport will be in touch soon.
    A downside may be the frisking you’ll receive before they let you in the ground. Unless, of course, you are wearing a skin tight Cov top and they do think you are a new winger!!
    Brilliant Tim. Loved it.

Any thoughts:

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