LEAD coach Nick Walshe says Coventry must develop a ruthless streak if they are to become a top National League One side.
The former England under-20s coach was left frustrated by Saturday’s performance against Hull Ionians when Cov raced into a clear early lead only to lose their momentum and end up having to come from behind to finally win 50-38.
“I think it just sums us up,” said Walshe. “After the first 15 minutes we’ve already got the bonus point and are looking absolutely fantastic, and then five minutes after half-time we’re losing and you just think, how is that?
“It’s very frustrating. We can be absolutely outstanding, we’ve got some good players and some really good stuff about us, but then there is the poor stuff when we switch off – we don’t concentrate, we lack that real killer instinct.
“Defensively we were slipping off tackles and we just went passive, really passive.
“Some of the tries we score are absolutely wonderful and we play some great rugby, but sometimes we give the ball up too easily. We’ve got to treasure the ball a bit more and really put our foot on the throat of the other team, which we don’t do.
“I don’t think we have enough leaders out there to say ‘come on, we’re 28-3 up, this is what we’re going to do.’ You still want that ambition, but I don’t think we are experienced enough at the moment to just put the hammer down.
“Sometimes, in a weird way, at 28-3 after the first 20 minutes you actually need to say to yourself, do you know what, we’re going to drive the next two line-outs, we’re going to kick to the corners, just keep the pressure on so that maybe we can get another score or even a penalty and kick for points. Just try to turn it into a perceived tight game for ten minutes to keep our focus.
“If it had been 28-10 at half-time it might have been acceptable, but it was 28-24 and that was frustrating.”
A fourth try after 48 minutes gave Ionians the lead, but it only lasted five minutes as Cov regrouped and – not for the first time this season – turned the game back round their way.
Said Walsh: “They seem to be able to do that, which is one of the positives. But for us to really move on and be one of the top teams in the division, which we have aspirations to be, we’ve got to improve these things.
“We can’t concede 38 points at home. I don’t care who are playing, we can’t be doing that. You’ve got to make it difficult for teams coming to us, and sometimes we don’t.
“I don’t like the fact that teams come to our home ground and actually feel that they can score tries. They should be happy and feel lucky if they have scored two tries, not five.
“That’s got to change, but we’ll keep going – we have a good bunch of players who have just got a lot to learn.
“They’ve got a lot of talent, we do a lot of good things, but we also do some poor things which kills us at times.”