— Coventry Rugby (@CoventryRugby) September 8, 2017
Welcome to your life
There’s no turning back…
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World
Could Cov have chosen a better song to introduce the match day line-up for today’s game against Moseley?
Roland Orzabal, co-founder of Tears for Fears, originally penned the song as ‘Everybody Wants to Go To War’, a protest song of sorts which highlighted the dangers of power and its capacity to corrupt and destroy. Later it was changed to its present title to make it more commercial, but at the time it wasn’t seen as a potential hit.
Using it as the anthem for today’s game, one that looks like being rather attritional itself, therefore seems oddly apt.
Two big clubs and great rivals for the best part of 150 years.
And to be fair, they haven’t always been the friendliest of encounters – have they, Mr Parsons?
Last season’s bragging rights were shared, with both sides winning their home games. Whilst securing the league title must surely be the main focus this season for any self-respecting Cov supporter, back-to-back wins against Moseley home and away, would certainly rank as a highlight.
As the songs says…everybody wants to rule the world, even if the world in this case is better defined as the West Midlands. And whilst I’m not suggesting that a return to the original title might be more appropriate for today’s game, it will certainly be a battle of sorts, especially up front where Coventry’s pack has the capacity to cause Moseley plenty of difficulties the longer the game goes on. If it goes to form, Jimmy Litchfield will disrupt his opposite number early on and Andy Brown will come on after 30 minutes or so and create further problems for the Moseley front 3, as was the case up at Hull.
Rowland Winter suggested at training on Thursday that it wouldn’t be the free-flowing game that we witnessed up in Hull, with today’s backs probably seeing less ball than in the second half last week.
It will certainly be physical early on and Moseley have picked a big pack, with a particularly big back row. Le Roux, Cowen and Brightwell will be dangerous, particularly if they have enough ball to use the pick up and drive, and we know how dangerous Le Roux can be when close to the opposition line.
However, they’ll need to be quick to the break down in order prevent Jack Preece from claiming good ball and if he can win the odd turnover, Moseley might well find themselves on the back foot, in which case the threat of the back row is somewhat stifled. And in Makaafi and Narraway. we have two players who will carry the ball forward relentlessly if given the chance and when required to defend, well there will be few better in our league, that’s for sure.
And we saw just how dangerous Cov can be when they use the driving maul as effectively as they did last week.
One of Moseley’s more interesting selections is Buster Lawrence in the second row. Buster is more comfortable somewhere in the back three, but a move into the second row suggests that there is some concern in the Moseley camp about the potential dominance of Dacres and Oram, two players who have both played for Moseley…Oram as recently as last season. And Moseley have every reason to show concern as the Coventry 4 and 5 paired up together to represent England Counties against Scotland and Ireland earlier in the year, and with great success.
And in the backs, although Anthony Fenner looks to be out for up to another 10 weeks, Will Maisey would be most supporters’ choice for the 10 shirt anyway. With the combination of Stevens and Tuitupou in midfield, and Grove, Knox and Stokes to feed off them, well it’s as strong a back line as we’ve seen for many a while.
We’re missing Matoto and Trimble out wide, so arguably there’s not quite the gas on the wings as there might otherwise be. However, Grove has looked the real deal since his arrival, he never looks rushed, tackles well and seems to keep everything safe and simple. Out on the wing might not be his favoured position, but he’ll do a job out there, and a good one at that. Kwaku Asiedu has looked solid enough, but he didn’t get a great deal of ball last week and perhaps for a game as big as this, Grove is the better option. Asiedu is going have a major part to play in Coventry’s success this season though.
It will be good to welcome Callum MacBurnie back to the BPA this afternoon, but he won’t have the easiest of returns marking Sam Tuitupou, but I’m sure he’ll be given a warm welcome by the Cov crowd as he was extremely popular during his time here.
Looking across the whole of the Coventry team, there’s strength in every area now and if a team is to come to BPA this season and leave with 4 or 5 points, then they will have deserved it. And with a bench that contains the likes of Tolmie, Brown Daynes, White and Palmer, it doesn’t get any easier when the finishers have their say..
Provided it’s for the right reasons, I hope Ben Palmer gets a run out today. He’s impressed every time he’s played so far and he looks like he’s very much an attacking fly half but with a big boot as well. It’s days like today that will have persuaded him to make the move from Old Albanian (thanks, Tom L!).
