IT was a result that Coventry’s coaching team would have happily accepted before the game, but director of rugby Rowland Winter felt that the final 61-26 scoreline at Esher could have been even more emphatic.
After going behind to a converted try inside the first minute, Cov stormed away to a 42-12 lead by half-time but saw a number of chances go begging after the break before allowing Esher in for a try bonus point right at the death.
“When you get 60 points on the board the next job is to make sure the opposition don’t get any league points out of it, and we didn’t achieve that today so it’s something we need to look at,” said Winter.
“When we started to chuck the ball around and became a little bit loose it allowed Esher back into the game and they got a couple of scores when things opened up. I don’t think we needed to do that – we could have kept a bit more structure in that period after half-time which probably would have stopped them getting a league point, which is the most disappointing aspect of the day.
“But, overall, we would have taken this beforehand. Esher is a difficult place to come to, they have a fine home record and a strong squad, so we needed to put in a strong performance today which on the whole we did.
“I think Esher probably paid the price for our performance at Old Albanian a fortnight ago which wasn’t acceptable. That was on our minds today.
“In all our preparation through the week we focused on the need to get a good start and keep our concentration, and I think we did that in the first half in particular to get a decent cushion.
“It was only 14-7 after 20 minutes, but the pressure was on. They picked up a couple of yellow cards for deliberate knock-ons that probably should have gone under the posts, but we had the penalty try from the scrum where we had complete dominance in the first half hour and allowed us to give good game time to Nathanael Titchard-jones on his debut.
“We need to settle a little bit more, there’s some new faces who are going to take six to eight weeks to bed in so I think this squad can get a lot better. We can fine tune some detail and make sure that those opportunities today when we should have killed off Esher aren’t missed. We probably should have had another 21 points in the first 20 minutes of the second half, we dropped the ball over the line and chucked that sort of ‘wonder pass’ that didn’t come off, and Esher shouldn’t have got as many as they did, so that’s what we’ve got to work on and it will come when this squad settles down.
“The Development team has also had a good win with only two or three senior players in there and the vast majority of the side coming from our young Academy boys which shows how much the group is together.
“To get two away wins at a place like this is great, so we’re really happy.”