Bringing on back the good times,
taking away the pain.
You’re bringing on back the good times,
and I’m living on air.
So glad that you’re there, sweeping away the sad times,
making me laugh again
Love Affair – Bringing On Back The Good Times
Whilst yesterday’s game wasn’t the most memorable we’ve seen under Rowland Winter’s stewardship, it does however represent another significant step in Coventry’s progress since he arrived at the BPA some three and a half years ago.
Updating Sam’s Points Tracker following the Doncaster game clearly shows just how much ahead of last season’s points total we currently are. After 5 games, and having played the teams that finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th (2 of them away from home as well) we are already 6 points ahead of where were last season.
The loss against Doncaster last season means that a win this season takes us another 4 points ahead of where we would have been in 2018/19.
And next we play the team heading the Championship on Sunday – this has been a tough start to the season by any measure which makes our current position all the more encouraging.
Remember, Sam is tracking Cov’s points won against teams this season (in the Championship only – not the Cup competition) against the corresponding games last season, making it far easier to determine the relative improvement (or otherwise) year-on-year.
And 6 points is a significant increase in just 5 games.
A third more in fact which, if projected across the remainder of the season, would give us 61 points and put us comfortably in 5th place in last season’s table where we finished in 8th place on 46 points.
However, a number of teams we lost against then, the likes of Scottish, Hartpury, Richmond, we might reasonably expect to beat this time round and perhaps even pick up a bonus point or two on the way. That would mean a significant increase on that projected tally of 61 points, taking us into a possible top 3 spot…
The tracker is a much better way of looking at where we are relative to last season and the results it is currently showing make encouraging reading for any Cov fan, as well as perhaps unnerving a few supporters from other clubs in the process.
Which is no bad thing…
No one is expecting a great deal, in terms of points at least, from the trip up to Newcastle on Sunday, the hope being that the team’s performance, rather than the result, marks a step up from that against London Irish last season where, if I’m brutally honest, we got a bit of a tanking, 52-22.
Such was the side’s improvement down at Ealing 2 weeks ago, you have to expect Cov will make Newcastle work a lot harder for their points than they did against Irish.
A loss on Sunday wouldn’t actually affect the tracker given that heavy defeat, so that’s a positive in itself.
Because Sam has loaded the results of all Coventry Rugby’s League and Cup games from the start of the 2017/18 season (the promotion season) into a spreadsheet, a quick bit of data analysis on his part (it his job!) brings up some interesting stats with regard to yesterday’s game:
- The 24 points scored in total makes it the second lowest scoring game that Cov have been involved in since the start of 17/18 promotion winning season (League or Cup). The lowest was against Yorkshire Carnegie in the Cup last year.
- Since 17/18 we have only been involved in 4 games (including Saturday’s) where there has been a combined total of under 30 points scored by both teams…(all three were in away games last season and were all losses, including Richmond and Scottish away and the aforementioned Yorkshire Carnegie game).
- The 18 points Cov scored at the weekend is the lowest winning points total Cov have had in the same period (League or Cup).
- We’ve scored 18 or less points on just 8 occasions but have either lost (7 games) or drawn (1 game) those games (again League or Cup), one of which was the loss away at Jersey this season (15 points scored)
- Again in the same period (League and Cup) we’ve conceded fewer points than the 6 Doncaster mustered on 5 occasions (including 3 nils of the opposition and all during the promotion winning season). Unlike at the weekend, though, we achieved the 4 try bonus in all of those games.
Some really interesting factoids in there – or at least they are to me!
Many thanks to Sam for all the work that has gone into producing the spreadsheet, although I’m guessing not everyone will be as appreciative!
My grandson came round midweek proudly wearing his poppy badge.
Whilst he hasn’t shown the same interest in Coventry Rugby as we might have hoped, he is a keen West Brom fan and he was eager to show me the label badge he had managed to get hold of via Ebay.
At first I wasn’t convinced that Poppy Appeals should in some way go hand-in-hand with the commercialism of Premiership football; it didn’t sit well with me. But, haven’t listened before the Doncaster game to Jon Sharp read out the names of those Coventry Rugby players who had lost their lives in World Wars, it then made complete sense.
