So you want to believe
Everything that you read
And you think that you’re makin’ the grade
(and) just when you’re getting it made
At last they accept you
In case you go next year
And ask you to reach for the sky
The Motors – Dancing The Night Away
Maybe ‘dancing’ the Knights away is a bit of an exaggeration, but Cov did enough to ensure they won and in the end with a scoreline of 18-6, won fairly comfortably.
More of a shuffle than a dance, perhaps?
That said, Knights probably deserved a point from a game in which they saw plenty of ball, played in our half for long periods and generally made life very difficult for the home side.
It wasn’t one of those games that will live long in the memory, and indeed there were few standout moments at all in a contest where both teams were happy to kick away possession and press the opposition in their half. And whilst the chasers did their bit, the quality of the kicking certainly wasn’t as consistent as either side would have wished and as a result the game rarely sprang into life.
And as seems to be the case in most games these days, there were several decision from the officials that seemed to antagonise the home crowd and the number of resets in the set piece alone did nothing to help the game flow at all.
All-in-all, Cov will most likely be just happy to take the points and move on.
Fair play to Donny too, they’d done their homework and knowing Cov like to play with some pace and intensity, they did everything they could to slow the game down, taking an inordinate amount of time at lineouts and scrums or to make changes – it was all legal, but I’m not convinced it was always in the spirit of the game
But in the corresponding fixture last season Cov lost to Donny in a game which we should have won. This time round, we won in a game in which we struggled to reach the heights of the week before – but if we can play ugly and win, well that is definitely a big step up from last season where we played poorly on several occasions and deserved to lose – against Donny, Richmond (a), Hartpury (a) and Scottish (a) to name but 4.
Doncaster had enough ball and territory to have made life much harder for us than they actually did. That we nilled them in terms of tries was down to their lack of creativity and Cov’s defence which was far too good for them, despite Doncaster seeing so much ball.
Conditions weren’t ideal, there was a near constant drizzle and a slight wind, but as you’d expect of this new pitch, there was no indication that there had been any rain this week at all from just looking at the surface. It is incredible how well it stands up to such inclement weather.
We chatted to a couple of Cov stalwarts who help out at the club during the week and they felt that last season with a grass pitch the game might not have gone ahead, and if it had the pitch wouldn’t have recovered for weeks. Apparently, midweek the carpark had been awash with water running out from the pitch’s drainage system and surfacing near where the car wash usually takes place.
It just goes to show how much water there was at times lying under the grass surface in seasons’ past and why it often tended to pool at the railway end.
It could be interesting if there’s a good deal of rain and then a really heavy frost in the weeks to come – any entrepreneurs at the club could make Cov a small fortune by turning the carpark into an ice rink for the duration…
When we arrived, a couple of hours before kick off, there were some youngsters out on the pitch having a wonderful time with some of the Development/Academy players – this just couldn’t have happened last season with the rain we’ve had of late.
Getting in to the ground was quite as straightforward as it usually is.
Once again the two ticket machines in the carpark were causing the ground staff all sorts of problems with just the one machine working and the other appearing to be somewhat temperamental. It was giving the officials a few headaches when we arrived and those parking up weren’t slow in making their feelings known. Hopefully, it was all resolved before the rush hour…
It was mentioned by one of the attendants wearing a Hi-Viz jacket that Cov take the money from the machines and the company overseeing the parking take the fines – if that’s true, the cynic in me would tentatively suggest that ensuring the ticket machines work efficiently isn’t necessarily going to be their top priority…
And then to add to the frustrations, the main turnstile only had one ticket scanner working. Apparently there are six in total but the other five hadn’t been put on charge, so they were hoping for a quiet period that was long enough to get the other scanners up and running.
Inside the ground, however, normal service was resumed. The shop was already open and knowing that there are children/grandchildren (no’s 7 and 8 (twins 🙂 ) due very shortly now) wanting ideas for Christmas presents, I bought a Cov hat for the kids to give me.
The lady in the club shop, I think her name is Theresa, is a hoot and did her best to persuade me that the bobble hat with the thick pink band was unisex, which, of course, it is.
But as only real men can wear pink, I declined and went for the safer, all blue, option much to her disappointment.
They are lovely and welcoming in there…
Lunch was a straight choice between fish and chips and a pork roll – the roll won it but at £5, nice as it was, I’ll try the fish next time. To have the choice we now have is a real plus, especially when you compare it to most other Championship grounds where the catering is in-house. The Fans’ Zone is getting more and more popular and at half time the Sweet Stall seemed to do a booming trade…
(PS for alcoholic lightweights like me, the mobile coffee van is a godsend…)
Coventry Rugby always honours Remembrance Day with respect and dignity. The ceremony they hold is brief and simple. When Jon Sharp reads the names of those Coventry players who fell in conflict, I never fail to get a lump in my throat…
However, and this is probably insensitive on my part, I would rather the ceremony was conducted against a backdrop of silence.
