Article Font Size: A A A

Fraser and James step up for Students test

CENTRE Fraser Dingwall makes his debut as one of six changes in the Coventry Rugby squad for tomorrow’s game against Loughborough Students at Butts Park Arena.

The 18-year-old Northampton Academy midfielder starts in place of Sam Tuitupou, who is rested for the game along with player-defence coach Luke Narraway.

There is a first start for winger James Neal, who made his debut off the bench in last week’s 64-0 win at Fylde and steps up in place of Tom Emery, ruled out by a shoulder injury.

Second row George Oram comes back from a week off in place of Cameron Gray, with Olly Povoas replacing Narraway on a bench which also includes returning hooker Phil Nilsen, rested last week, and winger Max Trimble who is included for the first time this season following a foot injury.

Fly-half Tony Fenner, injured on the opening day of the season, is named among the match-day reserves.

League leaders Cov are bidding for their eighth straight win in National League One which, added to the run of eight with which they finished last season, would see them equal the club’s record sequence of wins.

Cov have also won all ten previous meetings with Students, who are currently next to bottom in the table with just one win and six defeats.

However, director of rugby Rowland Winter believes Loughborough are a lot better than the bare statistics suggest and anticipates a difficult afternoon.

“They’re traditionally a very fit side that plays for 80 minutes and moves the ball around which will test us in a different way to the majority of sides in National One,” he said.

“With an increased input from Leicester Tigers they have more experience and more physicality which will add to the test.

“We’re back at home, but I view this as one of our toughest games yet and we are going to need the full support of the Butts Park faithful.

“They’ve been in games until late on, there were only seven or eight points in it after 65 minutes against Ampthill last week and they pushed the Ampthill scrum around until the last 20 minutes, so I don’t read too much into their results.

“They gave us a real battle over there in the last game of last season, and we’re looking forward to a real challenge.”

Kick-off is 3pm and live post-match entertainment in the Arena Bar will be provided by Big Wednesday.

The Development side’s game against Chinnor 2nd has been postponed as the visitors are unable to raise a side.

COVENTRY: 15 James Stokes, 14 Anthony Matoto, 13 Heath Stevens (captain), 12 Fraser Dingwall, 11 James Neal, 10 Will Maisey, 9 Dave Brazier; 1 Nathanael Titchard-jones, 2 Scott Tolmie, 3 Jimmy Litchfield, 4 Nile Dacres, 5 George Oram, 6 Latu Makaafi, 7 Jack Preece, 8 Brett Daynes.

Replacements: 16 Phil Nilsen, 17 Luc Jeannot, 18 Olly Povoas, 19 Ben Palmer, 20 Max Trimble. Reserves: 21 Harry Morley, 22 Cameron Gray, 23 Tony Fenner, 24 Isaac McNulty, 25 Joe Lane.

 

Tom Little previews the rest of this weekend’s National League One programme

 

Ampthill & District              v         Cambridge

Birmingham Moseley          v         Bishops Stortford

Blackheath                             v         Darlington Mowden Park

Coventry Rugby                     v         Loughborough Students

Hull Ionians                             v        Fylde

Old Albanian                            v       Esher

Plymouth Albion                      v       Old Elthamians

Rosslyn Park                              v       Caldy

 

Week 8 completes the first quarter of the season, and how close and exciting it has been so far, at least for the top five sides. Four of the top five are at home with Darlington Mowden Park the odd one out, visiting Blackheath. There is also a key match involving bottom side Fylde who visit 14th-placed Hull Ionians.

Second-placed Plymouth Albion have Old Elthamians as their visitors. Brickfields has been a stronghold for Albion and although OE put up a strong performance at DMP, the home side can expect another try bonus win. Overall, Albion have too much power and experience in their pack to let this one slip.

The game of the day is expected to be at Eltham where Blackheath in fourth meet third-placed Darlington Mowden Park. Both sides have only lost once with Blackheath having the better defensive record, but they have struggled to match DMP in try bonus points with only four compared to six. If the home side can put on another defensive masterclass, then DMP may struggle to win. A close game which could go either way.

Ampthill & District, in fifth place and six points behind the leaders, have Cambridge as their visitors.  Cambridge have stuttered this season with only three wins, but a good home victory over Rosslyn Park has set them up nicely for the trip. If Cambridge can get their offloading game going and restrict the vaunted home pack, they might cause an upset. On balance, however, Ampthill should be too strong and earn another bonus point victory.

