Hartpury the bookies favourites on Saturday…Phil Boulton…Moseley…Tattoos
Or maybe she’s in the Bahamas
Where the Carribean sea is blue
Weeping in a tropical moonlit night
Because nobody’s told her ’bout you
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world
Just to find her
I’d go the whole wide world
I’d go the whole wide world
Find out where they hide her
Wreckless Eric – Whole Wild World
Having mentioned in yesterday’s post that those taking part in the Rolling-maul.com Championship prediction league had made Coventry clear favourites for tomorrow’s game away to Hartpury, it would seem that the bookies are not of the same opinion.
Whilst on Rolling-maul it now stands at 18-6 in favour of a Cov win, the bookies have opted to make Hartpury the clear favourites, a decision that will probably please Coventry who have been the underdogs as far as the bookmakers have been concerned in all four of their games so far this season…
The worry will be when they see Cov as favourites …
Another investment again this week, just the £9 this time (as that was the sum left in the account and I was too mean to deposit another £1 to make it up to a tenner!), but that still leaves me comfortably in credit after the first four games, even with a loss again Hartpury and with London Irish to follow the week after.
Strikes me, with the form Cov are currently in, the Board should smack any deposit Cov might have stashed away for the artificial surface planned for next summer on a home win the following weekend, and with the odds that Paddy Power are likely to be offering, there should be enough in the winnings to develop the railway end as well…* (see below – Important)
At 6/4 for a Cov win against Hartpury, these are the shortest odds offered on Cov so far this season, so it now seems that the bookmakers are also beginning to look at Cov as a real force in the Championship after such an encouraging start this season.
But still in black and white terms, they’re predicting that we’re more likely to lose – and that’s something Rowland Winter and the coaches won’t be unduly concerned about, taking as it does some of the pressures off the players as expectations continue to grow.
And, just for the record Bedford, who are away to next weekend’s visitors London Irish, are 14/1 to beat the Exiles tomorrow – I imagine Paddy Power will be quoting something similar for a Cov win, too, should Irish win again tomorrow.
Definitely worth a punt, that one.
Another Newcastle in the making.
*Important disclaimer: this website and the information contained herein is not intended to be a source of advice or credit analysis with respect to the material presented, and the information contained in this website does not constitute investment advice
Much has already been said elsewhere regarding Phil Boulton’s seven week ban for what the RFU’s independent disciplinary panel deemed to be a ‘reckless act’, this statement clarified somewhat by Coventry Rugby Club adding:
the RFU were happy that this was not an intentional act.
I’m relieved that I’ve not seen any reference made to gouging, other than in generalised terms – and certainly not in reference specifically to Phil’s citing. To do so would have been hugely inappropriate and a real slight on a player whose ‘character and good behaviour’ were very much a factor in reducing what could have been a twelve week suspension at least to ‘just’ seven.
it would have been six had he accepted culpability.
In recent days there’s been plenty of talk about the core values implicit in the game and I honestly believe that by refusing to opt for the shorter ban, Phil has shown exactly why Winter and the coaches first looked to him to captain the side some 18 months go.
Leaders lead by example in a very difficult situation, and even though Phil’s absence is going to be a huge blow for Coventry over the next seven games, he hasn’t gone for the quick return.
Good on him. If he believes himself to be innocent of the charge he is absolutely right not to and decline what amounts to a ‘plea bargain’.
When he was appointed club captain for the 2017/18 season, Phil stated that:
Leadership doesn’t necessarily just mean being captain. There’s a lot of different things around it which is something I want other people to realise and help develop
By refusing to accept the charge, namely:
PB has demonstrated a different form of leadership to the one that perhaps we are used to seeing him show on the pitch. It must have been a very difficult few days for Phil but his integrity definitely remains intact, to this Cov supporter at least.
One has also to be sensitive to Dean Adamson who presumably received some injury to, or around, his eyes given that there was medical evidence submitted. No one on the outside knows exactly what took place and I hope we never get to see the video footage of the incident as that will only result in further discussion and speculation.
Time now to move on.
MoseOn the day the hearing took place, Bablake School’s Tweet was a timely reminder of just what a great example Phil Boulton is to everyone involved with Coventry Rugby Club, especially the youngsters he is currently coaching:
Thanks to Phil Boulton, @CoventryRugby captain and prop, for an outstanding technical scrum and ruck defence session with our senior forwards yesterday.
— Bablake Sport (@BablakeSport) September 20, 2018
Nice one, Phil.
It’s been Cov’s relationship with Wasps that has dominated much of the discussion this week, but it’s to another local side, one with whom Cov has a much longer and much healthier rivalry, that I now turn.
…or Mose for short.
Whilst Coventry’s fortunes have been very much on the up in recent seasons, Moseley’s have been in a steep decline and now in their third season in National One, they are now one place off the foot of the table and after three games they have yet to record a win.
All the usual caveats apply – it’s very early in the season, Moseley have suffered a number of injuries et etc, but the fact remains that these are worrying times for a club that for several years in the 70s stood alongside Cov as one of the most successful in the country.
I, for one, take no pleasure in seeing them struggling as they undoubtedly are at the moment and now we’re in the Championship, there’s no team I rather see join us than Mose.
Yes, for a few days either side of a Cov/Mose derby, I might not always have been quite so effusive about them, but I’ve grown up with Mose pretty much as my second team. Birmingham born and bred, it was only because my mum and maternal grandad were Cov supporters that we travelled down the A45 to watch Cov, rather than make the short journey across from Handsworth Wood to the Reddings.