A club honouring its own.
And actually, on reflection, a similarly designed badge with the poppy and the Cov crest/badge would be something that I’d purchase, both as a memento of the club and to wear during the days leading up to Remembrance Sunday.
They wouldn’t be very expensive to have manufactured and presumably there are companies that specialise in just this sort of thing. A bulk buy of, say, 500 could last several seasons, to be left on the shop counter and sold as and when.
Josh bought his off Ebay for £3, so they’re going to be in everyone’s price range.
Despite my moan about the musical accompaniment, I do think Cov stage the Remembrance Day service in a very simple and effective way and I’m sure there would be lots of supporters willing to contribute to the Appeal by buying a badge that honours Coventry Rugby’s heroes in particular…
Just a thought…
The signing of Henry Purdy was first announced back in July after he was released from Gloucester at the end of last season. The versatile 25 year old, who can play either at centre or out wide, made 49 appearances for Glos, scoring 16 tries. But after damaging his shoulder whilst on loan to Hartpury in 2017/18, by all accounts he struggled to get back into the Glos side.
When the media refer to Purdy as a ‘prized-signing by an ambitious club‘, you know that you’ve probably got someone a little bit special, so the wait to see Purdy out on the BPA pitch has seemed even longer than the 4 months it has actually been.
On Saturday we got our first glimpse of him; another piece in the Cov jigsaw that is beginning to take shape.
And it’s one of those particularly difficult jigsaws where there is no photo on the box and you have to work out the solution for yourself. Different supporters would want to see a jigsaw depicting different images – mine would be of the BPA, the next two phases of its development complete and Coventry playing in front of a sell-out crowd, under floodlights, the scoreboard showing Cov with a 15 point lead against Leicester with just 30 seconds of injury time to go.
A 5000 piece jigsaw that one.
Given the injuries among the backs at the moment, Purdy is precisely the kind of player we need and with the explosive pace he seems to have, he’ll cause problems whatever position he plays. His experience in the Premiership is going to be invaluable, giving us more options in areas that currently we’re short in.
It will be tough on whoever loses out when Purdy does at last make his Coventry debut, but provided he’s fit, I’d like to see him in the squad for the Newcastle game to be honest. With Jennings pulling the strings at 10 or 12, Purdy alongside them, together with the likes of Maisey, Owen, Trimble, Stokes or Halaifonua, then Cov’s backs are going to be a handful so long as they get some decent ball with which to work.
And then there’s still Andy Forsyth to come…
Good to see Coventry Rugby Supporters’ Club sponsorship of the U18s being officially recognised with an advertising hoarding pitchside on Saturday.
The CRSC has taken a prominent role in much of the Club’s off-field progress over the last couple of seasons or so and with the sponsorship of the U18s, the supporters now have an involvement in the progress of the youngsters coming through into the Development Squad.
Without the presence of an active Supporters’ Club, many supporters, among whom I number, would be unable to travel to many of the away games, so I am particularly grateful for the work they do.
A return trip up to Newcastle on a Sunday just wouldn’t be feasible other than by coach and to stay over makes the game far more costly and beyond the reach of many. Thankfully, the SC have organised a coach for the game this weekend, something for which I am eternally grateful – and at only £30 a head for non-members and £25 for members, that represents extremely good value.
After a quick search, the cheapest rail fare I could find through trainline.com was £235 return per person…
There are still some seats available. It will doubtless be a long day but whatever the outcome as far as the game is concerned, for those making the journey up it will certainly be an enjoyable one.
Details about the trip up to Newcastle, including times, can be found at:
I can only apologise for the inclusion of Love Affair’s – ‘Bringing On Back The Good Times‘. It’s actually a bit before my time (1969) and the song would never have entered into my thoughts other than because I happened to be listening to Gold on the car radio.
I vaguely remember it, although I wouldn’t have been able to identify the group – but the thing is, it’s really catchy and it’s been an earworm for the last few days, so much so that I’ve decided to bury it in here in the hope that will be the end of it.
And besides, ‘Bringing On Back The Good Times’ is exactly what this current squad of players is doing.
If you click on the YouTube video, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you..