DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter applauded his side’s resilience – and the impact made by the biggest crowd seen at Butts Park Arena for a National League One game of 2,712– after Coventry came from behind to claim a 26-23 win over local rivals Birmingham Moseley.
Cov led 13-0 in the first half, but were pegged back and trailed inside the final quarter before a strong finish saw them home – Will Maisey landing the winning penalty in the 79th minute.
“It was a bit of a stop-start performance,” said Winter. “We ran at them early on and showed how dangerous we can be from back field, but we were a bit sloppy with our discipline and our penalty count which caught up with us and gave Moseley the opportunity to get back into the game.
“But our tackling and defence was outstanding, and after going behind we regrouped and refocused. To get a try from the driving maul – which has been a real issue for us this season – against a big pack like Moseley’s is and for the scrum to then back it up with the final penalty was also outstanding.
“We’d talked about making a good start, we didn’t in the game over there, but today we had a fantastic early try and managed to kick a couple of goals as well which gave us a bit of a cushion.
“We knew Moseley would come back into it and that ten minutes before half-time could be key, so go into half-time with a lead was massive because we knew they’d be worried about our tempo as we were a far fitter team and could kick on.
“We had a patch where we looked a bit rocky and we slipped off our discipline in the third quarter, but we came back strong and that’s what it’s all about. We’ve been in a few tight games this season and come back, and we’ve done it again today.
“I think we’ve won the game up front, the scrum has been a strength of ours all season and is a fantastic weapon, and I was also pleased with the way it was officiated.
“There’s more to come from us, it wasn’t a complete performance, but we’d talked about the need to win games against sides above us in the table and so to beat Moseley is good for us and, hopefully, we can kick start 2017.”
Added Winter: “It’s hard to come off the bench in any game and have an impact. I know Will was disappointed not to have started and it can be hard to get into the game, but he was patient, he’s calm and has nerves of steel, and he’s won the game for us again which is a real credit to him.
“Today wasn’t just about the rugby team, it was about showcasing the club. There were 2,700-plus people here which is absolutely fantastic and they made a massive contribution.
“It shows what local rivalry and local derbies can be about, and it’s massive for Coventry Rugby Club.”