The Boxing Day games were always the highlight of my sporting year and it was no surprise when Coventry attracted 2700 plus supporters on the occasion Moseley visited us two Decembers ago for the first time in 8 years. One can only imagine the sort of crowd a similar game would attract in the Championship. Both sets of supporters hold each other in hide regard.
Their messageboard doesn’t make for happy reading just now and it looks like their supporters feel it’s time for a change as radical as the one at Cov back in 2016 which saw Morgan and co leave and Winter appointed. Richard Protherough is probably in an even more precarious situation than Phil Maynard was back then and there seems little to be optimistic about unless there is a fairly dramatic turn around in the club’s fortunes.
Many supporters are expressing similar concerns as we were back then too, with a lack of communication from the club particularly frustrating as this Mose supporter makes clear:
with no official comments forthcoming we may never get to be offered an analysis of any match from the coaches, save for Glyn Barlow’s patient match revues and previews.
This one comment from a particularly despondent Mose supporter seems to sum it all up fairly succinctly following his team’s heavy defeat at Bishops’ Stortford last weekend:
Sadly the score says it all. Arguably one of the worst games I’ve ever seen . Bishops’ Stortford couldn’t believe how easy it was for them. I understand we need to rebuild etc but todays performance was truly awful. I will let other people dissect today’s performance but I will say on today’s result we are looking at a relegation season.
Very sad as on paper the team should be better if not equal to anyone in the league
We suffered something similar in 2011/12 when we finished 13th, one place away from relegation and having had a pretty demoralising season all round.
Losses to Caldy, Cinderford and last week to Bishop’s Stortford (52-8) have meant Moseley are already talking about a relegation battle even before the end of September.
National One is a tough, tough league to get out of, and increasingly the teams coming up appear to be a good deal stronger than the bottom few teams that remain from the previous season, so it’s also that much harder to secure even a mid-table position.
It looks like Chinnor (with former Coventry players Ben Thomas and George Oliver on their books and Dave Brazier there on loan), Sale and Cinderford are going to do what Old Elthamians, Stortford and Caldy did last season, namely settle quickly into their stride and cause a good few upsets in their first season in National One.
Moseley are going to have to dig deep if they are to work their way up the table and if gates fall, as they inevitably will if results continue to disappoint, then it’s going to be as tough off the pitch for them as it is on it.
I’m going to set myself the target of going to at least one home game at Billesley before Christmas, if only to show my support for a team that has given me a great deal of pleasure over the years (especially in the games where we’ve triumphed!)…
Moseley’s plight should be a concern to all Cov supporters.
In a spirit of goodwill and in the role of a Coventry Rugby Club ambassador as referred to by JS in his statement earlier in the week, I’ll finish this section with a clip of Moseley’s last win against Cov back in 2016.
It still hurts to watch it, but it would hurt me far more to see Mose spiral into further turmoil.
Best of luck for the rest of the season, Mose.
Finally, something of an odd one…
According to an article on the BBC website, it appears that rugby players involved in next year’s World Cup in Japan have been asked to cover up their tattoos. Body art of this nature is apparently offensive to the Japanese as it’s associated with:
the notorious yakuza crime syndicates and inked tourists can find themselves barred from traditional communal hot springs, or onsens.
Players have been requested to use vests or long sleeves to cover up tattoos when not playing and this appears to be something to which visiting teams are willing to comply:
When any of our teams tour we endeavour to be respectful of the local customs and culture, and this will be no different when we visit Japan both this year and next year,” New Zealand Rugby chief rugby officer Nigel Cass told news website Stuff
Places where players are likely to visit, like the baths and hot springs mentioned above, are likely to offer patches or ‘stickers’ to cover up tattoos, or even ensure that there are specific times of the day when teams can visit during which other visitors will not be present. The articles states that in 2015 a survey stated:
that 56% of hotels and inns did not allow tattooed guests to use communal bathing facilities
Tattoos have not always had a negative image in Japan, but they became linked to the yakuza, or Japanese mafia, in the 1960s after a deluge of films showed heavily-inked gangsters.
So, no tattoos on view in many public places then.
Hope Sammy isn’t intending going over to Japan next year…he’ll be in need of a good few sticking plasters if he is.
I never, ever, imagined I’d be including a song by Wreckless Eric.
And I’ve managed it by the most tenuous of links, given that Phil Boulton actions were deemed to be merely ‘(W)reckless’ rather than intentional.
Wreckless Eric isn’t going to feature in too many people’s record collections. He once did in mine but his one and only album (I think?) has long since disappeared, borrowed by some student flatmate or other and never returned. To be fair, that’s how I accumulated most of mine albums back in the day…
Eric was on the first Stiff Tour, along with Elvis Costello, Ian Dury , Nick Lowe and Larry Wallis which sadly I never got to see (although I did go to the Be Stiff Tour (Stiff 2) – with Lena Lovich and Rachel Sweet among others…not quite the same!).
Whole Wide World wasn’t a great chart success but it was acclaimed as one of the great singles of the punk era, although it was a bit MOR for me at that time…(I think The Proclaimers did their own version of it a fair few years later).
It actually sounds far better than I remember…
I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve watched this tonight (this morning!)…it’s worth watching it through to the end just to see Eric grow increasingly manic – he never hits the heights for which he was famed, but you can see it there at the end, bubbling away)