Nothing to rain on Cov’s parade this afternoon…

13Oct - by Tim - 2 - In Club talk

Take nothing less…
Do not obey – you must keep your say
You can past the test
Just move on up, to a greater day
With just a little faith if you put your mind to it you can surely do it

Just move on up
Move on up

Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up

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Well, some good news at last and on several fronts.

And the first is of the warm weather variety.

Yesterday proved to be wet and pretty miserable all day and ever since last weekend the weather has been a big talking point amongst supporters. Cov don’t appear to play as effectively in wet conditions as they’ve proved against Hartpury and Richmond in recent weeks. Although that isn’t the only reason for the team’s underperformance by any means, there is an acceptance that Cov are currently a better side when there is an absence of rain.

And it would appear that the rugby gods are on our side today, with temperatures likely to be into the low 20’s this afternoon, balmy conditions indeed for this time of year. The following 7 days looks to be anything but warm, so that’s a big plus really.

There’s still a 20% chance of some rain but the odds are definitely in our favour. The wind could still pkay its part though…

And there’s more good news regarding team selection this week.

Rowland Winter has managed to find his 15 players replete with testicles and despite fears that there might be wholesale changes this weekend, that’s not really been the case, although there are still 8 ( I think) changes to the side that started against Richmond last week.

According to the Coventry Director of Rugby:

The handful of changes are partly down to performances at Richmond, but also because of what we’ve seen in training this week

With Trimble, Stokes and Nutley returning from injury, it was always likely they would make the side sooner rather than later.

Chances for Rob Knox and Andy Bulumakau were few and far between last weekend and I thought Knoxy was one of the better performers on the day, but with Stokes fit again and Max Trimble needing some game time now, then I guess something had to give. Rob has probably played more games so far than he might have expected pre-season and he’s sure to feature again before too long. He’s been one of our most consistent performers in the backs for me.

Those who read this blog with any regularity won’t be surprised that I’m delighted to see Pete White get another start – I’m a big fan of his. Kessell has flattered to deceive a little for me in the sense that good as he’s been, he hasn’t quite hit the heights he did 12 months ago when he came to us on loan from Saints. Pete’s game appears to have improved considerably since then and I think the increased tempo he tends to bring to a game might cause a few more problems for Scottish.

Sadly, Will Maisey has also struggled a little to reproduce the performances we saw from him in National One and with Sharp looking far more settled against Irish, the return of the former London Scottish fly half was pretty much assured, especially against his old club.  Like Rob, Will will be back and maybe the Cup competition will  provide him with the opportunity to regain a bit of the confidence which seems to be lacking at the moment. I really hope so.

The effectiveness of the backs depends to a large extent on the quality of ball they receive from the Coventry pack and the coaches have opted for a new pairing in the second row, with two debuts for Alex Woolford, making his first appearance for Cov, and Dan Faleata starting his first game at the BPA. Good luck to both.

Faleata looked extremely mobile around the park down at Richmond and it might well be that with two second rows in Tom Jubb and George Oram on the bench, he could yet finish the game in the back row.

Good to see Ben Nutley back in the side, too. It’s almost like having a new signing really such is the bad luck he’s had in terms of the injuries he’s picked up since he arrived here over the summer. If he can put a decent run of games together he should make a real difference in the back row.

And it would be remiss of me not to mention Luc Jeannot’s first start for Coventry. It’s hard to think of Luc as a 20 (?) year-old any more such is the impact he’s had in a Cov shirt over the last 12 months.

I can still clearly remember turning up at Coventry’s training ground as was at Summerhill Road in July 2017 with Quent M. Rowland Winter kindly came across and chatted to us about the major signings for that season, the likes of Sammy Tuitupou, Latu Makaafi and Phil Nilsen and then pointed out a very young looking prop who was going through some lineout moves with the first team. He said that Luc was already progressing faster than anyone in the squad and that we should remember the name…

Here we are 16 months on and he’s making his debut and in the Championship too. And he’s such a nice lad with it – whoops, sorry that’s my age showing through there – young man.

Well done, Luc!

And there are others to follow, too.

Even though the competition is probably even tougher at 4 and 5, Cameron Gray has made a couple of appearances from the bench already this season  and the likes of Roach and Povey can’t be too far behind. And a perhaps a year behind them are the likes of Joe Lane, Max Titchener and the McNulty’s, promising players who clearly have a future in the game, if not with Cov in the Championship, then certainly at a very decent level.

It’s a healthy place to be, for sure.

And a word to for Phil Nilsen – captain for the day and surely a hugely proud moment for him in this, his final season in the game. There haven’t been too many players in recent years so quickly accepted by the Cov faithful and with Boulton and Stevens both out, his commitment and whole-hearted approach on the pitch made him an obvious choice as captain, from the main stand at least.

There’ll be no backward steps under his watch, that’s for sure. And he’s bound to be vocal…

Only three players now have started in all seven games, Ram, Gibbons and Peters, no mean achievement given the size of the current squad and the physicality of the Championship.

Three consecutive defeats, two of them disappointing in terms of the opposition and the manner of the loss, makes today’s game more nervy for most spectators than it might have otherwise been.

