Tue. May 11th, 2021

Then just about sun down
You come walking through town
Your boot heels clicking like
The barrel of a pistol spinning round

Don’t worry, darling
No baby, don’t you fret
We’re living in the future
And none of this has happened yet

Brice Springsteen – Livin’ In The Future

Anyone who was fortunate enough to be at the BPA on Friday can’t fail to have been impressed by Coventry’s defence against a side who go into the 2019/20 Greene King Championship as joint favourites for promotion.

Whilst it’s fair to say Ealing had much the better of the game territorially, for the last 70 minutes or so Coventry’s defensive line was pretty much rock solid and for long periods Ealing were camped out in the Coventry 22, one missed tackle away from a try. But they only managed the single try whilst Cov scored 3 of their own.

It might not have been the kind of running game that Cov’s home crowds have become accustomed to over the last three seasons, but it was hugely entertaining and whilst Coventry in the end lost the game, they won plenty of respect on the night from everyone who witnessed the game.

In his post-match interview on the BPA pitch immediately after the final whistle, Ealing’s DoR Ben Ward talked about his relief at the final whistle and whilst there might be some disappointment that his side didn’t earn the extra bonus point, Coventry are:

a very good side who are going to be a very big challenge this season

As I said, respect earned and deservedly so.

Also from the Ealing website:

Kieran Murphy was in buoyant mood after the crucial win over Coventry, and said that the character in the group was shown during an intense 80 minutes at Butt’s Park Arena.

“That was one hell of a battle and an excellent win for us as we head in to the league. Grinding out wins away from home is what it’s all about and that was a great test for us’.

In the closing minutes Cov put Ealing under pressure and certainly caused the visitors plenty of problems, but as far as I’m concerned the over-riding memory of the game will be Coventry’s heroics in defence.

I was incredibly proud of Cov.

So much so that I messaged Rowland Winter just to say that, despite the defeat, I couldn’t recall Cov producing such an outstanding defensive display for many a year and wondered a) what the tackle count was and b) whether it was greater than in any previous Cov game under his tenure.

RW got back to say he hadn’t got the stats at his disposal but when he had, he’d let me know.

This he duly did.

And impressive they are too.

Anthony Allen, Coventry’s newly appointed defence coach

In total Cov made 205 tackles, the most in Winter’s time at Cov and, furthermore, there was a 97% completion rate. I presume this means that just 6 tackles were missed in total – with one or two of those in the first 10 minutes too, I imagine, when we looked off the pace and Ealing scored two of their three tries.

Those with a better knowledge of the game will be able to put these figures into some sort of context in terms of what one might normally expect over 80 minutes, but it was fairly obvious to any regular observer of Cov, or rugby generally, that the tackle count was going to break previous records.

It would appear the decision to bring in Anthony Allen from Leicester Tigers over the summer is already beginning to reap its rewards.

I love stats like this; they do tell a story of their own sometimes.


Back in July, before a competitive ball had been kicked, I asked readers of the blog to ‘guestimate’ where they thought Coventry Rugby OUGHT to finish at the end of the 2019/20 season on the back of last season’s performances and the recruitment drive over the summer break that saw a number of Premiership or equivalent players join us.

For those who weren’t aware of the results or who might need reminding of them, these were the predictions back then:

Position %Vote
1st           2
2nd         5
3rd          17
4th          25
5th          22
6th          25
7th          4
8th          0
9th          0
10th        0
11th         0
12th        0

With Cov having now played 7 games in total, supporters are now probably better informed as to where they think Cov WILL finish this season, as opposed to the last poll determining where we thought they ought to finish. The two can be mutually exclusive.

Probably are, in fact.

Could we yet end up underachieving given the money that has been spent on buidling the squad, or actually punching above our weight even? All very subjective, but all the more interesting for being so.

So, have opinions changed?

Have the 7 games taught us a great deal about the potential of this squad, for better or worse?

Without giving too much away, I predicted Cov would finish 5th in the original poll; second time round and with a slightly different question posed, I will be changing my prediction.

I just think it would be interesting to see if those who read this blog, who I would venture to suggest are pretty much representative of Cov supporters as a whole, have changed their view on the back of what they’ve seen so far.

Just to jog your memory a little, results so far this season, and pre-season, are as follows.

Leinster (a) L 47-17
Moseley (a) W 14-17
Blackheath (a) W 23-36
Cambridge (a) W 0-35
Ampthill (a) W 17-47
Bedford (h) W 26-17
Ealing Trailfinders (h) L 17-22

Have Cov done enough in these games, together with what we know about the current squad and the players yet to join it, to warrant a 4th place finish which proved to be the most popular prediction back in January?

Or are there concerns still about the quality and depth of the squad over a 22 game season that might necessitate a rethink.

You’d hope the results of this new poll will be at least as good as, if not better, than that conducted back in July – no one wants to be going into the start of the Championship proper believing Cov will underperform against initial expectations.

I’ll keep the poll live for a few days but will publish the results before the Jersey game on Saturday.

Please find the poll below.

All you need to do is click on the circle next your choice of final position.

The software only allows one vote, although you can change your mind, provided you do so before clicking on the ‘Vote’ button.

As always, the more people who participate, the more accurate an indication it is of who supporters would probably have voted for.

Please do give it a go.

Many thanks in advance…


This poll, as indeed is the case with all the polls undertaken in the blog, shouldn’t be taken too seriously. All it is designed to do is take a snaphot of what a group of Cov fans is

thinking on a given subject at one particular moment.

To quote The Boss:

Don’t worry, darling
No baby, don’t you fret
We’re living in the future
And none of this has happened yet


By Tim

3 thought on “A striking stat from the Ealing game….2 months on, have opinions changed?”
  1. Sometimes you have to own up to your mistakes!

    My method of subtracting 2 (Newcastle and Ealing) from the 12 teams in the Championship wasn’t too smart!

    9 home wins it is! (not sure we’ll beat ourselves and be able to claim the points 🙄)

    Enjoy the trip to Jersey.

  2. 10 home wins would be an incredible effort and mean beating at least one of either Newcastle or Ealing. I so hope I’m there that day! I think if we could get and 8 home, 5 away record that would be a pretty respectable return, all things considered…
    Hope all is well with you, James…and thank you for continuing to follow the blog!

  3. I think even the most optimistic supporter would regard the Top 2 as out of reach? I hope we compete with Jersey, Cornish Pirates and Bedford in the ‘next best’ group. When the message board asked for ‘Aspirations for the Seasons’ (months ago and prior to the influx of new signings) I answered 10 home wins, 4 away wins and a home QF in the cup. I regarded this as modest and realistic progress, but looking at last year’s finished table it would have been enough to finish 3rd which seems a bit greedy on reflection 🙂

Any thoughts:

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