Skip to main content

According to the old adage records are made to be broken and Coventry Rugby seek to make history twice when they face Cornish Pirates in Penzance in their final Championship action on Saturday.

Remarkably, all six of Cov’s wins over the Pirates since league rugby was introduced in 1987 have come in the West Midlands, so breaking their duck at the Mennaye Field is very high on head coach Alex Rae’s wish list.

And should the blue-and-whites manage to reverse their January defeat at the Butts Park Arena they will not only ensure that all ten of their opponents have been beaten at least once this season, but also clinch a highest-ever league finish.

This could mathematically still be at the top of the Championship pile, but with Ealing needing to lose both remaining games Rae acknowledges this is unlikely and is therefore focused solely on getting the win that will clinch the runners-up spot.

“To be honest I can’t see Ealing slipping up twice and we have enough to think about trying to get a win in Cornwall,” he said.

“Pirates is a really tough place to go and I wasn’t totally surprised when I was told earlier this week that we’ve never won down there.

“They have the best defensive record in the league down there – which the weather may help with at times – but we have tons of respect for them and what they have achieved.

“It’s a great place to play. They are always well supported and I know we’ll be taking quite a few down there to support us so there will be a great atmosphere.

“It will be a really physical battle and we have to be right at the top of our game if we are going to leave there with a win.

“Since I’ve been here we’ve ticked off a number of things along the way. Getting a highest-ever (third place) finish last year was one and winning on another bogey ground at London Scottish last season was another so this is the next one on the list for us.

“Apparently Will Chudley has won on every Championship ground other than Mennaye Field and it would be great to send him off into retirement on a real high.”

The rest of the league concludes on May 25th when Cov – who are without a match due to the collapse of Jersey Reds – face England U20s in a 150th anniversary match.

And according to Rae this unusual situation typifies a campaign which has departed from the norm in a number of ways.

“It’s been a bit of a strange season as I’ve never known the Championship have all the breaks between games that we’ve had this year before,” he said.

“Waiting another week for the final round of games is another slightly odd one and of course because of it being an eleven-team league we are sitting that last round out which is also unusual.

“With all the teams not kicking off the final round at the same time like they do in football that last Saturday won’t have the drama you see there with everyone watching other scores on their phones and working out permutations.”

Buy tickets to Coventry Rugby’s 150th anniversary celebration match against England U20’s on Saturday May 25th here: