Cov in the Championship – it’s starting to all add up

Mm, but she blinded me with science
She blinded me with science
And failed me in biology, yeh yeh
Now uh, huh huh

Mm, but it’s poetry in motion
And when she turned her eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony

Thomas Dolby 

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brad

I don’t usually include any personal stuff in the blog but a few minutes ago my eldest daughter, Charlie, gave birth to twins

A boy (6lbs 8 oz) and a girl (5ils 12 oz).

All are doing well, as is Brad (if a little shell-shocked).

That’s grandchildren 7&8.

Hopefully, the new kit suppliers will offer baby grows in both the home and away colours…

Well done to the both of you.

This post was the best way of taking my mind off the morning’s events.

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Hopefully no blinding anyone with science here…

…Sam’s result tracker has been really useful in determining just what a good start Cov have made to this season.

For those new to the tracker, Sam has tracked the Championship games this season against the same fixtures last season to see if Cov’s performances have improved.

And improved they have.

Cov are currently 6 points ahead of where we were having played the same sides in 2018/19

Date Ground Vs 18/19 Points 19/20 Points
12/10/2019 Away Jersey 5 1
19/10/2019 Home Bedford Blues 5 5
27/10/2019 Away Yorkshire Carnegie 0 5
02/11/2019 Away Ealing Trailfinders 1 3
09/11/2019 Home Doncaster Knights 1 4
17/11/2019 Away Newcastle 0 0
Total     12 18

giphy13But Sam, bless him, has done much more than just track the points and in so doing has produced some really interesting stats and, whilst they might not appeal to the many, I’m sure they will to the few…

(Apologies for that – up to now this has been an a-political blog…)

And it all adds up to being a really strong start for Cov in this, their second season in the Championship.

Take points scored/conceded for instance:

Home/Away Matches Points Scored 18/19 Points Scored 19/20
Away 4 93 116
Home 2 51 44
Total 6 144 160
Home/Away Matches Points Conceded 18/19 Points Conceded 19/20
Away 4 170 122
Home 2 50 25
Total 6 220 147

Cov have been scored 16 more points this season than in the corresponding fixtures in 2018/19 (remembering that London Irish (a) last season has been replaced by Newcastle (a) this season).

However, when it comes to conceding points, Cov have improved considerably. Cov leaked a whopping 220 points in the same six games last season, compared to just 147 in 2019/20. That’s nearly 37 points a game in 2018/19, against 22.5 points this season.

I’m sure there are many reasons for such a remarkable turnaround in Cov’s defensive play but one of them must be Anthony Allen’s influence as the new defence coach this season.

Home/Away Matches Tries For 18/19 Tries For 19/20
Away 4 14 15
Home 2 8 6
Total 6 22 21
Home/Away Matches Tries Against 18/19 Tries Against 19/20
Away 4 24 18
Home 2 6 3
Total 6 30 21

Not unsurprisingly in the light of the above, tries against this season have been reduced considerably,  9 fewer than 2019 already and that figure would have been still lower had it not been for the Newcastle game a couple of weeks ago.

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Name 1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 Total
Backs 1 4 3 7 15
Forwards 5 1 0 0 6
Grand Total 6 5 3 7 21

Of all the tables included in this post, the above is probably of most interest.

It shows the break down of the quarters in which Cov have scored their tries.

The fascinating thing for me is that of the 21 tries we’ve scored so far this season, just 6 have come from the forwards and all of these have been scored in the first half –  four   from the hookers and 2 from Sentiki Nayalo.

Not a single try scored by the forwards in the second half of any of the six games so far in the Championship.

That’s over 4 hours of rugby!

The remaining 15 tries have come from the backs, with two thirds of those being scored in the second half, with the final quarter being a particularly fruitful one for us.

Those last 20 minutes are as close to the ‘poetry in motion’ as you’ll get…

So is it that Cov are playing it much tighter in the first 20 minutes, kicking to the corner from penalties wherever possible and then relying on the ‘catch and drive’ – hence the hookers dominating the tries scored by forwards? Or is it the case that in the second half the bench is having a bigger impact than perhaps it’s being given credit for (by me anyway) against opposition that are tiring, creating the room for our backs to flourish?

I’d be really interested to hear the coaches view on why this is. Is it something that they’ve planned for or has it just evolved out of the game strategies they employed  – the former I imagine?

Despite Will Maisey’s  almost unerring ability to kick successfully under extreme pressure (as we witnessed down at Ealing earlier this season), it’s Rory Jennings who actually has the best kicking percentage.

Name Convs missed Convs successful Pens, missed Pens Successful Total
Rory Jennings 3 8 2 6 19
Will Maisey 1 9 3 1 14
Grand Total 4 17 5 7 33
Name Conversion % Pen % Total%
Rory Jennings 73% 75% 74%
Will Maisey 90% 25% 71%

Will’s figures have been dented somewhat by 3 out of 4 missed penalty attempts; a couple of bankers amongst those too. Still, over the course of the season it will be an interesting battle to see who is top gun in the kicking department.

As far as the  club’s leading points/try scorers are concerned, it’s still very early days but Stokes and Trimble are likely to be up there at the end of the season in terms of most tries scored and on the form Henry Purdy showed on Saturday, he might well snapping at their heels before too long.

Name Conversions Penalties Tries Total
Rory Jennings 16 18 5 39
Will Maisey 18 3 10 31
James Stokes 20 20
Max Trimble 20 20
Senitiki Nayalo 10 10
Scott Tolmie 10 10
Tom Kessell 5 5
Joe Buckle 5 5
Darren Dawiduik 5 5
Robert Knox 5 5
Peter White 5 5
David Hal’ua 5 5

Even without the numbers, it’s obvious that Cov have had a much stronger start to the Championship than they did 12 months ago.

Hopefully, some of the numbers just add a little more understanding to what we already know.

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This one’s a blast from the past…

…don’t know much about Thomas Dolby other than this particularly song, his fascination with electric synthesisers and that he was responsible for coming up with the original Nokia ringtone (based on a phrase taken from the work of a Spanish composer 100 years ago…???)

Author: Tim

2 thoughts on “Cov in the Championship – it’s starting to all add up

  1. Many congratulations and best wishes for the newest grandchildren. Two more to add to the attendance soon perhaps? Please keep the blogs coming.

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