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IT wasn’t a day for open, running rugby, but coach Brendan Burke was pleased with the way Coventry’s backs showed the other parts to their game in Saturday’s 25-19 win at Blaydon.

“It was good to get a result away from home – the lads dug deep and managed to get a gritty win, so we’re all happy,” said Burke.

“After the rain last night we were expecting the pitch to be a whole lot worse, but to be fair when we arrived it looked better than we thought it would be and we were able to play a bit more rugby than we were expecting to.

“The backs played well. It wasn’t a game of too many chances for them, but we didn’t make too many mistakes.

“It was good to see Sam Grasso get 80 minutes, it was his first full game this year and it’s good that he’s now putting pressure on Pete White.

“I don’t think losing Heath Stevens in the first half disrupted us too much. We had a good bench so we brought on Max Trimble on the wing and put Rob Knox in to 13 which is always a good option to have. It’s good to have someone like him who can play in both positions.

“The defence was really good – there were parts of the game where they had up to 15 phases around our line and we kept them out. We had worked hard all week on defence and it showed.”

Burke was also pleased that Cov, ahead by a converted try inside a minute, avoided the pitfall of sitting back and expecting the rest of the game to go the same way.

”I think Blaydon were half asleep coming out – it was a good kick-off from Fenner and everything worked a treat.

“When you get a start like that it can affect you in different ways, but we kept our focus, dug deep and got a good result.

“It’s definitely given us a good platform to move on from, but next week against Ampthill is going to be a completely different game. We’ve really got to roll up our sleeves at training, and we expect it to be a good battle.”