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Coventry Rugby v RAF – match report

Lineout action from Cov’s win over the RAF (pic: Trystan Finocchiaro)                      Words – Joe Pepper

A match dominated by Coventry’s backs saw Tom Emery come away with a superb hat-trick in Cov’s 81-14 win over the Royal Air Force.

Former All Black Sam Tuitupou shone under the floodlights in the first half at Broadstreet, making numerous line breaks for the hosts who led 38-7 at the break.

And led by a Max Titchener brace, the Blue-and-Whites added a further seven touchdowns after the break to complete a ‘double’ over this season’s midweek armed services visitors.

Cov started the game kicking into the wind, instantly putting the first points on the board with a simple Emery finish following a Tuitupou offload.

A powerful Coventry scrum then delivered quick ball to Tuitupou who once again offloaded to Emery who provided the finish.

Max Trimble then took Cov back into Air Force territory, and a neat kick pass allowed Kwaku Asiedu to ease himself over the line.

A smart break from the visitors’ Toby Evans then gave the visitors an attacking platform after which a lineout catch and drive sent Toby Mann over for the RAF’s opening try.

But momentum soon returned to Cov as yet another Tuitupou offload saw Emery complete a try hat-trick within the opening 30 minutes.

After a quiet spell, Dan Lewis got on the end of a grubber from Tuitupou to claim Cov’s fifth try after which Asiedu grabbed his second of the night to send the hosts into the break with a commanding lead.

The second half started slower than the first until Cov hit the RAF with a three-try burst in eight minutes.

Will Flinn  set up Trimble for the first of these them grabbed the second himself following Josh McNulty’s line break.

The third quarter was then rounded off by a try from Jack Higgins following a maul close to the visitors’ line.

And there was no slackening of the pace in the closing stages as Fred Betteridge was followed over the whitewash by Max Tichener (2) and Tarik Tin.

Enough time remained for the Air Force to respond with their second try when Ben Davies went under the posts from a maul.

 Scorers & Times:

Coventry Rugby:

Tries: Tom Emery (2) (7) (23) Kwaku Asiedu (10) (38) Dan Lewis (35) Max Trimble (48) Will Flinn (50) Jack Higgins (56) Fred Betterige (61) Max Titchener (65) (67) Tarik Tin (70)

Cons: Dan Lewis (7) (10) (23) (35) Robbie Povey (50) (61) (65) (67)

Royal Air Force:

Tries: Toby Mann (20) Ben Davies (74)

Cons: Andy Byrne (20) Ben Davies (74)

Line Ups:

Coventry Rugby: Tom Emery; Kwaku Asiedu, Isaac McNulty, Sam Tuitupou, Max Trimble; Dan Lewis, Will Flinn; Toby Trinder, Darren Dawidiuk, Josh McNulty; Scott Russell, Tom Jubb; Fred Betteridge, Jack Ram, Latu Makaafi.

Replacements: Jack Higgins, Tarik Tin, Sam McNulty, Harry Charter, Cameron Gray, Robbie Povey, Max Titchener, James Neal, Morgan Dayes.

Royal Air Force: Toby Evans; Toby Mann, Sam Moorby, Luke Riddell, Lloyd Owen; Andy Byrne, Liam Eaton; Matt Harris, Andrew Stobbs, Dave Manning; Alex Stanley, Chris Campbell; John Howard, Dan Johnson, Sam Breeze.

Replacements: Jake Lovatt, Harry Challenor, Scott Brown, Simon Morris, Ben Davies, Josh Williams, Rory Wood, Owen Smith, Ryan Crowley, Rhyan Scott-Young.

Referee: Luke Haskins

Half-time: Coventry 38 – 7 Air Force

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