Breakin’ down the walls of heartache, baby
I’m a carpenter of love and affection
Breaking down the walls of heartache, baby
I got to tear down all the loneliness and tears
And build you up a house of love
Breakin’ down the walls of heartache
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Breaking Down The Walls of Heartache
From yesterday’s post:
If there are one or two players with knocks or who are fatigued, do you risk them against Ealing or rest them to make sure you’ve got your strongest side available to face Carnegie at home?
Yesterday’s team announcement for today’s game against Ealing Trailfinders included no Stokes, Halaifonua, Maisey, Bulumakau or Woolford – all out with minor injuries, none of them long-term, with most more than likely available for selection for the home game against Carnegie next weekend.
Question answered, I guess.
Whatever the result today, I reckon the side next Saturday will look stronger on paper at least than today’s. As important as todays game is, the game against Carnegie has to be seen as the priority given their current run of form.
Cov have to win their home games, especially with such a poor run of results away from home so it makes sense to ensure your players are fit for that one.
Voss and Ram are also either carrying a knock or being given an extra week to rest, presumably before joining the match day squad next week as well.
Peters, too, gets a rest of sorts as Faleata goes into the back row to allow him to take up a place on the bench. Faleata has had two promising starts and having played much of his rugby at 6, he’s an obvious replacement for Peters when required.
Ram misses his first game this season and with Peters only a replacement today, James Gibbons is now the only player to have started in all 8 games, some effort that for a player in the front row. He’s proved to be a real find and I’m sure he’ll be relishing a return to Vallis Way where he played 45 times for Trailfinders in the 2 years he was there before joining Cov, making 19 starts in all.
Not unsurprisingly given his performances this season, Luc Jeannot retains his place with Charlie Beech on the bench. It can’t be easy for Beech at the moment, a loose-head having to cover tight-head in the absence of Phil Boulton. Hopefully, when Phil returns CB will be able to give Gibbons a well-earned break once the cup games get under way.
No Ram, so Adams moves to 8 and Nutley to 7 – plenty of bulk then in the backrow this afternoon and if we do get a reasonable amount of possession, I hope we’ll seem them take on the Ealing defence. All three are strong runners with the ball and if they can create a bit of space for the backs to work in, we could see Cov (to quote Rowland Winter) ‘ruffle a few feathers‘.
Even with Ram out, Jack Preece isn’t in the starting XV, although he gets his chance this afternoon from the bench. He must be eager to get some game time in after what has been a surprisingly quiet start to the season for the former Championship Dream Teamer in both 2010 and 2014. To say he’s a useful player to have come on in the last 20 minutes or so is something of an understatement especially if it looks like being a tight finish, which is exactly what Ealing’s last two games have proved to be.
Despite losing their opening fixture against Irish 7-20, their other home games have been high scoring affairs: 42-24 (Carnegie), 41-35 (Pirates) and 38-32 (Richmond). They certainly seem to leak a few points at home, 111 in all, which is the second highest number of points conceded at home in the league so there should be a few opportunities for Cov to get themselves on the scoresheet later today.
On their website hooker Alun Walker glosses over Cov’s poor away record, suggesting instead that the visitors are in a run of good form:
They recruited very well in the summer and have a very strong squad. They have been competing week in week out and are in good form at the moment so it will be a big test for us but we want to play for the whole 80 minutes and put in a complete.
Whilst he maintains he ‘wants‘ to see an 80 minute performance from his side, there’s no real suggestion from him that they’ll need one, so it’s very much up to Cov to make sure that Ealing are made to work a lot harder in the opening 20 minutes or so than they’ve had to do against any team this season other than Irish.
Although sitting on top of the Championship, 2 points ahead of Irish but having played a game more, none of Ealing’s results should cause Cov undue concern. We made Irish work harder for their win than Ealing did and against Richmond I’m sure we’d also fancy ourselves at home to beat them too.
If Cov can get over the apparent lack of confidence they’ve shown so far on their travels, even with today’s changes they have a side more than capable of causing Ealing Trailfinders a good few problems. The pressure is very much on the home side and if Cov supporters can make some noise again, as they did’ against Richmond, then Ealing won’t find it straightforward at all.
A wall of sound before the game as Cov exit their warm-up and then again when they come back out onto the pitch just before kick off could well unnerve the home side…
And talking of walls, Cov supporters need to break down the ‘walls of (previous) heartache‘ resulting from some disappointing Cov away performances so far this season and build Cov a ‘house of love‘ even away from home.