At the moment, Coventry’s main failing seems to be a lack of discipline, giving away too much possession to teams who are experienced enough at this level not to return the favour. That was our undoing last week; to be turned over 20 times in a game is seldom going to result in a positive outcome.

When the team has clicked this season, we’ve looked as good as anyone, including Irish. That 20 minutes period in the first half against Bedford when we scored three or four tries was better than anything we’ve seen against us all season.

Play to our strengths and we’ll be fine.

Today’s an ideal chance for the players to quickly address some of the concerns that have been voiced, especially away from home, about consistency and mental frailty at this level.

I’m sure the crowd will rise to the occasion.

As will Cov.

Cov to win comfortably today.

A strong side and the hope of some drier conditions…Cov won’t let anything rain on their parade this afternoon.

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In yesterday’s post I included a photo of a label badge that I’d found hiding in the recesses of an old drawer, not as old as I had first thought but nevertheless an example of the type of Cov souvenir that supporters would like to see regularly stocked.

My mum, bless her, has gone one better.

She might not be as sprightly on her feet these days, but there’s nothing wrong with her memory and having read the post, she managed to locate another Cov novelty and with a lot more age to it this time.

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Now I’ve no idea when she got it, but it’s definitely a fair it older than the pin badge and must have been something my dad bought, probably in the ’70’s given he passed away in the early ’80s.

It is possible that I brought it in the days when you were expected to be suited and booted at work, even in a secondary schools back then, but I don’t recall seeing it before.

The fact that there’s no demand for a tie clip these days makes it all the more interesting as it’s unlikely Cov will every restock this in the future.

Coming across the lapel badge and particularly the tie clip, has given me a great deal of pleasure, stirring up as it has all kinds of memories of the Cov I supported all those years ago.  And if Cov need a reason as to why they should reintroduce some of these old favourites, then there they have it.

Parents will happily buy their children, and indeed themselves, such gifts to keep as souvenirs of a particular time and place in their lives, moments special to them and deserving to be remembered. I used to buy a pin badge for Sam at every ground we visited from when he was no more than 6 or 7…he still has them and I know that although they have no monetary value, they are among of his most important possessions still remaining from his childhood.

What would you pay for a pin badge now?  £3 or £4 perhaps? And 30/40 years on they’d still be repaying that investment.

If anyone has souvenirs from Cov going back a goodly number of years other than badges and programmes, I’d love to see a photo if possible. They have that priceless ability to evoke such happy memories.

It would be lovely to think that the youngsters attending Cov games this season might soon have the opportunity to purchase Cov merchandise that in the future will become treasured possessions of their own, rekindling some of the memories of a Cov side that was just embarking on an era of great success both on and off the field.

It would be lovely to believe that but…

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16-Stats-1.jpgOnce again I’ll be tweeting during the game, so if you can’t make it to the BPA the usual info applies.

A reminder that Cov now has its own match day Twitter feed (@CoventryRugby) – mostly just the scores and the main moments in the game, although always informative and of interest.

I should also add that London Scottish also has its own too (@LSFCOfficial)

However, if you are interested in something slightly different, then I try and give a sense of the atmosphere/occasion as well providing rather more tweets than from other accounts.

A lot more in fact, so if you’re at home and just surfing the net trying to find out anything you can about the game, this might be a different option.

The tweets, when combined, make a crude ‘commentary’ of sorts and it will be rather more personalised than the Coventry feed – the two might work well together.

Be warned though, you might get well over a 130 plus tweets during the course of the game – so if that is too much, mute me and use the club’s official feed. Remember to switch me back on at the end though, please!

Do bear in mind, I am a bit one-eyed when I tweet. I’ll certainly be fairly emotive I imagine, so be warned if you are following me. A balanced viewpoint isn’t necessarily what you’re going to  get.

I’m on @Cowshedtim

Apologies in advance, as always, for some of the typos that appear, it does get a bit frenetic at times and my fingers and thumbs are showing a few signs of wear these days. For some though, the deciphering of the tweets adds to the occasion.

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter or don’t have an account, then on the homepage of this blog (www.coventryrfc.me)  my Twitter feed can be found on the right hand side. Just click on it to expand the size. You don’t need a Twitter account to follow it.

Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, have a great afternoon.

Up the Cov.

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This one’s for Luc Jeannot as he’s definitely moving on up…

Take nothing less – than the second best
Do not obey – you must keep your say
You can past the test
Just move on up, to a greater day
With just a little faith if you put your mind to it you can surely do it

Just move on up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Nothing to rain on Cov’s parade this afternoon…”

  1. Play up Cov… here’s one supporter who’s down in the dumps and much in need of your cheerier note ! I’ll not be travelling up to BPA today, as I’ve had a busy travelling week and nervy and superstitious as I am I’ll probably not follow your tweets as I’d be a bundle of nerves if I did. Maybe I’ll just succomb to temptation and check in with you at HT to see if I dare follow the second half.
    I was always somewhat suspicious of others’ optomism at the end of last season given those two late defeats and thinking maybe we weren’t as good as we thought we were. And so this season’s erratic performances has rendered me particularly nervous about the ongoing prospects. I hope Cov can convince me otherwise today.

  2. Have a friend in his 50’s who collects badges from the grounds he visits and out them on a hat he wears to games. Would be great to have a little lapel badge to wear

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