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DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter gave a frank assessment of Coventry’s disappointing overall performance in yesterday’s 42-5 defeat at Blackheath.

Cov failed to make the most of a number of first-half chances to go in 15-5 down at the break and, now with the advantage of a strong breeze, made no impact at all as an attacking force in the second period as Blackheath pulled away to a clear win.

“All credit to Blackheath – we’ve been outthought and outworked for definitely the second half and for large periods of the first half as well, and we had no response,” said Winter.

“We went in at half-time thinking that although we were ten points behind, we’d given them a lot of field positions, given away silly penalties, and it was retrievable at that point.

“We’d just finished the first half with some dominant scrums, but with a little bit of naive play we hadn’t come away with any points.

“But in the second half we struggled to get any clean ball and when we did, we didn’t make the right decisions and Blackheath took every opportunity they had. They worked incredibly hard, which is something we didn’t necessarily do.

“We made poor decisions, there were times when we should have capitalised using some simple play, but we made it too complicated for ourselves.

“I don’t think learning curves exist, it’s a cheap excuse when things go wrong. At the end of the day we weren’t good enough, and we need to look at that and improve drastically for next week.

“We’ve got some very talented players and if they work hard and keep things simple, then we can get results. Today they’ve done neither of those two things which we’ve got to address.”

Added Winter: “We’re four games into the season, we’ve performed well at home against two teams I’d expect to struggle a little bit over the course of the season, and come away to two tough places and haven’t performed.

“If we come away and perform, work hard, and still lose, then we’ll get on the bus as content as we can be, but we certainly haven’t done ourselves proud today.

“There’s a lot of things that have to be addressed ahead of taking on the league leaders at home on Saturday. It will be a tough test, but we looked for a big response after the Moseley game and got it last week, and we need a bigger one than that this time, not just on the pitch.”


Read John Butler’s review in the Match Reports section