DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter conceded that, after two high-scoring wins, yesterday’s narrow victory at Old Albanian served as a wake-up call for Coventry.
In the end Cov squeezed through 21-19, but the tightness of the scoreline and the nature of the game against a side still without a win this season underlined that every point will have to be earned in a competitive division.
“Today shows that last week means nothing,” said Winter. “We’ve come here and we haven’t adapted to the weather and we haven’t adapted to Old Albanians competing for everything.
“I thought they beat us to the breakdown, they were probably more mentally prepared for the game than we were, and that’s something we need to look at.
“We’ve got the win, so that’s the positive out of it, and we’ve won playing quite badly – but we need to regain the standard that we set last week when we played Moseley, and it leaves us with a lot to look at.
“But we know this league is tough, from top to bottom anyone can beat anybody and today is a good example of how tight the league can be.”
Cov’s defence only conceded one try, but a high penalty count gave OA the opportunity to kick points and almost proved costly in testing wet conditions.
“The penalty count is one of a number of things we have to look at,” said Winter, “but there are some other areas we need to focus on first.
“If our breakdown had been a little more accurate and our scrum and line-out more consistent in the first half it wouldn’t have put as much pressure on us, so we wouldn’t have had that penalty count. We have to look at the basics of the game first.
”We’ve played in that weather before, it’s not a big problem. It’s a bit of a leveller and creates a tougher challenge for us to focus on which again we probably didn’t do.
“We were just slow out of the blocks, slow to react and slow to adapt. It was a very sloppy game, but to have won away from home and to win when we play poorly is not a bad thing and now we’ve got an opportunity to regroup and focus on next week.
“It’s a good grounding scoreline. Give credit to Old Albanians, as I said in the week their first game was a blip and they’ve put in two strong performances since then and were unlucky not to get something more out of today.
“I’m not necessarily sure we deserved to win, but we’ve got it and we’ll move on.”