I sho’nuff feel good
I feel good like I knew that I wouldn’t
I feel good, baby like I knew that I wouldn’t
I, I feel good like I said that I wouldn’t
Lord help us, good God get down
So good, I get down
James Brown – I Feel Good
Many thanks to everyone who took part in the Man of the Match poll for the game against Ealing Trailfinders last Friday evening.
The previous poll had been a very tight affair, with Ben Nutley pipping the match day sponsors’ choice, Rory Jennings, by just four votes.
This week the decision was far more clear cut….
So, the results of this week’s poll then are as follows:
Player % of vote
Louis Brown 32
Rory Jennings 20
Ryan Burrows 12
Nile Dacres 12
Congratulations to Louis Brown, making his debut as a Cov player.
Someone might have to correct me here, but as far as I recall the Sponsors’ Man of the Match wasn’t announced publicly at the game. I’d be really interested to see if they went to him too.
(Many thanks to Carol C for the update…Joe Buckle was the Sponsors’ choice).
For what’s it’s worth, The Rugby Paper selected Ealing’s Adam Korzwyk as the overall MofM but gave Brown the highest individual mark, an 8, from amongst the Coventry squad.
It was some debut too and he fully deserved to be this week’s winner. For a relative youngster (having just turned 22) to make such an impact in his first Championship game, and against opposition of the quality of Ealing, is an outstanding achievement.
Without James Stokes, Cov doesn’t currently have a player who can frighten defences with his pace and ability to see the gap in quite the same way, other than perhaps Max Trimble and Rob Knox, although the latter perhaps relies on his physicality as much as his quick feet.
Brown looks like he’s happy to run from deep and is prepared to take players on, confident in his ability to beat them with his pace and agility. On Friday, twice he turned Ealing’s defence with his speed and acceleration and he looked like a real threat with ball in hand.
At times this season it has felt as if the weight of supporters’ expectations, as far as the backs are concerned, has fallen very much on Max Trimble’s shoulders, so the arrival of Brown might well take a bit of the pressure off the Cov flyer on his return, too.
When Trimble has been absent, Coventry’s cutting edge has looked a fair bit blunter.
And Brown also has a heck of a left foot on him which could well be a useful asset in games where Will Maisey isn’t featuring.
It will be interesting to see how Rowland Winter decides to use the young full back.
Will he do with Brown what he has done with other Cov youngsters on occasions, namely use them for a run of two or three games with the senior squad and then send them out to feeder clubs to gain further experience. The DoR’s way, perhaps, of bringing them back down to earth without too much of a bump and ensuring they don’t get too confident, too quickly?
Young James Martin was one such player, coming in a few weeks back, scoring a sensational try and earning lots of praise for his overall game yet, after a couple of run outs with the first team, returned to Cambridge where he remains out on loan.
In such a tough, physical league as the Championship, such shielding of the less experienced, younger players makes sense, although the problem that the coaches have at the moment is that the two players currently vying for the 15 shirt are both of a similar age, in fact I think Dan Lewis might even be a year older.
That said, Brown is the more experienced of the two, at least according to the Cov’s press release when his arrival at the BPA was first announced:
‘Louis Brown has signed a two-and-a-half year contract. The full back, who turns 22 next week, arrives from Old Elthamians, but he has plenty of experience in the Greene King IPA Championship, having been a regular for Yorkshire Carnegie in the 2017/18 and 2018/19 seasons. Brown has also played professional rugby league for Featherstone Rovers…’
Interestingly, a quick check on Statbunker shows that Louis Brown isn’t down as having played for YC:
although a Louie Brown (identified by Statbunker as a different player) did, making 15 appearances in all over the two seasons mentioned above, so perhaps Statbunker have confused the pair?
If Louie Brown is the same player (down as a left wing on Statbunker), then to have played 13 games in the YC side of 2017/18 when he would have been just 18 gives him a very creditable CV, especially as Carnegie finished 6th that season on 63 points.
I remember getting excited about Tim Bitirim’s arrival at Cov back at the start of the 2018/19 season on a two year contract.
Bitirim was another young, talented full back in a similar mould to Brown, someone who had caused all sorts of problems for us when we’d visited Loughborough Students the season before in National One and he had looked useful too when he played in a couple of Nighthawk/Academy games pre-season.
Sadly, he didn’t impress the coaches and was soon back at Loughborough before signing for Cambridge for the start of this season, only to be courted by Yorkshire Carnegie in August as they desperately tried to create a side from scratch following their financial woes. He’s managed just 4 starts in all so far…
Brown’s first taste of Championship rugby with Cov certainly suggested that, unlike Tim Bitirim, he is here to stay and if he can reproduce that sort of form consistently he is sure to be a firm favourite with the Cov crowd who perhaps are in as much need of another Cov legend in the making as the club itself is.
Jennings and Burrows appearance once again in the top three of the poll reaffirms just how consistent these two have been this season and whilst neither were big name, marquee-style signings, both have helped to raise Coventry’s profile this season. Their addition to the squad evidences just how shrewd and canny Winter and co. can be when it comes to recruiting players…leaving aside the odd Jake Sharp blip here and there.
A break in the Championship this weekend allows a first meeting between Coventry and The Army on Saturday. Although a few salvos have been fired in previous seasons between the two ‘clubs’, the two senior sides have never met, so it should be a really interesting match up.
The Army will definitely be tough opposition and hopefully will attract a sizeable crowd for a friendly, although as it’s not included in the cost of a season ticket I doubt it will be on a par with Championship or Cup games. Games like this must surely be important sources of revenue for the club, especially given the RFU axe that is currently hanging over the Coventry coffers at the moment, so the more folk who attend the better.
It should also be another opportunity to see Louis Brown and hopefully a few other of the younger Cov proteges as well – perhaps the likes of (but not all of) Sharp, Flinn, Russell, Creighton, Martin, Beer et al? Chances to see their progress have been limited this season, so hopefully Saturday might offer an insight into how they are getting on away from Cov.
The Army fixture is also the final game for the club before the home game against Newcastle the week after, a fixture which evokes such fond memories for so many, although perhaps without quite the same degree of optimism going into the game as there was back in 1996.
I can still remember it as if it was yesterday…
That dazzling September moon, there was none that night
And the month was November, that’s right, that’s right
It warms my heart to know that you remember still the way you do
Ah, yes, I remember it well…
James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, but not of Louis, I presume.
Although as he can clearly kick, then perhaps he might yet become the ‘Godfather of Goal’ (thank you and goodnight…).
Feeling good probably best describes Louis’ mood right now.
And his feet are almost as quick as those of the man himself, as shown in this YouTube clip below. Hard not to smile when you watch it.