Coventry’s blend of players coming into the prime of their rugby playing lives in their mid 20s, together with three or four experienced players fresh from the Premiership and Championship, is a compelling one. And these aren’t players who are here for a season before moving on. They have committed themselves to two years with the intention of seeing Coventry into the Championship, whether it be this season or next.
No one epitomises this more than perhaps that Sam Tuitupou. A Premiership player last season and someone who could have played for a couple of years in one of the leagues above us but who instead opted for the challenge of helping Coventry become once more a real force in national rugby.
And here’s the thing…Everyone Wants to Rule the World…everyone knows it was Tears For Fears’ big hit, so you’d expect Cov to use their version as the background to the video announcing the team for today.
But no, instead some clever person at Cov (Lara?) opted for Lorde – full name Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor (and I’m afraid I had to look that one up). And maybe it’s coincidental, or maybe it’s in honour of Sam T’s first home appearance, but Lorde, like Sam, is a New Zealander.
Nice touch. Welcome to Cov, Sam…
…and even better still, her cover of the song was used in the film ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’
And isn’t that appropriate, too?
There’s a real appetite, a hunger if you will, amongst Coventry supporters at the moment and we can expect to see one of Coventry’s biggest crowds ever since moving into BPA back in 2004. The crowd tomorrow will be big, far bigger than the 1263 average of last season. How big, well we’ve all made our guesses as to the actual attendance and in truth we won’t have a clear idea until the turnstiles have stopped…err…turning, and the game is underway.
Just under 2500 would be my guess, but it could well be more, although this is our first home game, rather than last season when it was the last before Christmas.
But this is a definitely a hunger game.
Both sets of supporters will see this as something of a marker. Moseley played well against last season’s third-placed Ampthill and will want to test themselves away from home against one of the favourites for promotion amongst many punters.
Cov will be keen to pit themselves against a side that is sure to be in the top 4 or 5 this season, even having lost a number of their better players at the end of last season.
‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ – well unless we see a draw, for one of the clubs on show this afternoon this game is all about creating the spark that will well and truly ignite their season.
Part of sport is indeed about ruling worlds…and this afternoon there will be a couple of thousand plus Coventry supporters hoping that Cov can at least rule the roost as far as the Coventry/Moseley rivalry goes. For many seasons Cov had to pay second fiddle to the second city’s premier rugby club…
All for freedom and for pleasure
Nothing ever lasts forever
Everybody wants to rule the world
But nothing does ever lasts for ever, and that goes for Coventry’s years in the relative wilderness of National One, too. Coventry is a club very much on the mend. Whether it’s this season or in the next two or three, Cov will achieve its goal…
We’ve been waiting for this game ever since the fixture list was first published. It’s one of those where pride and passion and the love of your club probably clouds your judgment somewhat. It is a game I think we could win, and probably should win, but one that will be closer than many suggest.
Derby days are notorious for throwing reputations out of the window and Moseley will be fired up, have no doubt about that. They will be smarting having lost so many players to their near neighbours at the end of last season and will doubtless want to show the likes of Grove, Brazier, Oram and Preece the mistake they’ve made.
They, on the other hand, have just as much to prove.
The occasion will lift Moseley, as I’m sure will their supporters who always come to the BPA in good voice.
Less than 13 hours to kick off..
Unlucky for some…
Tears for Fears…?
Just thought I’d give a big thumb’s up to the backroom staff at Cov who have done such a great job over the last week or two promoting the game. Whenever I’ve gone onto either Facebook or Twitter, there’s been something on my timeline from Cov about the Moseley game, more often that not retweeted two or three times as well.
I can’t see how they could have done much more to attract the ordinary supporter who isn’t necessarily a regular. I’ve no idea how the corporate side of things has gone, although with the upstairs areas selling out as early as last week, that would seem to have been a success as well.
Great stuff…sometimes we shoot from the hip when things don’t go well but don’t make any mention of the real successes.
Just redressing the balance a little.
There should be a lot of media interest at Coventry this afternoon. For instance…
— paul smith (@PaulSwarksrugby) September 8, 2017
They will doubtless do a better job than I can, so I won’t tweet from the game, other than if something notable happens.
However, if you can’t get to the game and aren’t able to receive the above, or simply want to know something not covered by local radio, I’ll have my phone on me (TIP!) – just text me and I can do the usual texts or answer anything specifically about the game.
More than happy to do that, but if no one is tuned in, then it’s not really worth it.
Even my 92 year old mum is making the trip, as well as Sue.
And for the purists out there…here’s the original version of ‘Everybody Wants to Rule The World’