Cov should have Nottingham taped…Max Power

You were the first one
oh a oh
You were the last one
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Pictures came and broke your heart,
we can’t rewind we’ve gone too far
Too far!
Oh, aoh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, aoh, oh, oh, oh

Buggles – Video Killed The Radio Star

Video killed the radio stars.

And the first VCR (video cassette recorder for those millennials who browse the blog every now and then) was invented in Nottingham at the Electric Valve Company less than 50 years ago.

Apparently, the first video machine was called The Telcan or ‘television in a can’, cost a small matter of £60 and could record 20 minutes in black and white.

That was less than 50 years ago.

And it was digital recording that saw the death of the VCR…

…all of which brings us nicely to Saturday’s game against Nottingham, televised as it is by Sky.

On digital.

On the face of it, it has all the makings of a tight game, with Nottingham just one place below us and each team with 3 wins to its name.

And whilst Coventry have already endured tough fixtures at home to Ealing and away to Jersey and Newcastle (losing all three), Nottingham have also travelled and lost to Jersey and Cornish Pirates –  their other defeat being away to Hartpury University.

Cov have arguably had the tougher start to their Championship campaign, but Nottingham have topped their Pool in the Championship Cup and whilst Coventry go into Saturday’s game on the back of a somewhat demoralising 56-19 defeat to Ealing, Nottingham will be full of confidence having comprehensively beaten Yorkshire Carnegie 52-0 in the last of the Pool rounds in the Cup.

Cov’s reaction to that heavy loss last weekend will be key. Hopefully, it was no more than a blip, a reminder of just how good the top two teams in this league are and the coaches will have been able to use it to motivate the squad going into the Nottingham game. If there are any remnants of a hangover, then Cov will find Nottingham very tough opponents, even with home advantage.

Making the players to sit through the recording of the Ealing game won’t have made for pleasant viewing earlier in the week.

That said, Cov should have the beating of Nottingham at home.

Should have it taped, so-to-speak.

Despite the successful inclusion of a number of youngsters in the last three Championship Cup games, I imagine Rowland Winter will be picking his strongest match day squad given the significance of the game. The likes of Flinn, Lewis and McNulty all played their part in the last 3 rounds of the Cup competition but are unlikely, surely, to be involved on Saturday unless there are a number of injuries?

Luc Jeannot on the other hand, having had a strong game against Ealing, might well find himself part of the match day squad – but for the other youngsters it’s probably a case of a return to their feeder clubs.

And Cov do need a win on Saturday to keep pace with the two teams immediately above them, both of whom have ‘easier’ fixtures; Jersey at home to London Scottish and Cornish Pirates at home to Hartpury University. Anything other than a win for Cov might well see a bit of daylight developing between ourselves and the top 4.

The highlight of this weekend’s fixtures is undoubtedly the top of the table clash between Ealing Trailfinders and Newcastle Falcons, a game that is also being televised and which will be screened in the clubhouse for those supporters who want a double dose of Championship rugby prior to the Christmas break. Having been lucky enough to see both sides in recent weeks, if Ealing can reproduce the kind of form that they showed against Coventry last weekend, then Newcastle certainly won’t have things all their own way.

Over the years Cov haven’t always been that good at promoting their home games, but in fairness there’s been plenty of news coming out of the BPA over the last couple of weeks about what’s happening before, during and after Nottingham game on Saturday.

Emails, messages on social media, on the website and on the local radio have all helped raise the profile of the game (and please note, kick off is now at 5.15 pm, not 5.30 pm), so much so that even with the cameras there it should be a bumper crowd, especially as Cov aren’t in action again for another 3 weeks.  The club has wisely opened its doors early so that supporters can watch the Ealing/Newcastle game in full before the main event and by offering a free drink to anyone arriving at the ground wearing an Xmas jumper before 3.00 pm, it has ensured that there will be plenty of festive cheer and goodwill flowing around the ground.

The free drink for Season Ticket Holders who book a ticket in advance for a friend before 5 pm on Friday (in person at the ticket office or over the phone) is another really encouraging initiative and a clear sign that the club is doing everything in its power to attract new support.

Although  Cov have played 6 Championship games so far, 4 of them have been away from home, so a pattern of attendance has yet to be established. However, you would hope that with all the publicity that Cov have put behind this fixture, the highest attendance to date of 2386 should be under threat, even with the cameras present. I’d love to see a crowd approaching 2750 inside the BPA on Saturday – under the floodlights against what is the closest to a local derby we have these days, it would make for one heck of an atmosphere.

Looking at the table above, a few more decent performances at the BPA over the next couple of months should see us overtake Pirates in terms of our average attendance. As yet, gates haven’t really increased over the last couple of seasons as we might have expected, but Cov have been playing well of late (with the exception of last week) and perhaps some tv exposure on Saturday, and again at Hartpury in January (thanks Alan), might pique the interest of local rugby fans  aware of what is happening at Cov at the moment.