The £5 I invested in Cov last weekend gave me a return of £6.50, hardly a king’s ransom, but at least I wasn’t left out of pocket. And it’s still enough to reinvest in today’s game and with Paddy Power offering odds of 13/2 against a Cov win, come 5.00 pm that’s a further £48.50 into the Smith family coffers and a step nearer me buying my Caribbean retreat in April.
Once again the Supporters’ Club are running a coach down to Ealing. Over the course of the season these trips save me a small fortune as I would probably have gone by train rather than driven and inevitably that is rather more costly, even without the various pitstops that punctuate any long rail journey. For folk like me, they are a real godsend and I can’t thank the Supporters’ Club enough for the work they do in organising them.
And the good news is that the Supporters’ Club are intending to run a coach to every away game this season, other than Jersey obviously, including all the cup games.
If you haven’t travelled with the supporters yet, it’s well worth a go. The coach to Richmond was full and there were some supporters who missed out having left booking a seat too late, although I rather expect today’s coach won’t be so packed given that performance against Richmond and the strength of today’s opposition..
With a number of supporters making their own way down to Ealing by all accounts, there should still be a goodly number of Coventry fans down at Vallis Way this afternoon and I can’t imagine Cov putting in anything other than a much improved performance this week. The journey back from Richmond must have been a difficult one for the players who lost to Richmond, especially given Winter seemed so angry when he spoke to Alec Blackman immediately after the game. Hopefully, Winter’s words that day will still be ringing in their ears and there will be a veritable surfeit of balls on display this afternoon.
Today supporters need to be what Dexys refers to as ‘the carpenters of love and affection‘ to as the players look to produce a performance that will do everyone proud.
Up the Cov!
Some Coventry Bears news, even though it is their close season at the moment.
For those who may not be aware John Kear, Wales’ Supremo has invited Bears’ Head Coach, Tom Tsang, down to their training headquarters as the national side prepares for their World Cup qualifiers.
It’s a real honour for the Coventry Bears and is further evidence of the progress that the rugby league club have made in recent seasons.
The Bears also have 4 of their current squad included in the full Wales international squad, so the invite to Tom Tsang will be one that is mutually beneficial to both parties, with Tom T being able to witness at first hand what is expected of his players at national level, as well as meet everyone involved with the national side.
And it really is a two way process. In commenting on the invitation to Tsang, John Kear generously states:
I hope I’ll gain something from all three coaches as a fresh pair of eyes always sees something differently. Hopefully, they’ll also be able to share ideas and get something back from all quarters. Not just from myself, but from assistant coaches Garreth Carvell and Mark Moxon and all the staff.
Our hope is we can share ideas, chat about the game, the teams, individual tactics and it will benefit us all.
Such an accolade can only help the club develop further and be even more competitive in seasons to come. The Bears had their best ever season this year and will be looking to build on their very creditable 11th place finish in 2019 and with this sort of support at a national level, the future looks promising.
I’ve certainly been really impressed at the quality of the match day package available at the Bears and even though they might not have access to all the facilities on offer at the BPA, it’s always a really enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment and being able to watch games alongside the fervent supporters of teams like Bradford, Workington and Oldham is something very special.
Well done to everyone involved at the Bears for this latest honour…I’m really looking forward to the start of the 2019 season.
Once again I’ll be tweeting during the game, so if you’re not travelling down to Ealing and want to keep in touch with what’s happening, then 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 Ealing Trailfinders have their own too (@ealingtfrugby)
However, if you are interested in something slightly different, then do 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.
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – a local band (to me anyway).
I wasn’t a great fan of Kevin Rowland. In the years after ‘Come on, Eileen‘, he got a little too gobby and opinionated and was regularly mouthing off in NME in the early to mid-80s.
However, the band I did like and his desire to bring back a bit of soul to the music scene was just what was needed for those who didn’t appreciate the post-punk/new wave bands so prevalent at the time. I was lucky enough to see Dexy’s on a couple of occasions and both times they had the place rockin’…or soulin’ perhaps.
Searching For The Young Soul Rebels was a fantastic album and was played to death in the digs I lived in back in the very early 80s. ‘Breakin’ Down The Walls of Heartache‘ was the B side of ‘Geno‘ and the better of the two tracks for me…a remake of an Edwin Starr hit, I think.
It’s great to have an excuse to listen to it again; the passion and energy in the music are exactly what Cov will need to show this afternoon if they are to upset Ealing…
…a bit of ‘northern’ soul down south.