by John Butler
NOW with 19 wins from 20 games and a 16-point cushion at the top of National League One, Coventry Rugby take their proud record to the University campus at Loughborough on Saturday.
They are certain to face far different conditions than those experienced over the past few weeks. Loughborough have their 4G pitch, which usually encourages running rugby, a factor which has been so severely inhibited in the recent muddy conditions.
Cov make the short journey over the county border into Leicestershire in the knowledge that they hold an unbeaten league record of 11 straight wins over the Students.
It is always a little difficult to judge how Loughborough might react each week, much depending on their link with Leicester Tigers and who is available to them. Included in that link is former Cov forwards coach Boris Stankovich, who has assisted with the Students forwards this season.
Following their 17-all draw achieved last week away at Ampthill, in front of a reported crowd of 163, Loughborough lie just four points clear of the relegation places in 13th spot. Last season, they finished in 11th place.
Comparing the side which opposed Ampthill last week with the one defeated at Butts Park in October proved to be an interesting exercise in itself; the answer being just six who played last week featured in the October defeat. Such is the level of difficulty in judging the possible make-up of the Students squad week by week.
Matched against their seven wins to date, Loughborough have lost five times at home to Old Elthamians, Cambridge, Ampthill, Plymouth Albion and Caldy.
Although rugby football was first played at the University around 1919, it was 1976 before they were fully formed and 1996 when they first entered the National League system.
Whatever the circumstances this coming weekend in relation to the likely weather and conditions, Cov will travel in great heart as they seek their seventh league double of the season.
The win over Fylde, achieved in such testing conditions, brought the try tally to 130 for the season, so Cov will travel in the knowledge the next try scored will create yet another club league record. Last weekend also saw the squad pass 850 points for the season, another staggering statistic with ten matches still to play. That 19th win of the season also saw the margin over Darlington Mowden Park increase by one further point, remembering Park have one match in hand.
Kick-off will be 3pm, with the Supporters’ Club again laying on a coach on for those supporters who choose that means of transport to the game.