A big crowd, fuelled by plenty of Christmas spirit (and ale) should add to the atmosphere considerably and have a really positive influence on the outcome of the game. Hopefully, with most supporters in their seats by the time Ryan Burrows leads the Captain’s Run, the roar from the main stand will be just what is needed to ensure that Cov start the game with their tails up and memories of last week’s defeat well and truly banished.

These are exciting times for Coventry supporters and a good win against Nottingham in front of the Sky cameras would do much to enhance the image of a club that is already receiving encouraging reviews in the wider rugby press. Those players currently negotiating contracts have plenty to play for, and for players considering Coventry for their next move, what better way to showcase the club than a decent win in front of a large and passionate Cov crowd on national television?


I try and follow as many of the Cov Academy side as is possible, given the lack of information available on the club website (and I’m being generous – I’ve said my piece elsewhere on here).

Fortunately, social media means that it is possible to track down certain players, as in the case of Max Titchener who is currently having a good run in the 1st team at Hull Ionians in National One. Max started the season at Cambridge but with competition for the 10 shirt intense, the move up north made sense. He has since helped Hull find a bit of form, although it’s going to be a struggle for them to avoid relegation with the likes of Rotherham and Birmingham Moseley immediately above them in the league.

The clips below are a reminder of what a good prospect Max is at this level. With Jennings, Maisey, Fenner and Lewis all above him in the pecking order at Cov, options to see Max at the BPA are going to be limited, but provided he maintains his focus I’m sure he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

Good luck to Max for the remainder of the season and thanks to his dad, Matt, for allowing me to use clips from his Twitter feed.

(If the videos won’t play, click on ‘See Matt Titchener’s other Tweets‘ and you’ll be taken directly to Matt’s Twitter feed where you definitely will be able to play the clips)


If you haven’t already voted in the MVP poll (and many thanks to all those who already have), please just click on the link below.

Coventry Rugby Blog – Most Valuable Player (MVP) Poll – 2019

A reminder: you have up to 5 votes.

Tick against the appropriate name(s) but you don’t have to use all 5 if you don’t wish to.
If I have neglected to include someone, please let me know and I’ll add it to the list asap.
Many thanks in advance for your involvement…


I’ve used the Robin Hood connection to Nottingham before and I’m sure it will be used elsewhere over the next few days.

After a bit of research it seems that besides the legendary outlaw, Nottingham is also famous for the invention of The Flying Bedstead (the first vertical take off ‘plane’), Tarmac,  HP Sauce and William Booth (the founder of The Salvation Army).

And the VCR, of course.

And I’ve still got a couple under my sleeve dependent on the result on Saturday.

And so to the Buggles.

Loving the backing singers in the video below…

…sorry, in love with the backing singers in the video below (Linda and Debbie)…the original singers from 25 years previously.

And remember Bruce Wooley and the Camera Club?

Happy days.



Author: Tim

4 thoughts on “Cov should have Nottingham taped…Max Power

  1. Eeek – thanks, Alan and duly amended.

    Yes, both Lewis and Jeannot have done really well on the occasions they’ve come into the squad – had Luc not been out for most of last season, he might well have been competing for a regular place in the match day 23. On Saturday’s performance he might yet be. Lewis looks to be one of the most attacking backs we have at the club and his time will come for sure. With several players looking tired out of sorts against Ealing, maybe he is in line for a recall.

    Happy Christmas and thanks for coming across and leaving a message.

  2. Tim,
    I think the 2nd TV game is Hartoury away not Ampthill.
    I thought we put out a pretty strong squad against Ealing. After that performance I ses no reason why the likes of Jeannot and Lewis cannot be in contention for a shirt in the squad. I think both have proved this season and last that they can compete at this level. In fact, I think on occassions they have done better than some of the more experienced players.

    I am still mulling over my 5 contenders for the MVP award? I think I waiting until after Saturday before casting my vote. Another interesting read Tim.

  3. Lace and Raleigh…that’s two more of my options gone!!!! According to John Butler, tickets are selling well so you might be closer with your guestimate than I am with mine!!! There should be an extended highlights DVD available every season, although there’s always YouTube I guess. Me, I’m hoping for an Ealing win just to keep it interesting.

    Have a great Christmas and as always many, many thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Up the Cov!

  4. Yes the off field activities look very good both before during and after the you say Ealing v Falcons on SKY action 2.45 kick off 3pm…good aperitif not sure who to jeer for in that one! …all matches in championship finished before our game.6th remaining game Bedford v Ampthill now on boxing day.
    looks very promising think we touched on it before, everybody got the shopping in by 5.15pm ,throw in its last weekend before Xmas,holiday time right upon us end of month everbody fiinishing work all paid up, its all set for good attendance ,always the optimist crowd maybe near 4000 mark.hope the coaches have got the players up for this biggee after last weeks hiccup.Should be good day out great game local derby, would love a copy of the game not sure if the club sell VHS tapes or is it on Betamax! Hope santa gets me my Raleigh Chopper bike for christmas and Sue wants some lace.Most of all as Mariah Carey would sing is – al i want for Christmas is 5 points that will do.
    cheers best wishes Tim

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