Another close game is expected at Birmingham Moseley, who entertain Bishop’s Stortford. The visitors have been in two close games recently, narrowly losing to Coventry, and then beating Hull Ionians after a close shave. BS will have to play with the same intensity as against Coventry to get anything out of this game. Moseley at home will be slight favourites.

Caldy and Rosslyn Park are only separated by three points with the former having to travel to the Rock to face a Park side who have struggled to live up to their pre-season hopes. Both sides have managed to win two games but have been unable to put a run together. Caldy have shown some exciting touches and Park will have to be at their best to get something out of this game.

Two struggling sides, Old Albanian and Esher meet in St.Albans. OAs were well beaten at Blackheath last week as their recent improvement seems to have evaporated, whilst Esher shipped six tries to Moseley as they struggled to contain the opposition backs. With both sides too close to the wrong end of the table it is a crucial game for both sides. An away win may be on the cards.

Bottom side Fylde travel to 14th-placed Hull Ionians who are now only three points from safety. Both have managed just one win each, but Ionians have the better try-scoring record and have been involved in some close-run games. Fylde will be reeling from last week’s heavy defeat by Coventry and should find the home side in no mind to take pity as they need to win to put pressure on those teams just above them. A home win is expected.

 

 

 

Tom Little previews the rest of this weekend’s National League One programme

 Ampthill & District              v         Cambridge

Birmingham Moseley          v         Bishops Stortford

Blackheath                             v         Darlington Mowden Park

Coventry Rugby                     v         Loughborough Students

Hull Ionians                             v        Fylde

Old Albanian                            v       Esher

Plymouth Albion                      v       Old Elthamians

Rosslyn Park                              v       Caldy

 

Week 8 completes the first quarter of the season, and how close and exciting it has been so far, at least for the top five sides. Four of the top five are at home with Darlington Mowden Park the odd one out, visiting Blackheath. There is also a key match involving bottom side Fylde who visit 14th-placed Hull Ionians.

Second-placed Plymouth Albion have Old Elthamians as their visitors. Brickfields has been a stronghold for Albion and although OE put up a strong performance at DMP, the home side can expect another try bonus win. Overall, Albion have too much power and experience in their pack to let this one slip.

The game of the day is expected to be at Eltham where Blackheath in fourth meet third-placed Darlington Mowden Park. Both sides have only lost once with Blackheath having the better defensive record, but they have struggled to match DMP in try bonus points with only four compared to six. If the home side can put on another defensive masterclass, then DMP may struggle to win. A close game which could go either way.

Ampthill & District, in fifth place and six points behind the leaders, have Cambridge as their visitors.  Cambridge have stuttered this season with only three wins, but a good home victory over Rosslyn Park has set them up nicely for the trip. If Cambridge can get their offloading game going and restrict the vaunted home pack, they might cause an upset. On balance, however, Ampthill should be too strong and earn another bonus point victory.

Another close game is expected at Birmingham Moseley, who entertain Bishop’s Stortford. The visitors have been in two close games recently, narrowly losing to Coventry, and then beating Hull Ionians after a close shave. BS will have to play with the same intensity as against Coventry to get anything out of this game. Moseley at home will be slight favourites.

Caldy and Rosslyn Park are only separated by three points with the former having to travel to the Rock to face a Park side who have struggled to live up to their pre-season hopes. Both sides have managed to win two games but have been unable to put a run together. Caldy have shown some exciting touches and Park will have to be at their best to get something out of this game.

Two struggling sides, Old Albanian and Esher meet in St.Albans. OAs were well beaten at Blackheath last week as their recent improvement seems to have evaporated, whilst Esher shipped six tries to Moseley as they struggled to contain the opposition backs. With both sides too close to the wrong end of the table it is a crucial game for both sides. An away win may be on the cards.

Bottom side Fylde travel to 14th-placed Hull Ionians who are now only three points from safety. Both have managed just one win each, but Ionians have the better try-scoring record and have been involved in some close-run games. Fylde will be reeling from last week’s heavy defeat by Coventry and should find the home side in no mind to take pity as they need to win to put pressure on those teams just above them. A home win is expected.

 

Posted in News.