DIRECTOR of rugby Rowland Winter was delighted with Coventry’s response to a difficult first quarter at Rosslyn Park and his side’s ability to lift their game to a higher level in the second half.
Cov trailed twice as the home side made a strong start, but they shut out the home side for the remaining hour while raising their own game to finish with seven tries for a clear 43-13 win at The Rock.
“We knew that Rosslyn Park were going to come out all guns firing and we made hard work of the first 20 minutes,” said Winter.
“They made things quite tough around the breakdown and in the set piece they really challenged us, they have a physical pack and it was a hard contest. We had to ride it out and come through, which we did, and that’s what I’m most pleased about.
“To shut them out from the 20-minute point onwards and to score seven tries in the end was exceptional.
“In the last couple of weeks we’ve found that ability to kick on. We knew Rosslyn Park would come out of the blocks, but we questioned whether they could stick with us for the 80 and we found that extra gear which allowed us to pull away.
“There were some interesting interpretations of the Laws which we didn’t adapt to, so we’ll have to look at that, but overall to get a bonus point win away at a place like Rosslyn Park in the style that we did is an exceptional performance.
“To shut them out from the 2oth minute and to win the second half 29-0 is really good and gives us a good springboard into the next two big games coming up.”
A pivotal moment in the game came on the stroke of half-time when Cov, leading 14-13 but wan man down, held out under severe pressure on their own line and defended two five-metre scrums before scrum-half Tom Kessell striped the ball from his opposite number and cleared to touch.
Added Winter: “It was a big moment. We were down to 14 men and under the cosh, but when you’ve got a player of Tom’s ability, he’s used to those big moments. To come out of that was important, and we went into half-time a point up which allowed up to push on.”