For some reason, though, Cov stick with Billy Bell singing.
We’ve had ‘Abide With Me’ in the past, this time it was ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. Now I’ve nothing against Billy, I just don’t think him singing adds anything to the occasion.
I certainly don’t abide with him on this one….
It’s a personal thing but it just comes across as being more about him than it is about remembering the fallen. Silence is far more effective – broken only by the haunting sound of the last post.
One big plus this year. The club have obviously learned from last year when the players jogged off the pitch as the ceremony was taking place, to a background of cheers from the main stand. Having them go off early and then return to line up as part of the Remembrance Service was a much better call.
It was good to see the Coventry Corps of Drummers too – they added some entertainment at half time and got a generous reception from the crowd, Not being local to Cov, I hadn’t come across them before but they are obviously successful at what they do given the coach they arrived at the ground in…
I’m so looking forward to the day Cov travel to away games in a personalised coach…blue and white, not red and green, I hasten to add.
And did anyone else spot the advertising on the main screen? It looks as if the Cov players have been moonlighting, producing adverts presumably for the club sponsors.
I took a few photos as the advert(s) were on a loop –
Sentiki Nayalo looks a natural and, on the basis of what I saw, a call from a Hollywood agent can’t be too far away…
And the scoreboard…great that we’ve got it and all that, BUT…
…can’t those in the know see that it’s current format doesn’t make for an easy read?
Having the scores each side of the time means that a quick glance up isn’t always enough. The set up last season, with the countdown clock at the bottom of the screen, worked well enough but if this is preferred, for heaven’s sake why not just swap the position of the club badges with the score so that there is a gap between them and the time?
816026 just looks clumsy as it is – but move the badges to the right/left of the 8/6 and it immediately it’s easier to read. Add some colour to the score (as long as it doesn’t clash with the badges (yellow or orange, perhaps) and there’s even more of a contrast.
If it were me alone who had an issue with the current layout, then I wouldn’t go on about it, but everyone sitting near us is of the same opinion.
Cov were always going to struggle to produce the kind of form that very nearly did for Ealing the week before. Such was the magnitude of that result, expectation yesterday was going to be sky high. In no way am I trying to demean Doncaster, but the fact that it wasn’t, say, Pirates or Newcastle, meant that the quality of opposition just wasn’t there and consequently Cov didn’t have to raise their game above the fairly mundane.
Cov always play better against the top sides and we ended up playing Doncaster at their level, rather than them playing us at ours. That’s not particularly well expressed but hopefully you get the gist.
Cov did enough to nullify any threat that Doncaster might pose and their defence was pretty watertight all afternoon, knocking Donny back at times and forcing them to kick when they couldn’t break our defensive wall.
We too struggled to break down a resolute Doncaster defence, so much so that we too tended to kick deep and play the territorial game in their half wherever possible.
It’s not a tactic that worked particularly well yesterday, but it still worked…
The sponsors awarded the Man of the Match Award to Joe Buckle – he certainly had a decent enough game and perhaps the maiden try he scored helped nudge the sponsors in his direction. Few players stood out in fairness; this was a team performance where there were few notable individual performances.
I haven’t heard anything from the coaches as yet, but I’m assuming that they’ll be happy about the win, but disappointed we couldn’t offer more in attack.
Two tries, of which one was a catch and drive, is well below Cov’s average for a game, especially at home. However, the two other games yesterday were both low scoring (perhaps symptomatic of the poor weather conditions?), with Newcastle only managing to beat Bedford 6-11. Goldington Road is a tough place to play, but they too failed to get a bonus point and I’m sure Cov will have taken note that in their last couple of games the Falcons haven’t been at their fluid best.
A good time to be going up North, maybe?
If you haven’t already voted for your Man of the Match, here’s the link:
Please do give it a go!
The Motors went under the radar a little – Airport was a massive hit for them but it was a pretty much their only one unless you actually followed them – Dancing the night Away, Be What You Wanna Be, Forget About You (a classic) and Tenement Steps were all lesser known hits for them.
They were another pub rock band at their best in the late 70s/early ’80s and I was a big fan, as I was of Brinsley Schwartz, Rockpile, Squeeze, The Members and the like.
So you want to believe
Everything that you read…
When it comes to Cov – definitely.
And yes. we really are asking you to reach for the sky because that’s the limit with this squad and set of coaches…
This is a team heading in the right direction.
Come on Cov!